Minnesota Twins Opening Day Countdown: 32, Dan Gladden
The Minnesota Twins are just 32 days away from Opening Day in Baltimore. As we near that day, here is more Twins history related to that number.
The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectation after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card team. We will highlight numbers from team history that represent the number of days until Opening Day on March 29th in Baltimore.
The player for today only spent 5 seasons with the Twins as a player but has been a part of so many more Twins seasons as a broadcaster. He also is part of a small club of players to play for the Twins during both World Series championships. That person is outfielder Dan Gladden.
Gladden came into the major leagues after being signed by the San Fransisco Giants in 1979. He made his major league debut in 1983 and played with the Giants through the 1986 season. In 1987, Gladden was then traded to the Twins on March 31 with Dave Blakely for Jose Dominguez, Ray Velasquez, and Bryan Hickerson.
In that first season with the Twins, Gladden went on to hit .249/.312/.361, 8 home runs, and 21 doubles. As the Twins made their way through the playoffs, Gladden did hit for a .350 average in the ALCS and a .290 average in the World Series. That included a grand slam home run in Game 1 of that 1987 World Series.
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Gladden would have some of his best statistical seasons as a Twin in 1988 and 1989. As 1991 came around he continued to be a regular part of the Twins lineup as he hit .247/.306/.356 adding 6 home runs, 14 doubles, and 9 triples. Gladden didn’t hit nearly as well through the 1991 playoffs but was a large part of the key play that clinched the World Series for the Twins over the Atlanta Braves.
After leading off the bottom of the 10th inning with a leadoff double, Chuck Knoblauch would bunt Gladden over to third base. Alejandro Pena of the Braves would then intentionally walk both Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek to bring Gene Larkin to the plate would single to drive Gladden in for the winning run.
After the 1991 season, Gladden signed with the Detroit Tigers as a free agent. He played the next two seasons with the Tigers before playing with Yomiuri Giants in Japan in 1994. Gladden would then spend the next several seasons filling in roles as either a scout or an instructor between the Twins, Colorado Rockies, and San Fransisco Giants. It was then in 2000 when Gladden would find his home in the broadcast booth.
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It is there that current Twins fans are able to continue to enjoy Gladden’s as color commentator, the role he holds to this day. On a day where you may have listened to him call a spring training game, we celebrate #32, Dan Gladden.