The Twins Almanac for July

July 1, 1961
Killebrew Starts Grand Slam Steak

Harmon Killebrew hits the first of three Twins grand slams in a four-day span in a 9-3 win in Kansas City.

Bob Allison hit one two days later on July 2 in a 7-6 home win over the White Sox, and Julio Becquer hit a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam for a 6-4 Twins win over the White Sox in the first game of a July 4th doubleheader (the Twins won the second game 4-2).

The Twins hit eight grand slams during their inaugural season. That’s still the team record. Bob Allison hit three of them, establishing a team record later tied by Rod Carew (1976), Kent Hrbek (1985), Kirby Puckett (1992), and Torii Hunter (2007). Killebrew holds the Twins career grand slam record with 10.

July 1, 1973
Kaat Pitches One-Hitter

Jim Kaat one-hits the Angels for a 2-1 Twins win in Anaheim. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson hit one of his 586 home runs leading off the bottom of the second.

The Angels’ Bill Singer also pitched the complete game, allowing just four hits—three to the Twins’ nine-batter Jim Holt. Leadoff hitter Rod Carew had the Twins’ other hit, a third-inning single driving in the eight-hole hitter George Mitterwald and Jim Holt for the Twins’ only runs. The game was over in one hour and 40 minutes.

See all single-pitcher one-hitters and no-hitters in Twins history on Baseball Reference ⇨…

July 1, 2005
Crain Sets AL Reliever Record

Twins reliever Jesse Crain wins his eighth straight decision of the season, and sets an American League reliever record by going 11-0 to begin his career.

The major record is 12 by the Cardinals’ Butch Metzger, who won one each in 1974 and ’75, and 10 straight in ’76.

July 2, 1969
Twins Play White Sox in Milwaukee

In an attempt to lure major league baseball back to Wisconsin, the Twins and White Sox play a regular season game in Milwaukee. The Twins won 4-2, with Dave Boswell earning the win, and future Twins broadcaster Tommy John taking the loss. Harmon Killebrew homered, Tony Oliva and César Tovar doubled, and Bob Allison tripled.

The upstart Seattle Pilots relocated to Milwaukee, becoming the Brewers in 1970.

July 2, 1972
Kaat Pitches with Broken Bone in Wrist

After breaking a bone in his pitching wrist while running the bases, Twins workhorse Jim Kaat pitches a 1-2-3 seventh and into the eighth. He was out the rest of the season. Adrenaline will do crazy things.

July 2, 2016
Kepler Sets Team Rookie RBI Record

Max Kepler has an RBI groundout and a pair of three-run homers for a total of seven RBI in a 17-5 home win over the Rangers.

It was the 18th seven-plus RBI game in Twins history, and the first by a rookie. Glenn Adams and Randy Bush hold the overall team record with eight RBI.

See all seven-plus RBI games in Twins history on Baseball…

July 3, 1922
Birthdate of Howie Schultz

St. Paul Central graduate Howie “Stretch” Schultz was born on this date in 1922. At 6-foot-6, he was rejected for military service during World War II because he was too tall. 

He played first base for parts of six major league seasons, beginning with the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1943 to 1947. The Dodgers traded him to the Phillies on May 10, 1947 when it became abundantly clear that a young man named Jackie Robinson had first base under control. 

Following his major league career, Schultz played for the Willmar Rails from 1950 to ‘54, and was an inaugural member of the West Central Baseball Hall of Fame along with Blix Donnelly, Mike Kingery, and others.  

He played a little pro basketball, too, winning an NBA championship with the 1951–52 Minneapolis Lakers (Bud Grant was a member of the ‘49–50 NBA champ Lakers).

Read Stew Thornley‘s essay on Schultz ⇨…

July 3, 1940
Birthdate of César Tovar

Twins all-time great César Tovar was born in Caracas, Venezuela on this date in 1940.

Pepito became the first player in Twins history with four extra-base hits in a game on May 21, 1967, connecting for two doubles and two homers in a 12-3 road win over the Angels. Kirby Puckett (1987 and ’89), Rich Becker (1996), Corey Koskie (2001) and Michael Cuddyer (2005) have since tied Tovar’s record of four extra-base hits in a single game.

He played all nine positions on September 22, 1968, striking out Reggie Jackson in the first inning. 

He led the league with 36 doubles and 13 triples in 1970, and 204 hits in 1971. 

He hit a two-out walk-off home run to complete the second cycle in Twins history. Only 4,240 fans were in attendance. 

Tovar passed away in 1994 at age 54. Read his SABR bio by Rory Costello ⇨…

July 3, 1961
Allison Hits Third Grand Slam

Bob Allison hits a seventh-inning grand slam in a 7-6 home win over the White Sox. It was his third grand slam of the season, still tied for the team record with Rod Carew (1976), Kent Hrbek (1985), Kirby Puckett (1992), and Torii Hunter (2007).

Allison hit the first grand slam in Twins history on April 16.

July 3, 1968
Tiant K’s 19 Twins Over 10 Innings

Cleveland’s Luis Tiant pitches all 10 innings, striking out 19 in a 1-0 win over the Twins. Tiant won 21 games in 1968, with a league-leading 1.60 ERA and 0.871 WHIP.

He pitched for the Twins in 1970 before being released and going on to become a Red Sox legend. More details in my blog post about the Twins releasing Tiant ⇨

July 3, 1973
Oliva Has Three-Homer Game

Designated hitter Tony Oliva hits three solo home runs in a 7-6 loss in Kansas City.

To date, one other Twin has hit three home runs in a loss—Brian Dozier in an 11-5 home loss to Kansas City on September 5, 2016 (the worst season in franchise history).

See all three-homer games in Twins history on Baseball

July 3, 1980
Landreaux Hits Three Triples

Ken Landreaux ties the modern (since 1900) major league record with three triples in a 10-3 home win over the Rangers.

Twins center fielder Denard Span also had a three-triple game in 2010.

July 3, 1985
Laudner Has Six-RBI Game

1976 Park Center graduate Tim Laudner goes 3-for-3 with a sac fly, home run, and six RBI in a 7-0 Twins win in Cleveland. It was his first of two career six-RBI games, both against Cleveland. He hit a pair of three-run homers at the Dome on April 24, 1988.

July 3, 2000
Ortiz Drives In Three Runs Without Official At-Bat

David Ortiz collects three RBI without recording an official at-bat in an 11-8 loss to Boston. He walked with the bases loaded and hit two sacrifice flies.

July 3, 2004
Mulholland Beats 30th Team

41-year-old lefty Terry Mulholland gives up four runs on five hits and a walk over five innings in a 8-4 Twins win in Arizona, improving to 1-3 on the season, and becoming just the third pitcher in major league history to beat all 30 teams (beating every team was difficult before interleague play).

Bartolo Colón became the 18th pitcher to do so when he beat the Diamondbacks at Target Field on August 20, 2017.

July 4, 1922
Birthdate of Loren Bain

Loren Bain was born in Staples, MN on this date in 1922. He made three relief appearances with the New York Giants in 1945, giving up seven earned runs over eight innings of work.

July 4, 1927
Wera Hits Only MLB HR In Front of 74,000

Winona native Julie Wera hits his only major league home run in the second game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium in front of a crowd of 74,000—the largest crowd ever to attend a baseball game to that point.

Read a more detailed account in my blog post about Wera ⇨

July 4, 1940
Millers Right Fielder Hits Four Homers

Minneapolis Millers right fielder Ab Wright hits four home runs in a 17-5 win over the St. Paul Saints at Nicollet Park.

Read my blog post on four-home run games in Minnesota baseball history ⇨

July 4, 1961 (Game 1)
Becquer Hits Pinch-Hit Walk-Off Grand Slam

With the Twins trailing the White Sox 4-2 with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth of the first game of a doubleheader, Julie Becquer hits a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam. It was the first pinch-hit grand slam in Twins history.

It was the Twins’ third grand slam in four days (Killebrew 7/1, and Allison 7/3). Altogether, the Twins hit eight grand slams during their inaugural season—still the team record.

Two weeks earlier Becquer hit the first pinch-hit homer/first walk-off homer in Twins history. He only hit 12 home runs during his major league career, with his final coming on July 16, 1961.

July 4, 1961 (Game 2)
Killebrew Hits Twins’ First Inside-the-Park Home Run

With Jack Kralick and Zoilo Versalles aboard with two out in the bottom of the eighth, Harmon Killebrew hits the first inside-the-park home run in Twins history. The White Sox scored two in the ninth, but the Twins held on to win 4-2, sweeping the doubleheader.

July 4, 1974
Blyleven Pitches One-Hitter

Bert Blyleven one-hits the Billy Martin-managed Rangers. That one hit, however, was a Toby Harrah homer in the third. The Twins trailed 1-0 going into the bottom of the ninth before they pushed one across, setting up a two-run Larry Hisle walk-off homer.

See the game log on Baseball

July 5
Happy Birthday, Nick Anderson

2008 Brainerd graduate and current Marlins pitcher Nick Anderson was born in CrosbyMN on this date in 1990.

See his page on Baseball Reference ⇨

July 5, 1965
Twins Move Into First Place

The Twins sweep the Red Sox in a doubleheader at Met Stadium, moving into first place where they’ll remain the rest of the season.

July 5, 1994
Molitor Hits Grand Slam vs. Twins

After Pat Mahomes retires him in the first, 1974 Cretin graduate and Golden Gophers all-time great Paul Molitor goes 4-for-5 with a double and seventh-inning grand slam off Dave Stevens in a 14-3 Blue Jays win at the Metrodome.

Light-hitting Toronto third baseman Darnell Coles—who hit .210 with four home runs in 1994, and 75 home runs altogether over his 14-year major league career—hit three homers in the game.

July 6, 1972
Quilici Promoted to Manager

The Twins dismiss manager Bill Rigney and promote 33-year-old Frank Quilici.

Quilici played infield for the Twins for parts of five seasons (1965, 1967–’70) before becoming a coach. He tied a World Series record by getting two hits in one inning off the Dodgers’ Don Drysdale in Game 1 in 1965.

It was my great privilege to meet Mr. Quilici at the Fall 2016 Halsey Hall SABR meeting.

July 6, 1986
Newman Hits Only Career Home Run 

Expos second baseman Al Newman hits his only major league home run off Atlanta’s Zane Smith. Atlanta first baseman Bob Horner, incidentally, hit four home runs in the game, with the fourth coming off Jeff Reardon in the ninth. Expos won 11-8.

July 6, 1990
Morris Pitches One-Hitter, Faces Minimum

Detroit ace Jack Morris pitches a one-hit shutout against the Royals at Tiger Stadium. He did not issue a walk and faced the minimum. After surrendering a single to Kurt Stillwell in the top of the first, he promptly induced a 4-6-3 double play from George Brett.

July 6, 1995
Twins Trade Aguilera

In the middle of a game I was watching at my grandparents’ trailer at Pincherry Grove Resort in Cohasset, the Twins traded Rick Aguilera to the visiting Red Sox for Frankie Rodriguez and a minor leaguer. Aggie jogged in from the bullpen partway through the game and switched clubhouses. He earned the save for the Red Sox at the Metrodome the next night.

He resigned with the Twins as a free agent following the season.

The Twins later traded first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz to the Red Sox in the middle of a series between the two teams at the Metrodome in July 2004. Mientkiewicz played for the Twins on July 30, and for the visiting Red Sox on July 31.

July 6, 2001
Lawton Has Four-Game Multiple Extra-Base Hit Streak

Matt Lawton connects for a home run and a double in a 5-4 Twins win over the Reds at home in the Dome. It was his fourth consecutive game with multiple extra-base hits, establishing a Twins record.

In a remarkable coincidence, Torii Hunter also homered and doubled, beginning his own four-game multi-extra-base hit streak that same day. They are still the only two such streaks in team history. Crazy, right?

July 6, 2007 (Game 1)
Kubel Has Seven-RBI Game

Left fielder Jason Kubel goes 2-for-3 with two RBI-sac flies, a grand slam (driving in MauerMorneau, and Hunter), and bases-loaded walk in a 20-14 win over the White Sox in Chicago.

It was the 15th seven-plus RBI game in Twins history. See the complete list on Baseball

July 6, 2007 (Game 2)
Morneau Hits Three Homers

First baseman Justin Morneau has the fourth three-home run game in Twins history (and the first since Tony Oliva 34 years earlier in 1973) in a 12-0 win over the White Sox in Chicago.

See all three-home run games in Twins history on Baseball

Interesting Fact: There have been 18 seven-plus RBI games, and 10 three-home run games in Twins history, but the two events have never coincided.

July 7, 1912
Meixell Makes Major League Debut

1907 Lake Crystal graduate Moxie Meixell makes his major league debut with the Cleveland Naps as a late-inning defensive replacement for right fielder “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. He got one at-bat, singling for his only major league hit.

He only got into three major league games altogether, making an unsuccessful pinch-hitting appearance, and entering as a pinch-runner.

Read Terry Bohn‘s SABR BioProject essay on Meixell ⇨

July 7, 1989
Blyleven and Viola Square Off

Former teammates Bert Blyleven and Frank Viola both go all nine innings in a 5-2 Angels win in Anaheim. The Twins’ only runs came on Tim Laudner‘s second-to-last home run, driving in Greg Gagne. Chili Davis scored two runs for the Angels.

July 5–7, 2004
Radke, Santana, and Lohse Pitch Three-Straight Shutouts

Brad RadkeJohan Santana, and Kyle Lohse pitch back-to-back-to-back complete-game shutouts as the Twins beat the Royals 9-0, 4-0, and 12-0 at home in the Dome.

July 7, 2010
Morneau Suffers Concussion

First baseman Justin Morneau suffers a season-ending (and career-altering) concussion breaking up a double play in Toronto.

He was hitting .345 with 25 doubles and 18 home runs, and had already accumulated a career-high 4.7 WAR (as calculated by Baseball Reference) through just 81 games.

He had a 4.3 WAR when he played 153 games and was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 2006.

July 7, 2011
Hand Earns First Win

Making his fifth major league start at home in Miami, 2008 Chaska graduate Brad Hand earns his first win, holding the Astros scoreless on two hits and three walks over seven innings in a 5-0 Marlins win.

July 8, 2013
Thielbar Gives Up First Run

In his 18th major league appearance, 2005 Randolph High School graduate Caleb Thielbar finally gives up his first run, a homer to Ben Zobrist in a 7-4 Twins loss at Tampa Bay.

He finished his rookie season 3-2 with a 1.76 ERA and 0.826 WHIP over 48 appearances (46 innings pitched). Read my blog post on Thielbar ⇨

July 9, 1968
Killebrew Ruptures Hamstring

Harmon Killebrew ruptures his hamstring stretching for a throw at first in the All-Star Game, and was out of commission until August 31.

July 9, 1972
Reese Hits Third Pinch-Hit Grand Slam

Batting for Lamberton, MN native and future Twins assistant general manager Bob Gebhard, Rich Reese hits his team record third career pinch-hit grand slam in a 9-6 loss to the Yankees at Met Stadium. Reese also hit pinch-hit grand slams on August 3, 1969, and June 7, 1970.

July 10, 2008
Morneau Goes 5-for-5 with Game-Winning HR

First baseman Justin Morneau goes 5-for-5 with a walk and an 11th-inning home run in a 7-6 Twins win in Detroit. See the game log on Baseball

July 11, 1934
Birthdate of Bob Allison

Bob Allison was born in Raytown, MO on this date in 1934. The 1959 Rookie of the Year made the move from Washington to Minnesota in 1961, where he hit the first home run, first grand slam, and had the first three-home run game in Twins history.

How intimidating of a hitter was he? He drew 15(!) career bases-loaded walks.

July 11, 1965
Killebrew Hits Walk-Off Homer Going Into Break

Trailing the Yankees 5-4 with Rich Rollins aboard and two out in the bottom of the ninth, cleanup hitter Harmon Killebrew hits a walk-off home run to give the Twins a seven-game lead heading into the All-Star break.

July 11, 1968
Renick Homers in First Major League At-Bat

Twins shortstop Rick Renick hits a solo home run off Detroit’s Mickey Lolich in his first major league at-bat. The Twins won 5-4.

Renick ony hit 20 home runs over parts of five major league seasons. He was the third base coach for the 1987 World Series champion Twins.

Dave McKayGary GaettiAndre David, Luke Hughes, and Eddie Rosario also homered in their first major league at-bats (it was Andre David’s only homer, coming off Jack Morris).

July 11, 2004
Santana Has Fifth-Straight Double-Digit K Game

Johan Santana notches double-digit strikeouts in his fifth consecutive game. He had three previous three-game streaks, and had double-digit strikeouts in 9 of 12 games. No other Twins pitcher has had double-digit strikeouts in more than two games in a row.

See double-digit strikeout streaks in Twins history on Baseball

Read my blog post on Santana ⇨

July 12, 1910
Rutherford Gets Into Only MLB Game

23-year-old Stillwater native Jim Rutherford gets into his only major league game with the Cleveland Naps, taking over in center field and going 1-for-2 with a walk in a 17-5 loss to the Red Sox at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds in Boston.

July 12, 1972
Blyleven Earns 1,000th Win in Twins History

Bert Blyleven holds the visiting Brewers to one run on five hits and two walks for a 7-1 win—the 1,000th win in Twins history.

Remarkably, Blyleven also earned the 2,000th win in Twins history 13 years later, on September 25, 1985.

July 12, 1988
Steinbach is All-Star Game MVP

After being maligned by the press as an unworthy All-Star, 1980 New Ulm graduate and Golden Gophers all-time great Terry Steinbach drives in the American League’s only runs with a homer and sac fly for a 2-1 win at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, and is named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Steinbach had missed most of the month of May and was hitting just .217 with five home runs and 19 RBI at the break (with his fifth home run coming in the last game before the break). He was, nevertheless, the leading vote getter for AL starting catcher.

The AL’s only other catcher was 1976 Park Center graduate Tim Laudner, named to the team by manager Tom Kelly (who was at the helm by virtue of the Twins being the 1987 league champions). Laudner doubled in his only at-bat (off 1989 NL Cy Young Award winner Mark Davis) and caught the final four innings.

Frank Viola started the game, retiring all six batters he faced.

July 12, 1996
Puckett Officially Retires

36-year-old Twins outfielder Kirby Puckett holds a press conferences at the Metrodome, officially announcing his retirement. Cleveland happened to be in town, and Dennis Martinez attended the press conference. Puckett had been hit in the face by a Martinez fastball at the Metrodome in what turned out to be Puckett’s final regular season at-bat on September 28, 1995.

Puckett appeared poised for a big season in 1996, hitting .344 in spring training when he woke up on the final day of camp unable to see out of his right eye. He was diagnosed with glaucoma (unrelated to the season-ending hit-by-pitch), and placed on the Disabled List for the first time in his career. Four surgeries did nothing to improve his vision before he officially announced his retirement.

July 12, 2001
Three Twins Have Two-HR Games

The Twins hit seven home runs in a 13-5 win in their first game at Milwaukee’s new Miller Park. Torii HunterCorey Koskie, and Jacque Jones hit two each. Doug Mientkiewicz only hit one, as he, Koskie, and Hunter went back-to-back-to-back in the third inning.

It was Hunter’s fourth consecutive game with multiple extra-base hits, tying a team record set by Matt Lawton just three days earlier. Remarkably, they are still the only two such streaks in team history, and they overlapped!

July 13, 1894
Birthdate of George Cunningham

Four-year major league pitcher George Cunningham was born in Sturgeon LakeMN on this date in 1894. He made 123 appearances (36 starts), compiling a 16-25 record with the Detroit Tigers between 1916 and ’19.

July 13
Happy Birthday, Jerry Terrell

1964 Waterville High School graduate, Minnesota State, Mankato all-time great, and eight-year major league infielder Jerry Terrell was born in Waseca on this date in 1946.

Terrell played for the Twins from 1973 to ’77, and the Royals from 1978 to 1980.

He set a Twins record by grounding into three double plays in a 12-3 win in Seattle on April 11, 1977 (José Morales matched the feat on May 17, 1980).

July 13, 1971
Killebrew Homers in All-Star Game

Home runs from Frank Robinson, Reggie Jackson, and Harmon Killebrew power the American League to a 6-4 All-Star Game victory at Tiger Stadium.

July 13, 1976
Wynegar Becomes Twins’ Youngest All-Star

20-year-old catcher Butch Wynegar becomes the youngest Twins player to appear in an All-Star Game, pinch-hitting for former Twin Luis Tiant in the top of the seventh and drawing a walk. The AL lost 7-1 in Philadelphia (a town with rich Minnesotan major leaguer history).

July 13, 1993
Puckett Named All-Star Game MVP

Twins center fielder Kirby Puckett homers off future Twin Terry Mulholland, and doubles to drive in Ken Griffey Jr. en route to being named Most Valuable Player in a 9-3 American League win in Baltimore.

Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless top of the eighth.

July 13, 1996
Becker Hits for 13 Total Bases

Batting second, center fielder Rich Becker goes 4-for-6 with two home runs, a triple, and double in a 19-11 loss to Cleveland at home in the Dome. Those 13 total bases are tied for second-most in Twins history. Kirby Puckett hit for 14 total bases in Milwaukee on August 30, 1987.

See all 10+ total base games in Twins history on Baseball

July 14, 2017
Dozier Breaks Team Leadoff Home Run Record

On the second pitch back from the All-Star break, Brian Dozier hits his 21st leadoff home run, passing Jacque Jones for most in Twins history. The Twins lost 10-5 in Houston, with José Berríos giving up seven runs (only two earned) in just 1.2 innings pitched. Houston’s Marwin Gonzalez went 3-for-5 with a home run (off Phil Hughes).

Dozier hit his 22nd leadoff home run the next day. He wound up hitting 28 for the Twins before being traded to the Dodgers on July 31, 2018.

It doesn’t count toward his leadoff home run total, but Dozier scored on a leadoff bunt in Detroit on September 23, 2017. The third baseman committed a throwing error and Dozier wound up circling the bases.

July 15, 1964
Grant Pitches 13-Hit Shutout

Despite giving up 13 hits and a walk, JimMudcatGrant pitches a complete game shutout of the Senators for a 6-0 Twins win in Bloomington. He allowed a baserunner in eight of nine innings.

Thirteen is the most hits ever allowed by a Twins pitcher in a shutout.

Read my blog post on high-hit shutouts in Twins history ⇨

July 15, 1967
Twins Hit Back-to-Back Homers for Walk-Off Win

Trailing the Kansas City A’s 2-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva homer on the first two pitches of the inning for a walk-off win.

The Twins’ first run came on a Killebrew homer in the first. See the game log on Baseball

July 15, 1974
Twins Win On Third-Straight Walk-Off

The Twins win on their third consecutive walk-off. On the 13th it was a Rod Carew single. On the 14th, a Steve Braun homer. And on this date, a Steve Brye single for a 4-3 win over the Brewers.

July 15, 1990
St. Cloud State Alumni Meet in the Majors

1977 St. Cloud Tech graduate Jim Eisenreich goes 1-for-2 with a walk and a double versus 1979 Fairfax graduate and former St. Cloud State teammate Dana Kiecker in a 13-4 Royals win at Fenway. It was the first time that St. Cloud State alumni played against each other in the major leagues.

In total, Eisenreich went 4-for-8 with a walk and two doubles versus Kiecker between 1990 and 1991.

July 16, 1969
Carew Steals Home for 7th Time of Season

After reaching on a fielder’s choice and advancing to second and third on walks in the second inning of the first game of a home doubleheader against the White Sox (the Twins’ 90th game of the season), second baseman Rod Carew steals home for the seventh time of the season. The single-season record is eight by Ty Cobb in 1912.

Carew went 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored altogether in the 9-8 Twins win. The Twins won the second game of the doubleheader 6-3.

July 16, 2003
Twins Acquire Stewart

The Twins trade Bobby Kielty to the Blue Jays for Shannon Stewart and a player to be named later (pitcher Dave Gassner).

July 17, 1969
Kaat Commits Three Errors

Sixteen-time Gold Glove winner Jim Kaat commits three errors in an 8-5 Twins win over the White Sox at Met Stadium.

Kaat shared with me on Twitter that he was playing through a groin injury, and received a Novocaine shot before every start. He said he was glad teams didn’t bunt on him more!

July 17, 1990
Twins Turn Two Triple Plays

Gary Gaetti, Al Newman, and Kent Hrbek turn an unprecedented two triple plays at Fenway Park, with Tom Brunansky hitting into the first one. The Twins still lost 1-0.

The next night the Twins tied an American League record by turning six doubles plays, and the two teams together tied the American League record with 10 combined double plays in a 5-4 Twins loss.

July 17, 2011
Thome Hits Longest Home Run in Target Field History

Twins designated hitter Jim Thome hits his 596th career home run, a staggering 490-foot bomb off the Royals’ Felipe Paulino. Uff Da! The three-run home run still stands as the longest in Target Field history. The Twins won 4-3.

July 18, 1887
Birthdate of Bert Brenner

Bert Brenner was born in Minneapolis on this date in 1887. He made two appearances (one start) with the Cleveland Naps in 1912. Read his SABR bio by Chris Rainey ⇨

July 18, 1962
Allison and Killebrew Both Hit First-Inning Grand Slams

The Twins become the first American League team to hit two grand slams in an inning, with Bob Allison and Harmon Killebrew doing so in an 11-run bottom of the first (Killebrew off Cleveland reliever Jim Perry). Earl Battey also homered in the inning.

1954 Sebeka graduate Dick Stigman earned the complete-game 14-3 win.

It was Killebrew’s fifth straight game with multiple RBIs, setting a team record not matched until Paul Molitor in 1996.

Patrick Reusse—who had recently moved from Fulda to Prior Lake—was sitting solo in an unused seat four rows behind home plate.

July 19, 1961
Pascual Strikes Out 15

Camilo Pascual strikes out 15, pitching a five-hit (one-walk) shutout for a 6-0 Twins win in the first game of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles.

Those 15 strikeouts are still in a five-way tie for second-most in Twins history. Johan Santana established a new record with 17 strikeouts on August 19, 2007.

See all six 15+ strikeout games in Twins history on Baseball

July 19, 1982
Brunansky Hits Inside-the-Park Grand Slam

Tom Brunansky hits the only inside-the-park grand slam in Twins history in the bottom of the third. Remarkably, it was the Twins’ first hit of the game. Brewers shortstop Paul Molitor committed two errors in the inning, and Jerry Augustine walked a batter to load the bases. Center fielder Gorman Thomas dove for Bruno’s liner and totally missed. All four runs were unearned.

John Castino and Lenny Faedo both hit solo homers in the 6-4 Twins win.

July 19, 1986
Mets’ Wild Night Out

Future Twins closer Rick Aguilera, former Twins infielder Tim Teufel, and their Mets teammates Bobby Ojeda and Ron Darling are arrested after an altercation with policemen outside a Houston bar.

July 19, 1987
Twins Retire Carew’s Number

The Twins retired Rod Carew‘s number 29 on this date in 1987. They retired Tony Oliva‘s number 6 in 1991. Coincidence?

July 20, 1896
Birthdate of Ollie Fuhrman

Ollie Fuhrman was born in Jordan, MN on this date in 1896. He got into seven major league games with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1922 as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement at catcher (he never started a game) going 2-for-6 with a double and run scored for a .333 lifetime average (not bad, huh?).

He passed away in 1969 (age 72), and is buried at Spirit Hill Cemetery in Jordan.

July 20
Happy Birthday, Tony Oliva

Twins legend Tony Oliva was born in Pinar del Río, Cuba on this date in 1938.

He is one of six players in major league history to lead their league in hits five times, along with Ty Cobb, Stan Musial, Pete Rose, Tony Gwynn, and Ichiro.

July 20, 1969
Perry Wins Two Games in One Day

Jim Perry earns two wins in one day in Seattle against the short-lived Pilots. He pitched hitless 17th and 18th innings in a game resumed from the night before. He hit a double in the top of the 18th, and scored the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded balk. The Twins wound up scoring four runs in the inning for an 11-7 win.

Then he pitched a complete-game shutout for a 4-0 Twins win in the day’s regularly scheduled game.

July 20, 2009
Morneau Drives in Seven, Twins Blow 10-Run Lead

The Twins led 12-2 after the top of the third in Oakland (with Justin Morneau hitting a grand slam in the second and three-run homer in the third), and led 13-7 going into the bottom of the seventh, but ultimately lost 14-13.

After 1997 Austin graduate Michael Wuertz got Nick Punto and Justin Morneau swinging to start the top of the ninth, Michael Cuddyer doubled, putting the tying run on second with two out. Wuertz then bounced a pitch that got past catcher Kurt Suzuki. Suzuki had trouble finding the ball at first, and Cuddyer tried scoring from second, but was called out. The video, however, clearly shows he was safe. Here it is on YouTube ⇨…

See the game log on Baseball

Morneau’s seven-RBI game was the 16th such performance in Twins history.

July 20–21, 1963
Mincher Has Back-to-Back Two-HR Games

Don Mincher hits two home runs in back-to-back games versus the Senators at home in Bloomington. The only other players in Twins history with consecutive multi-home run games are Kirby Puckett in Milwaukee on August 29 and 30, 1987, and Eddie Rosario on August 18 and 20, 2019 (there was a rainout on the 19th. He hit two home runs in the first game of a doubleheader on the 20th, and one more in Game 2).

See multi-home run streaks in Twins history on Baseball Reference

July 21, 1966
Merritt Strikes Out Seven-Straight

After giving up a double leading off the bottom of the third in Washington, Jim Merritt strikes out a Twins record seven consecutive Senators.

Merritt pitched all nine innings, holding the Senators scoreless on three hits and two walks while striking out 12. The Twins’ only run came when Don Mincher scored on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth.

Francisco Liriano tied Merritt’s record with seven consecutive strikeouts versus Atlanta at Target Field on June 11, 2010.

The Mets’ Tom Seaver struck out a major league record 10 consecutive batters on April 22, 1970. Tigers pitcher Doug Fister struck out an American League record nine-straight on September 27, 2012.

July 21, 2018
Mauer Becomes Twins All-Time Doubles Leader

Joe Mauer leads off a game in Kansas City with double number 415, passing Kirby Puckett for the most in Twins history. The Twin lost 4-2.

July 22, 1985
Hrbek Hits Second Grand Slam in Five Days

1978 Bloomington Kennedy graduate Kent Hrbek hits a grand slam in the five-run second inning of a 5-4 Twins win over the Orioles at home in the Dome. He had hit a big game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the seventh of an 8-4 win over the Yankees five days earlier.

He hit a third grand slam less than a month later—on August 15—tying the Twins’ single-season record. The other Twins to hit three in a season are Bob Allison (1961), Rod Carew (1976), Kirby Puckett (1992), and Torii Hunter (2007).

July 22, 2002
Jones Goes 5-for-6 with Home Run 

Leadoff hitter Jacque Jones goes 5-for-6 with two doubles and a home run in an 11-6 Twins win at Comiskey Park.

July 22, 2012
Doumit Homers from Both Sides

Designated hitter Ryan Doumit homers from both sides of the plate, and hits a two-run single in a 7-5 Twins win in Kansas City. To date, five Twins have homered from both sides—Roy SmalleyChili Davis, Doumit, Kennys Vargas, and Jorge Polanco.

Smalley shared with me on Twitter that right after Doumit did it, Chili was in town with the A’s and Smalley was working the game for FSN. The three took a picture together and signed three baseballs for each other with the dates they accomplished the feat.

July 23, 1895
Werden Hits Four Home Runs

Millers first baseman Perry Werden hits four home runs in an 18-5 win over the Detroit Tigers at Hiawatha Park in Minneapolis.

Werden hit two home runs the day before, going 9-for-9 between the two games.

He hit .417 with a league-leading 43 home runs in 1894, and .428 with a league-leading 45 home runs in 1895, which stood as professional baseball’s single-season record for 25 years until the Yankees’ Babe Ruth hit 54 in 1920.

Minnesota sports history writer Joel Rippel wrote about Werden’s record-setting 1895 season and the 1890s Minneapolis Millers ⇨…

Millers teammate Bill Kuehne hit four homers on June 11.

Bonus Fact: St. Paul native Jack Crooks had the first four-home run game in professional baseball history on June 8, 1889. See my blog post on four-homer games in Minnesota baseball history ⇨

To be continued…



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