Category: Sam Mele

June 8, 2024

What the doctor didn’t order: A loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates

What did the Twins need after a gut-wrenching sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees? They needed a win at Pittsburgh on Friday to get this team back on track. Instead, they were blanked by the Bucs and exited with a 3-0 loss and what is now a four-game losing streak. The Twins... Continue Reading »

May 26, 2024

Streaky Twins keep on streaking, win 4th straight

So far this season the Twins have had a 12-game winning streak, a seven-game losing streak and here they are again, a game away from sweeping the Texas Rangers after they won 5-3 on Saturday. I can’t explain it but with just enough hitting and pitching they are getting the job done. They also got... Continue Reading »

March 18, 2024

Tony Oliva, 1966

The final (for now) addition to my Twins baseball card collection is this 1967 card that shows the American League batting leaders for 1966: Frank Robinson, Tony Oliva and Al Kaline. Oliva would hit .307 that season and lead the AL with 191 hits. He got off to a red-hot start and by early May... Continue Reading »

October 16, 2022

What does a good pitching coach mean to a baseball team? The world, apparently

In “Facing Nolan,” a relatively new documentary about the Hall of Fame pitcher, Ryan, wild but effective in the early days of his career with the New York Mets, eventually was traded to the California Angels. When Ryan first learned that he was going to California, he thought he was on his way to the... Continue Reading »

January 9, 2022

Tony Oliva and a rookie season for the ages

Tony Oliva is headed to the Hall of Fame along with former teammate and pitcher Jim Kaat. While Kaat’s overall body of work might jump off the page a bit more, take a close look at Oliva’s rookie season and it’s hard to say that he doesn’t belong in the pantheon of peers because he... Continue Reading »

November 15, 2020

The day Tony Oliva was beaned in the forehead

Tony Oliva, who spent his entire 15-season career with the Twins, had one of the best rookie campaigns of all time, and was the clear choice for AL Rookie of the Year in 1964, capturing 95 percent of the vote, according to Baseball-Reference.com. The numbers are incredible: 217 hits, 109 runs, 94 RBI, 43 doubles,... Continue Reading »

January 20, 2019

The day a Twins rookie took the mound opposite Don Larsen, Harvey Haddix and Jim Palmer

As July turned to August, the 1965 Twins found themselves with a five-game lead in the American League heading into an Aug. 2 matchup against a good Baltimore Orioles team, according to Cool Of The Evening, a book by Jim Thielman about that pennant-winning season for the Twins. But rather than wait and let a rookie pitcher... Continue Reading »

December 24, 2018

Remembering Cookie Lavagetto, baseball manager

A decade after Cookie Lavagetto suspected the New York Giants were up to no good during the 1951 season — and was later famously captured on film sitting next to a bawling Ralph Branca after that history-making October loss — Lavagetto found himself in Minnesota, manager of a newly relocated team called the Twins. During... Continue Reading »

December 9, 2018

The day the Twins’ first manager suspected the New York Giants were up to no good

In October 1951 Bobby Thomson hit baseball’s most famous three-run home run, a blast that capped an amazing come-from-behind season that finally erased a season-long lead by the Brooklyn Dodgers and propelled the New York Giants into the World Series. The home run is so famous that it has almost completely obscured the fact that... Continue Reading »

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

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.