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    by Randy Ooney     

My Nickel’s Worth                     by Randy Ooney


50 Years


The Millers had Galen Cisco

The Giants moved to Frisco,

And watching minors wasn‘t too much fun.

The majors were a dream

The Met needed a team,

Then Calvin moved the Senators from Washington….


It’s hard to believe that 50 years have gone by since that day in April, 1961, when Pedro Ramos blanked the Bronx Bombers at Yankee Stadium by a score of 6-0.  Bob Allison and Reno Bertoia hit home runs for the Twins.  Although the Yankees didn’t score that day, you probably already know that their M&M boys went on that season to combine for 115 home runs and an annual Yankee AL pennant.  Meanwhile the Twins went on a long losing streak in May and Manager Cookie Lavagetto was replaced by Sam Mele, and finished the season in seventh place at 70-90, finishing only ahead of the two expansion teams and the lowly KC Athletics.


An interesting lowlight early in the year was the trade of Reno Bertoia, and Minnesota legend Paul Giel to Kansas City for Bill Tuttle and a player to be named later.  The interesting part was that the player named later was none other than Paul Giel.  Kansas City decided they would rather have cash.  Giel was not much of a pitcher, but he was an All American quarterback on the U of M football team in ‘52-53.

Later he served the University as athletic director from 1971-1989.  But back to baseball.


Met Stadium in Bloomington held about 18,000 people.  As soon as the major league moved was announced, expansion began, first down the right field line because a team called the Vikings was coming in the fall and the goal posts were going to be by the third base dugout and the right field bleachers.  There were no suites or padded seats for the affluent.  The best seats in the stadium were lower deck boxes for $3.00.  The outfield bleachers were $1.50.  Times have changed - the Twins would have needed to sell 78,000 tickets to each game to pay Joe Mauer’s daily salary.


Speaking of Joe, “Can switching to GEICO raelly save you 15% on car insurance?”  Can Joe Mauer play Game Day on a Sony X-Box?   “Well played Mauer”


However Joe’s performance on the tail end of the Explore Minnesota commercial is a bit like Charles Barkley playing golf or Hines Ward bowling in Chris Paul’s event.  But it’s nice to see Joe picking up a few extra bucks.  His income tax bill could help the state’s economy and fix all the potholes.  Have a great Twins season!!!  




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