September 1, 2018

55 years ago this week, the Twins clubbed 12 home runs after historic gathering

Fifty-five years ago on Aug. 28, 1963, more than 200,000 people descended on Washington, D.C., for the March on Washington, a watershed moment for the civil rights movement. It was there that Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered “I have a dream,” his most famous speech. The march was considered key to the eventual passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act the following year.

Meanwhile, the Twins were in town to play the Washington Senators — the second version of the Senators after the original team became the Twins in 1961. But the Aug. 27-28 games were postponed due to the march, so a doubleheader was scheduled for Aug. 29. After an all-morning rain prevented batting practice from taking place, the game got under way, according to The Sporting News.

One might think that after the postponement and no batting practice, the Twins and Senators would be a little rusty for their Aug. 29 tilt. That was not the case for the Twins who would blast eight home runs in the first game and tie a major league record. The Twins poured it on, scoring 14 runs on 20 hits in the blowout victory.

Who hit all those home runs for the Twins? Vic Power, Bob Allison, Harmon Killebrew, Jimmie Hall, Bernie Allen and Rich Rollins. Allison, Hall, Allen and Rollins each had a solo shot, while Power and Killebrew went deep twice.

But the Twins weren’t done. In Game 2, they hit four more dingers in another blowout victory. This time they scored 10 runs on 15 hits, getting home runs from Allen, Hall, Killebrew and Zoilo Versalles. The Twins were 91-70 and Killebrew finished with 45 home runs in 1963.

Clearly, though, baseball wasn’t on the minds of many who were in Washington, D.C., that week. Baseball-Reference.com doesn’t show attendance for Game 1, but in Game 2 only 2,161 people showed up to watch the Twins and Senators at D.C. Stadium, which seated more than 43,000 at capacity.

Extra innings…

-By the way, the Senators played the Senators Friday night in Texas. The original Washington Senators became the Twins, and after the second version of the Senators failed, the team became the Texas Rangers. The Twins scored eight runs in the fifth inning and rallied to beat the Rangers, 10-7. The newest members of the team led the way on Friday night. Tyler Austin and Jake Cave each hit home runs and starting catcher, Mitch Garver, had three hits, including two doubles, and drove in four runs.

Jose Berrios gets the ball Saturday.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.