February 20, 1987: Twins Acquire Newman

The Twins trade minor league pitcher Mike Shade to the Montreal Expos for infielder Al Newman. Shade would never make it to the majors. Newmie, meanwhile, played an important role on the Twins’ 1987 and 1991 World Series Championship teams.

Newman played in 110 games in 1987, starting 75, splitting time pretty evenly between second base and shortstop. One of my all-time favorite “fun facts,” however, is that he also started two games as the 1987 World Series champions’ designated hitter. Newman hit exactly one career home run, that coming on July 6, 1986 as a member of the Montreal Expos off Atlanta’s Zane Smith. Atlanta cleanup hitter Bob Horner hit four home runs in that game, with the fourth coming off Jeff Reardon with two out in the bottom of the ninth. Reardon popped out the next batter, Ken Griffey, to secure the save. The Twins acquired Reardon in a trade with Montreal on February 3, 1987.

Newman played in 118 games for the ‘91 Twins, starting 56, once again mostly splitting time between second and short, with four starts at third, one in left, and one as first baseman.

Newman is one of eight players to play for both the ‘87 and ‘91 Twins, and one of seven to play in both World Series. Allan Anderson did not play in either Series. Anderson, who posted the lowest ERA in the American League in 1988 and won 33 games between 1988 and ‘89, was just getting his feet wet in 1986 and ‘87, and was on his way out in ‘91. The other six Twins to play in both World Series are Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Dan Gladden, Greg Gagne, Gene Larkin, and Randy Bush.

Newman became a free agent following the 1991 season. He signed with the Reds, was released in April, and ultimately wound up playing with the Texas Rangers in 1992, his final season. It just so happened that Texas was in town on April 11, 1992 when the Twins got their rings.

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