Sunday, September 9, 2018
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Marc from Remember the Astrodome sent me a mailer last week in exchange for some Allen & Ginter that I sent his way. My earliest memory of Carew came after his days in Minnesota. I was given a stack of Topps cards by a cousin of mine and inside was Carew's 1985 Topps card, showing him with batting helmet in hand emerging from behind a chain link fence. I knew that he'd gotten his 3,000th hit that season, but before then I hadn't really connected the dots from Carew to Twins greatness. the back of his card revealed that he was an all-time great for my hometown team.
Some of my earliest Twins memories included Bert Blyleven, who returned to the team mid season in 1985 and provided some much needed veteran leadership. The back of this 1986 League Leaders card show that he led the AL in innings pitched, Shutouts, Complete Games, and Strikeouts that year.
Ervin's been injured and he also missed the first half of his first season in MN due to a PED suspension. I don't have fond memories of the struggles in his lone playoff start for MN, a Wild Card defeat against (who else?) the Yankees. But I do recall the great season he had for the Twins that allowed the team to reach the playoffs for just the second time since Target Field opened. He, like Blyleven, led the AL in shutouts last year.
Byron Buxton was not called back up to the majors following a long rehab stint and subsequent demotion to AAA. He had a lost season in 2018, but no one has forgotten his electrifying defense in Center Field and blistering speed on the bases. He had a tremendous 2nd half in 2017, and the Twins' future plans will continue to feature him prominently.
What most people remember about Max Kepler is that he was born in Berlin, Germany. He's working on becoming a more complete hitter, after a season in 2017 that resulted in terrible numbers against lefties, he worked diligently in the off-season and returned in 2018 to raise his average vs. lefties by 50 points. He's hoping his struggles against southpaws are a distant memory.
Who can forget Eduardo Escobar? He's clubhouse dynamite! Before his trade to Arizona at the deadline, he provided the Twins a steady presence in the infield through Jorge Polanco's suspension and Miguel Sano's demotion, and for the third straight year was the unexpected starter at Shortstop. He's continued his hot hitting in the desert, and he's up to 20 homers and 45 doubles this season.
Thanks for the great cards, Marc!