February 19, 1985: Twins Acquire Smalley—Again

The Twins trade first baseman Randy Johnson and outfielder Ron Scheer to the White Sox for infielder Roy Smalley. Randy Johnson, who originally came up with Chicago in 1980, last played in the majors with Minnesota in 1982. Johnson would not make it back to the show, while Ron Scheer never made it past Double-A.

The Twins had originally acquired Smalley in the 1976 trade that sent Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson to the Texas Rangers. Smalley’s first stint with the Twins was highlighted by his 1979 All-Star campaign. On April 10, 1982 he was traded along with St. Cloud State alumnus and proprietor of Serum’s Good Time Emporium in Anoka, Gary Serum, to the New York Yankees for pitchers Ron Davis, Paul Boris, and a minor league infielder named Greg Gagne. In July 1984, the Yankees offloaded Smalley to the White Sox in exchange for players to be named later, one of whom wound up being Doug Drabek, who after just one season the Yankees shipped off to Pittsburgh where he won the 1990 NL Cy Young Award.

One of the highlights of Smalley’s second stint with the Twins—other than winning the 1987 World Series, of course—was becoming the first player in Twins history to homer from both sides of the plate on May 30, 1986. Four players have done so since: Chili Davis (October 2, 1992), Ryan Doumit (July 22, 2012), Kennys Vargas (August 11, 2016), and Jorge Polanco (August 29, 2017). Here’s a fun story that Roy Smalley related to me on Twitter: “It just so happened that right after Doumit did it Chili was in town with the A’s and I was there for FSN. We took a great picture together . . . We also each signed three baseballs with the dates we hit the HR’s — one for each of us — which I’m proud to have. Only three Twins to have done it.” This, of course, was before Vargas and Polanco joined the club.

Roy Smalley retired following the Twins’ 1987 World Series championship season.

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