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Forgotten Twin? – Freddie Toliver


In this feature, I scour the most reliable internet sites to try to determine whether or not a former Minnesota Twin is forgotten or not.  I use all the best sites – Wikipedia, Google, Bing, Alta Vista, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and BaseballReference.com.  If the player is not featured to my liking, they are officially forgotten.  The entire first paragraph will come from my own memory though.  No guarantees for accuracy or insight.  At the very end, I will ask one random person if they remember the player.  Here’s a guy I barely remember:  Freddie Toliver.

I’m not sure I would remember Freddie Toliver at all if it weren’t for that baseball card.  I can distinctly remember Toliver blowing a bubble and pointing at the camera in that Upper Deck card (he’s not pointing, he’s too polite).  Beyond that, I am pretty sure he was a pitcher in the late 80s (correct!) and that he didn’t play for the Twins beyond 3-4 seasons (sort of right, only 2).  That’s it.  That’s all I have.

Let’s do some Freddie Toliver-related research!

Wikipedia isn’t much help.  The entire entry is only 37 words.  He was born in Natchez, Mississippi and he played from 1984-1993.  A ten-year-career, not bad!  He played for 5 different teams, so he was obviously very popular.  He does fit some categories though, and these are the most notable:  Tri-City Posse players.  That’s it.  I’m not a fan of that name either.

His Baseball Reference page really unlocks his story.  He was drafted by the Yankees in the 3rd round of the 1979 draft.  He was the player to be named later in New York’s Ken Griffey trade with Cincinnati.  He debuted for Cincinnati in 1984.  He was then the player to be named later in Cincinnati’s Bo Diaz trade with Philadelphia.  He pitched like 80 innings over the next 3 seasons in Philly.  He was then traded to the Twins for Chris Calvert.

Toliver had 24 starts with the Twins over the next two seasons.  He was very Deduno-esque with a walk rate nearly as high as his strikeout rate.  The Twins then traded him to the Padres for Greg Booker.  He was then traded back to the Yankees in 1989, as a player to be named later of course, for Mike Pagliarulo and Don Schulze.   Wow.  Three player to be named laters.  Yikes.  He then didn’t play in the MLB until 1993, when he threw 21.2 innings.  He later resurfaced on the Tri-City Posse in 1998, for 6 starts of independent baseball.  What a journey!

Google provides a few gems.  Here is an Angelfire page with Toliver featured as a person with a giant question mark birthmark.  It seems to be a scouting page for Out of the Park baseball, but you would really have to investigate to find that information.  A little lower down, we find that Toliver was the pitching coach for Los Angeles City College.  Their website has not been updated since 2009, so I can’t confirm if he still holds this position.

Most of the Google images are baseball cards of Toliver.  There is a mug shot of a different Freddie Lee Toliver, so don’t denigrate our Toliver.  The 8th image is a baseball card of Chuck Crim.  Seems a bit out of place.

Bing doesn’t really help me find any new information.  I did find a MySpace page for a Freddie Toliver, but it’s not our Freddie.  He does go by “FilthyFresh,” so this Toliver might be worth writing about later.  AltaVista is similarly coy on Toliver.  The same results are pretty much found here, and I am starting to think that these search engines aren’t all that different.  Google looks nicer though, so I’ll stick with it.  Plus, I like that they store my personal information for me.

Freddie Toliver might as well not exist, as far as Twitter is concerned.  I did find this tweet:

 

I think it might be a different Fred Toliver.  I hope not though, because that would mean that Toliver is still pitching at age 52 and that would warm my heart.  #FF Chad Santos tomorrow.

Searching Facebook for Freddie Toliver delivers web results and some people with the same name.  None appear to be our Freddie Toliver, and none have hilarious profile pictures worth sharing.  There is currently no Freddie Toliver App and there might just be a market for one.

There are zero videos including Freddie Toliver on YouTube.  I did find this horrifying spectacle:  Twins pitchers sign Ode to Joy.  I don’t see Kevin Slowey, probably because he was solving an equation or reading a book or something lame, right?  Right?

I was at the Mall of America this weekend.  Cool story, right?  There’s more.  I decided to ask a random person about Freddie Toliver while in line for gelato.  He was about 40 and wearing a Twins shirt, so it seemed cool.  Here is what transpired:

Me:  Hey!  Do you remember Freddie Toliver?

Guy:  (angrily) What?

Me:  Uh… do you remember Freddie Toliver?

Guy: (angrily) No

Me:  Sorry to bother you, I write for a blog.  Twins shirt (pointing to his shirt).

Guy: (turns away)

That was the closest I’ve been to getting punched when asking about a forgotten Twin.

Verdict – Freddie Toliver, Forgotten Twin

The World has turned and left Freddie Toliver here.  No one seems to remember him.  He might be the most “player to be named later” player of all time.  This seems like something that is worth remembering.  Toliver wasn’t very notable during his career and I was unable to find much about what he is currently doing.  I hope he is still pitching coach at LACC.  I like the idea of Toliver working with our youth.  He seems nice enough.

Hopefully I have raised awareness of this forgotten Twin.  If that guy at the Mall of America is reading this, I am very sorry to have disturbed you.  If I had been given the chance, I would have explained my reason for asking you that question.  I hope you enjoyed your gelato.

Who would you like to see profiled as a future forgotten Twin?  Remember, by simply invoking his name, you remember him, thus disqualifying him.  Catch 22.

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Tags: Minnesota Twins

  • Alan Armstrong

    What I remember best about Freddie Toliver is how my best friend at the time made a comment (after looking over his 37th duplicate Phillies Topps card) that the Twins should trade for him. And just a couple months later he was a Twin. That and I always wanted to call him “Freddie Joe Toliver”.

    • Brad Swanson

      It’s crazy how many Freddie Toliver cards I have. He was barely an MLB player. That is a crazy story though. Of all the random players, right?

  • Joel Thingvall

    Fast Freddie was the bubble-guy’s nickname!

    • Brad Swanson

      I like that, Fast Freddie. Simple, but cool.

      • http://twitter.com/AlohaJacko Aloha Jack

        He was fast too. Had a few stolen bases in the minor leagues. Ran like a black man robbing the convenience store!

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  • 23553

    I am not a Twins fan, nor am I old enough to have even a passing knowledge of Freddie Toliver. Yet I find myself inspired by his story, and by your quest to find it. Thank you kind sir.

    • Brad Swanson

      You are more than welcome. I wish you all the best if you choose to take the quest to learn more about these forgotten players.

  • Brad Swanson

    I just wanted to let everyone know that I flagged and reported the racist comment below and I hope it is removed very soon. I apologize to anyone unfortunate enough to have read it.