Minnesota Twins Spring Training Countdown: 26, Al Newman

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 8: Portrait of Third Base Coach Al Newman
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 8: Portrait of Third Base Coach Al Newman /

The Minnesota Twins are just 26 days away from spring training. As we celebrate the end of the blustery temps and the return of the game we love, let’s look at team history surrounding that number.

The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectations after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card. We will have bring out numbers from team history that represent the number of days until spring training from now until pitchers and catchers report on February 13th.

While many focus on the studs on a team, often it’s the lesser guys who are the most important for the success of a club. One of those guys for the Twins for 5 seasons was Al Newman, who donned the #26 in his playing years.

Newman’s career

Newman was drafted four times in his career, all in the 3rd round or better. He eventually signed with the Montreal Expos after being the 12th overall pick in the 1981 draft. The Twins acquired Newman before the 1987 season for a minor league player.

Over his 5 seasons with the Twins, Newman averaged 124 games and 375 plate appearances as a utility player, primarily working at second base, third base, and shortstop.

More from Puckett's Pond

Newman had a similar build to fan favorite Kirby Puckett, and the two were good friends in their playing careers. He had his biggest amount of playing time in 1989 when he was the primary second baseman, hitting .253/.341/.303 with 25 stolen bases.

Newman played one year in Texas after his time in Minnesota before retiring. He moved into a coaching role in the Twins organization, culminating in an infamous moment when Newman collapsed on the field in September 2003 and spent two weeks in the hospital due to a brain hemorrhage.

Newman spent a couple of years with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a scout before leaving the game. He lives and works around the Twin Cities area still.

Next: Twins 5 best OFs

For 26 days to spring training, we’ll remember one of the more fun utility men in recent memory, infielder Al Newman, a player who was part of two World Series championship teams with the Minnesota Twins and remains in the Twin Cities area.

Come soon, spring!!