March 21, 1970: Twins Trade Grzenda and Walters for Alyea

The Twins trade pitchers Joe Grzenda and 1965 Minneapolis Edison High School graduate Charley Walters to the Washington Senators for outfielder Brant Alyea.

Alyea’s career had gotten off to an Eddie Rosario-esque start, homering on his first major league pitch on September 11, 1965.

His Twins career, too, got off to a hot start, tying a Twins record with seven RBI in support of Jim Perry on Opening Day. He went on to drive in 20 runs in the Twins’ first 11 games, with a remarkable 19 of those RBI coming in Jim Perry’s first four starts. Alyea matched the single-game RBI record again on September 7, 1970, going 3-for-4 with two home runs and driving in all seven Twins runs in a 7-6 win. It was the beginning of a streak of nine games in which Alyea would collect at least one RBI, knocking in 17 total between September 7 and September 13 (two doubleheaders).

Glenn Adams established a new record with eight RBI on June 26, 1977. Randy Bush matched that on May 20, 1989.

Read more about 7+ RBI games in Twins history.

Though Walters didn’t make the same splash in the major as Alyea, his story is nonetheless interesting. The Twins signed Walters out of their annual open tryout at Met Stadium in 1965. He went 7-2 with a 1.94 ERA for the 1967 Northern League Champion St. Cloud Rox. He broke camp with the Twins in 1969 at age 22, and made six appearances between April 11 and May 14. He held opponents scoreless over his first five appearances (5.1 innings) on just three hits and a walk. He struggled in his final major league appearance versus Baltimore, giving up four runs on three hits and a walk over 1.1 innings.

Walters has been a sportswriter at the Pioneer Press since 1975. Stew Thornley wrote about Walters for the Halsey Hall SABR book Minnesotans in Baseball (click here).

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