The Minnesota Twins organization says goodbye to longtime coach Stelmaszek

FT. MYERS, FL - MARCH 1: Bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek
FT. MYERS, FL - MARCH 1: Bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek /

The Minnesota Twins organization mourns the loss of longtime bullpen coach, Rick Stelmaszek

Among the exciting news in the last two days of awards and new hires, the Minnesota Twins also had an unfortunate loss to their family, long time bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, who had coached in the organization from 1981 to 2012, losing his battle with pancreatic cancer.

A short playing career

“Stelly” was drafted in 1967 by the Washington Senators (the second version that became the Texas Rangers) in the 11th round out of high school in Chicago. He made his debut in the minor leagues in 1968, and the catcher worked his way to the majors by 1971 for a call up with the Senators after posting a .397 on base with the AAA club in Denver.

Stelly spent two more season in the minors, bouncing around organizations before catching on with the Angels for a couple of seasons, bouncing between the majors and minors. He was traded to the Cubs in 1974, and the Cubs shipped him to the Yankees before the 1976 season. He played a total of 60 games in the major leagues, hitting .170/.302/.239.

More from Puckett's Pond

Twins Tenure

The Twins signed Stelmaszek to be a player/coach in 1978 with their A-ball club in Wisconsin Rapids. He retired as a player after the 1978 season and became the full-time manager for the Rapids. He moved up to the big league club for the 1981 season.

Stelmaszek ended up holding the record for the longest tenure with the Minnesota Twins, working with 5 different managers over his 32 years. In fact, his time with the Twins ranks as the third-longest time for a coach with one organization in MLB history.

Next: Twins FA Pitching Options

A Tribute

Glen Perkins shared a great tweet in tribute to Stelly on Monday. Many players have sent out comments, but Perk’s nailed it such that it’s been liked almost 2,000 times on Twitter already: