7 thoughts on “Back to the Future: Listen to the ’65 Twins

  1. GB says:

    I read the book last year in the run-up (melt-down?) to spring training and beginning of the inaugural season at Target Field. I found the book to be everything and every bit as engaging as Bruce says it is. I ordered on the book’s website and the author emailed me to ask what type of inscription I’d like with his autograph. It says something about bringing back memories of outdoor baseball. Very cool indeed!

  2. Gary Pettis says:

    A few months after the 1965 Minnesota Twins played in the World Series, a handful of them traveled to Mankato, Minnesota, and made an appearance at the city’s old American Legion. On a stage usually reserved for polka bands, located in the second floor dance hall, these representatives of the Twins team each took turns speaking into fat microphones with their voices coming out of large round speakers encased in black cabinets that were about the size of Volkswagen bugs.

    Tony Oliva was there, and I remember–since I grew up in Mankato–that that was the first time I had seen anyone who could be labeled a Major League Star. He spoke humbly and softly with an accent that was difficult to understand through a 60’s-era sound system. Frank Quilici, Twins second baseman, also took a few moments to share his World Series experiences.

    After a question and answer session concluded, my father rounded up these Twins, having my brother and I in tow, and led us to the legion’s bar. He brought the guys a couple of rounds of drinks, which they happily accepted. For an hour or so, they were just a group of guys at a bar, laughing, swapping stories and lighting up cigarettes.

    I was 10, and even with all of the commotion around me, I could barely keep my eyes open and sought comfort on one of those soft booth seats. In time, someone sat down next to me: It was Tony Oliva. This was my only chance to get an autograph and I finally had the courage to ask for it.

    On a bar napkin, I got the signature. Then it was time for these Twins to return to the Cities. Tony grabbed my hand and shook it and wished me a good night. He gave me a warm smile, and I smiled back.

    I coveted that bar napkin for years.

    1. Dennis Lang says:

      Yes, a different time a different culture, and as a little kid, before the arrival of the Twins, pointing his Philco transistor radio at just the right angle to catch the Milwaukee Braves broadcast from an Eau Claire radio station on a summer evening. There is still something about the game in all its tranquil innocense that never fails to captivate,although it seems somewhat of an anachronism these days. Everyone of us in such a relentless rush.

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