Johnny Blanchard, perhaps the most famous backup catcher in baseball history, played in five World Series, hitting .400 with two home runs in the ’61 Series.
St. Cloud Tech grad, St. Cloud State all-time great, and 15-year major leaguer Jim Eisenreich was born in St. Cloud on April 18, 1959.
1942 Watertown graduate and Golden Gophers all-time great Harry Elliott had some prodigious minor league seasons, but his chances of a significant major league career were hampered by military service during World War II.
Richfield graduate and Golden Gophers two-sport star Bill Davis’s only major league home run was a two-out 10th-inning pinch-hit walk-off.
Albany High School alumnus and 15-year pro ballplayer George “Showboat” Fisher‘s best major league season was 1930, going 95-for-254 (.374) in 92 games (59 starts) with the National League Champion Cardinals.
1954 Edina-Morningside grad Bob “Rocky” Johnson played 874 major league games over parts of 11 seasons with the Kansas City Athletics, Senators, Orioles, Mets, Reds, Braves, Cardinals, and Oakland A’s, hitting .272 with 628 hits and 44 home runs.
1979 Fairfax High School and 1983 St. Cloud State graduate Dana Kiecker pitched in 50 major league games for Boston between 1990 and ‘91, making 30 starts, compiling a 10-12 record with a 4.68 ERA.
1976 Sauk Rapids-Rice graduate, St. Cloud State all-time great, and current Twins scout Bob Hegman played half an inning in the field for the 1985 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals.
1976 Park Center graduate Tim Laudner led professional baseball with 44 home runs in 1981, including a Southern League record 42 at Double-A Orlando, and one in each of his first two career major league games.
Minneapolis South graduate Hy Vandenberg appeared in 90 major league games, going 15-10 with five saves during seven seasons spread out over an 11-year period (1935–1945) with the Red Sox, Giants, and Cubs.
1932 Olivia High School graduate and 1944 World Series hero Sylvester “Blix” Donnelly was born on this date in 1914.
1983 Hopkins High School graduate and University of Minnesota alumnus Tim McIntosh made his major league debut in Milwaukee in a game versus the Minnesota Twins on September 3, 1990, going 0-for-3 as Mark Guthrie hurled a shutout. Three weeks later he homered for his first major league hit.
2008 Chaska graduate Brad Hand led all major league pitchers with 82 appearances in 2016. He had a career year in 2017, posting a 2.16 ERA, 0.933 WHIP, earning 21 saves, and making his first All-Star team. He also held Twins hitters 0-for-7 with three strikeouts in his first two career appearances versus his hometown team in 2017.
1987 Apple Valley graduate Dan Smith made 17 appearances with the Texas Rangers between 1992 and ’94.
1969 St. Paul Murray graduate Tom Johnson earned two wins and save in his first three major league appearances with the Twins in 1974.
1973 Highland Park graduate Jack Morris pitched a no-hitter in Chicago on April 7, 1984. He also pitched three one-hitters in his career, including against the Twins on August 21, 1980.