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The Bleacher Bums: August 13, 2007 Archive

Reunion sparks walk down memory lane

Posted at 9:56 AM on August 13, 2007 by Steve Rudolph

This weekend the Minnesota Twins will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1987 team’s miraculous World Series victory.

I was a senior in high school at the time and can still remember that magical October as if it was yesterday. One of my very favorite moments from that incredible postseason though, didn’t come from the Metrodome, Tiger Stadium or Busch Stadium.

No, one of my most cherished memories of the 1987 Twins season was from a parking lot.

As part of our playoff superstition, road games had to be watched at my friend Tim’s house. (I need to share some of the other superstitions we had in another entry.) Anyway, once the final out was recorded in Detroit and the Twins headed to the World Series and back to the Metrodome for a rally that evening, we raced to Southdale.

Why Southdale? Dayton’s would be selling World Series tickets the next morning and we just had to get them. So we put on layer after layer of warm clothing, grabbed lawn chairs and sleeping bags and took our place in line on that historic and chilly October night.

Our location in line was pretty close to the giraffe section of the parking lot and we quickly dubbed our group “The Giraffe Staff.” Not surprisingly, we were well supplied with hot chocolate and doughnuts throughout the night by friends hoping to land one of our extra tickets.

The visits from friends, watching the celebration at the dome on a portable TV, and swapping stories with other rabid fans gathered in the mall’s parking lot made the time fly. And I’m not sure I was ever more excited in my young like than when we made our ascension to Dayton’s upper level and purchased our tickets to the World Series!!!

When we finally made it to school a few hours late that morning, we were greeted with cheers and maybe a touch of envy. If I’m not mistaken, we were even able to get it declared as an excused absence. It was hard to hide where we were since our hands were still marked with our place in the ticket line. (I was 57.)

It’s unfortunate that fans today aren’t allowed to camp out for tickets to the big games anymore. You would be hard pressed to find more devoted Twins fans than “The Giraffe Staff.” I not surfe if the Twins would have defeated the Cardinals without us screaming at the top of our lungs from the outfield’s upper deck. We created the Dome field advantage.

I’ll be sharing some more memories of the 1987 season later this week. I’m guessing I’m not the only nostalgic one out there. What do you remember most fondly about the Twins run to their first championship?

The numbers game

Posted at 10:08 PM on August 13, 2007 by Chris Dall

I've been on vacation for some time, so forgive me if I'm blogging on some old news here, but in all the talk of numbers and records, some recognition needs to be given to the number 300--the number of wins reached last Sunday by New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine. Numbers may be losing their meaning in baseball, but this number remains pretty special.

Unlike the home run record, which could be broken within the next ten years by Alex Rodriguez, it's probably going to be awhile before a pitcher next reaches the 300-win plateau, and it certainly will be if Randy Johnson, who currently stands at 284 career wins, is forced to retire because of back problems.

Let's just take a look at some of the candidates for someday reaching this milestone, starting with our very own Johan Santana. With a victory tonight, Johan will have 91 career wins. Then there's Roy Oswalt of the Houston Astros, who at 29 has 110 career wins. Same goes for Barry Zito, also 29. Tim Hudson of the Atlanta Braves has 132 wins, but he is 31. Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays has 108 wins at the age of 30. And 26-year-old C.C. Sabathia of the Cleveland Indians has 95 wins.

These pitchers are among the best in the game right now, and while they all may remain healthy and go on to have long careers, they are all a long way from 300 wins. And of that group, only Oswalt has more than one 20-win season.

My point? That it takes longevity and a number of seasons with 20+ victories to reach 300 wins. And with the way the league is right now, and the emphasis on bullpens, 20-win seasons are getting harder and harder to come by. So whether you're cursing or praising Barry Bonds, take a moment to appreciate the current crop of 300-game winners (and those nearing 300), because you might not see any more for a long time.

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