Twins Porn 3/18/13

In last week’s Twins Porn, we took a look at the uniqueness of Twins minor leaguer Jason Lane, the baseball career of Conway Twitty and a pitcher who threw from both sides of the rubber in a MLB game. Today, we’ll talk about snow-outs, a kid whose MLB career was over before he turned 17, and the baseball career of the truck driver who had big trouble defeating Lo Pan in Little China.

If you take a look outside in Minneapolis right now, it certainly doesn’t look like the baseball season is ready to begin in two weeks. Target Field ground crews began removing the accumulated winter snow the first week of March, but it looks like we could see plenty more between now and April 1.

There have been plenty of MLB games snowed out, including opening days, and some of those games came much later in the season when weather anomalies raised their ugly heads. Rescheduling games due to weather is a regular occurrence across baseball, but one team chose to go ahead and play their home opener in the snow.

The Toronto Blue Jays were an expansion team in 1977, playing at old Exhibition Stadium. The atmosphere heading into the season was such that the team received more than 200,000 requests for tickets to the franchise’s historic first game. So when the field was covered with snow and more falling on Opening Day, the team simply did their best to remove what snow they could from the playing surface and pushed forward with the game.

The Jays beat the White Sox 9-5 that day and, from what I can dig up, there’s no mention of the game being so much as delayed due to the weather. Canada in the late 70s must have been full of some tough, weather-hardened people…or at least some serious baseball fans. Fans in attendance that day couldn’t even drink a beer to warm their bellies a little; the Ontario government banned alcohol at games for the Jays’ first five years of existence.

Even if Twins fans were willing to come out for a snow game at Target Field — personally, I’d be on that in a heartbeat — I doubt the team would allow it in this day and age. The increased likelihood of fans slipping and falling would probably be too much, let alone players losing sight of a ball in a sky full of off-white snow. Tracking a ball against the Metrodome ceiling sounds like nothing compared to that scenario.

Kurt Russell Played Baseball

And so did his dad, Bing Russell. Unlike a lot of actors and musicians, Kurt Russell was a well-known actor before he played minor league ball, showing up in numerous television shows as a child and signing a 10-year contract with Disney in 1971.

That same year, at age 20, Russell made his debut with the Bend, Oregon Rainbows, at the time an affiliate of the California Angels. He hit .285 that year and was named to the All-Star team as a second baseman. Playing for AA El Paso two years later, Russell tore the rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder during a collision on the base paths and was forced to retire. He was leading the Texas League with a .563 batting average at the time of the injury.

Russell went on to star in such awesome films as Escape from New York, Escape from LA, Captain Ron and, of course, Big Trouble in Little China. Baseball must run in his family: not only did Russell’s father play professionally, his nephew is former MLB and NPB player Matt Franco. The image at the top of this post is of Kurt Russell.

Alex George Played His Entire MLB Career Before Turning 17

There are a number of unique players that made appearances in MLB games during World War II due to a shortage of available players, but George showed up on the scene at age 16 in 1955.

The shortstop was signed out of an area high school in the Kansas City Atheltics’ first season after leaving Philadelphia. He appeared in five games, collecting one hit and seven strikeouts in 11 plate appearances. The following season, he was shipped to the Athletics’ Class D affiliate in Fitzgerald, Georgia.

George played for eight minor league teams in nine leagues over the course of the remainder of his career, but retired from baseball at age 24 having never returned to the Majors. His best season came in 1958 at age 19, when George hit .282 with 23 home runs.

This Week’s Number: 42

That’s the number of players left on the Twins’ spring roster after a series of cuts this past week.

This Week’s Fact: Until the 1930 and 1931 seasons in the American and National Leagues, respectively, a ball that cleared the outfield fence after a single bounce was still counted as a home run.

Here’s the full version of Russell in Captain Ron, if you want to pretend like you’re stuck on an airplane circa 1992:

Later this week, I’ll continue looking at how competition at key positions has played out so far this spring. Try to stay warm today.

 

If you liked reading this, tweet it: traffic helps pay my bills. You can follow me here, and like us on Facebook here.

Tags: Alex George Minnesota Twins

comments powered by Disqus