Minnesota Twins Opening Day Countdown: 28, Mike Marshall

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MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 07: Fans enter the stadium before the game between the Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees for game two of the ALDS on October 7, 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 07: Fans enter the stadium before the game between the Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees for game two of the ALDS on October 7, 2010 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins are just 28 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.

Today at 28 days we look at a relief pitcher who came to the Twins with a Cy-Young award and two All-Star appearances. This pitcher also already had a bit of history with the Twins. He was a part of the 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers team that defeated the Twins in the World Series. That pitcher is number 28, Mike Marshall.

Marshall Pre-Twins

Marshall was initially signed as an amateur free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1960. He wouldn’t debut until May 31, 1967, as a member of the Detroit Tigers at the age of 24. It wasn’t until the 1970’s as a member of the Montreal Expos that Marshall would start putting up league-leading numbers as a reliever.

Marshall before coming to the Twins would lead the National League in games pitched in three times. Pitching a major league record 106 games on his way to a Cy-Young award in 1974. The right-hander also led the NL twice consecutively in saves in 1973 and 1974. It was on May 15, 1978, that Marshall agreed to sign with the Twins.

Marshall with the Twins

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In 1978, the Twins got a taste of what Marshall was capable of as he appeared in 54 games, 99 innings, a 2.45 ERA, and 21 saves. It was in 1979 when Twins fans saw the league-leading reliever Marshall had been in the National League. Marshall led the American League that season with 90 appearances. He also logged a league-leading 32 saves along with a 2.65 ERA.

Marshall’s 90 appearances in 1979 still stand as an American League record to this day for appearances. In that 1979 season, Marshall also won the Fireman of the Year award for the third time. 1980 was Marshall’s last season with the Twins as he was released midseason after a rough start to his season.

Marshall’s Ph. D.

Marshall earned his Ph. D. in kinesiology from Michigan State prior to the 1974 season. He used his knowledge of the body to encourage the most influential surgery on baseball history. As a member of the Dodgers, and teammate of Tommy John, Marshall encouraged Tommy John to have the surgery that is now named after him.

Next: Projecting the Twins Opening Day Bench

Maybe his knowledge of kinesiology helped Marshall be so durable all those years in the majors. He certainly has to climb to the top of the list of smartest guys to ever grace an MLB locker room. His pitching and his brain are why we celebrate today number 28, Mike Marshall.

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