At a loss* for something to watch the other day, I re-watched “Baseball: The Tenth Inning,” a sequel of sorts by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns that followed the 1994 release of “Baseball,” his multiple-episode look at the National Pastime.
In the Tenth Inning, Burns revisits the long-suffering history of the Chicago Cubs, including the fan interference controversy that introduced the world to poor Steve Bartman.
As a lead in to the Cubs’ lovable losing ways (or not), there’s a talking head interview with Washington Post columnist George Will who grimly acknowledges he is a Cubs fan and points out that the team even lost on his birthday.
And then it hit me: Did the Twins win or lose on Sept. 28, 1968?
They lost it turns out, a 7-1 defeat on the road to the Oakland A’s. Blue Moon Odom allowed a run over nine innings to end his season at 16-10 with a 2.45 ERA. The Twins’ Dean Chance absorbed the loss and fell to 16-16 with a 2.53 ERA.
To learn that the Twins lost is disappointing. More disappointing is that after a check of Newspapers.com, the Minneapolis Tribune didn’t even cover the game. Instead, the Sunday sports section is mostly wall-to-wall college football, save for a story buried deep in the section that questions whether Twins manager Cal Ermer is about to be fired (he was).
The Oakland Tribune did cover the game. The game story lede:
“The Oakland Athletics, doormat for the American League last year in Kansas City, moved to within one victory of finishing in the first division for the the first time in 16 years by bombing the Minnesota Twins, 7-1, last night.”
Advantage: Oakland Tribune (for even covering the game).
*The Bruce Springsteen song “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)” is very underrated.