You can always find a team that one year or another falls in the cracks of existence. It could be a bad season or a string of bad years that makes most of America forget or even care that the team is still playing. Perhaps it is even the locale or the personality of the team and ownership that makes it less appealing to the masses. Teams that have had these problems such as the Montreal Expos, Miami Marlins and even the Seattle Mariners at times have trouble sustaining success on the field when none of the fans really care. The Minnesota Twins are one team that I feel that gets lost in the shuffle of baseball. Be it a lack of success in recent years or geographical location, the Twins just seem to get no love from the rest of the country. It’s a good thing they have a rich history to celebrate and a die-hard fan base that will enjoy today’s book.
The Twins started their existence as the transplanted Washington Senators in 1961. Moving to a colder and more temperamental climate they set off to build a whole new tradition on and off the field. They have succeeded in building one of the most dedicated fan bases in the game and achieved some moderate success through the years on the field including a few World Series Championships.
Doug Grow takes fan’s of the Minnesota Twins on an entertaining ride through their existence. Year by year, you are walked through the history of the team, along with some pop-culture snippets going on at the same time as well. Published in 2010, this book only takes you through the opening of Target Field, so currently it is a little dated. Each year starting with the shift that bore the Minnesota Twins you get player insight, on and off field team drama, as well as fun facts about the team itself. If you are not a die-hard fan of the Twins or have not spent a lot of time learning their history it is very helpful.
These type of books that chronicle a franchises complete history allow general baseball fans to learn specific details of a team and form a connection. When you have fans forming a connection with a team, you in the end create a fan of that team. These books then become dual purpose, by being both a history book and also the ability to generate new fans for that team. Doug Grow did a very thorough and entertaining job with this book. It was hard to put down because it was so enjoyable. If you are a Minnesota Twins fan you probably have heard some of these stories before, but will more than likely enjoy them again. If the Twins are not that familiar to you, this book becomes a great learning experience and is entertaining at the same time.
You can get this book from the nice folks at University of Minnesota Press
Every team has a history. Some teams have stayed in one place and followed the straight and narrow, while others have made stops along the way, some of those in three or four towns no less. Sometimes it is lack of fan support, the lure of a new stadium or for other owners its just the temptation that the grass is greener on the other side, that makes them up-root their teams. The Minnesota Twins, born out of the remains of the original Washington Senators, are one of those such teams and todays book takes a look at their rich history after moving out to the prairie.
The upper mid-west was a grand opportunity for the owner of the Minnesota Twins. There was not much in the way of professional sports representation for that area at the time, and Calvin Griffith saw a gold mine for the taking. Sometimes these moves go as expected and sometimes not, just ask Charlie Finley how Kansas City was. Regardless, Minnesota got a new baseball team for the 1961 season and the endless love affair between team and city has not missed a beat since.
Stew Thornley takes an in-depth look at the team from its humble beginnings in 1961, through a few World Series appearances and finally to their new home at Target Field. The author breaks down each decade of the teams existence and shows the highs and lows that came about. The book is a very quick read at only 123 pages, but it does not just touch on the main events. It encompasses the minor details that have made Twins baseball special to the people of Minnesota. Thornley also gives a nice overview of what baseball was in Minnesota prior to the Twins arrival on semi-pro levels. From Killebrew and Oliva to Molitor and Mauer, this book does a great job of covering the team history.
If you are a Twins fan or someone who is not in the Minnesota region but likes to learn about team history, you will really enjoy this book. It paints a solid team picture in a short span, and helps you understand why the fans of Minnesota are so proud of their hometown team.
You can get this book from the nice folks at The History Press
Nostalgia can be a wonderful thing. It can take you back to a cherished memory, or a wretched heartbreak. The beautiful thing about nostalgia is it becomes whatever you want it to be. Sometimes it becomes greater than it really was. Today’s book does just that for me.
The 1991 World Series, more accurately Game 7 of the 1991 World Series is considered by many to be an all time classic. What Game 7 means to each fan is a totally different and personal thing. To me it takes me back to my college days sitting around watching the game with all my friends. I didn’t have a dog in that World Series fight but it created a cherished memory for me that night none the less. Tonight’s choice I think is now obvious…….
Down To The Last Pitch
By:Tim Wendel – 2014
I was very surprised by this book. What I expected and what I got were two totally different things. What I expected was a book that detailed every move made in every game which I got. I also expected analyzation of all the moves that were made and ones not made, which I got as well. And also I expected the awnswers to the questions of who, what, when, where, how and why two teams that were in last place the year before wound up in the World Series. Which of course I got as well.
But what I didn’t expect was showing the reader how this World Series and those specific seven games fit into the entire realm of baseball lore in 1991. You have to remember this was fresh off the Pete Rose Scandal (Yes I think he should be in the Hall of Fame), on the doorstep of skyrocketing player salaries and not so far down the road a MLBPA strike that would cancel the 1994 World Series. The author takes you through each of these things and shows you what other events transpired during that year (1991). Then he shows you if and why it had any effect on the game of baseball itself, the World Series and any ramifications that came from those said events.
Now keep in mind this book does get written Twenty plus years after the events happened. So it makes it easier to see how each event of that season may have intertwined and created the end results. At the given time I don’t think there were very many of us thinking…”Hey we are watching something really important here”. Unless you had a time machine and could see the significance this game would have, it was just another Game 7. While they don’t come along as often as we would like we still knew, in the end, someone was going to lose and someone crowned a champion.
Whether you are a fan of the Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves or just enjoy the World Series as an event, you will enjoy this book. The only problems with this book for me was the talk about the passing of Kirby Puckett. The game lost a great one with that guy. That seemed a little out-of-place because you find yourself enthralled in the story and almost upbeat comparing your memories of the game to the authors writings. The only other issue I had with it was it tended to bounce around to another subject at odd times. Midway through the chapter about Game 1, it bounced to a story about the author working at USA Today three years prior. It really had no link to that part of, or even the overall story. It just seemed there was a better way to make those transitions if that was something they wanted to keep in the storyline.
Overall Tim Wendel did a good job with this book. It brought back a lot of good memories for me of that Sunday night, many moons ago when I had less grey hair. It definitely takes you back to a day long gone by and almost makes you wish you were still there when they were …….down to the last pitch.
You can get this book from the nice folks at DaCapo Press http://www.dacapopress.com