Minnesota Twins: The Twins looked much improved in 1962, finishing second in the AL 5 games behind only those damn Yankees. Anchored most of the year by the 3-4-5 combo of Rich Rollins, Harmon Killebrew, and Bob Allison, the Twins bats were on fire in 1962. Near the top of all major batting stats, except stolen bases, in fact for runs, RBI, walks, slugging, on-base %, the Twins finished(2nd) where they finished in the standings(behind the Yankees again). Unfortunately, with the exception of having the least walks allowed and having the most strikeouts, the Twins pitching staff was only league average. A great year where we came up short.
Results: 91-71, 2nd American League
On the farm: 31 year old Carlos Pascual went on a tear batting .339/,430/.546 with 25 doubles, 21 homers and 103 driven in for the D League Fort Walton Beach Jets. Pascual, a converted pitcher who actually made an appearance as a 19 year old with the Senators in 1950, manned first base for the Beach Jets and led the team in most batting categories in his last year in organized baseball as a player. He would later become a scout for the Twins(1963-1977) and other teams for many years after retiring. Of note, his brother Camilo, fared much better in the majors spending 13 years with the franchise, a 7 time all-star including both 1962 games!
Rule 5 Draft – George Banks(Yankees), Georges Maranda(Giants), Merritt(Dodgers) and most importantly, the Twins drafted future manager Johnny Goryl from the Dodgers.
Key Trades – In the best trade of the year, the Twins traded Pedro Ramos for Vic(tor) Power and Dick Stigman. Ramos would spend parts of three seasons for the Indians putting up a measily 26-30 record. Power and Sitgman would play for the Twins a combined seven years providing much needed power at-bats and quality starts.
Card Of The Year:
1962 Topps #316. Was there any doubt? One of the most iconic cards in the set.
Best of Media: Lawrence of Arabia topped the box offices this year(70 million vs. 15 million budget). Jackie Chan, Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, and Sally Field made their first appearances in film, and George A. Romero directed his first film. The Beatles hired Brian Epstein as manager and released ‘Love Me Do’. Alfred Hitchcock Presents… goes off air. First African-American student enrolls at the University of Mississippi, escorted by federal marshals. Cuban Missile Crisis embroils U.S.S.R, U.S.A. France transfers sovereignty to Algeria. Yankees defeat Giants in 7 games. Maple Leafs beat the Blackhawks in 6 games. Celtics beat the Lakers in 7 games. USC wins the NCAA national title.
Famous Births: Tom Cruise(Actor), Jim Carrey(Comedian/Actor), Jerry Rice(NFL), Steve Irwin(Crocodile Hunter/Wildlife Expert), Bo Jackson(Bo know you know Bo), M.C. Hammer(Musician), Anthony Keidis(Musician), Kirk Hammett and Lars Ulrich(Musicians), Emilio Estevez(Actor/Youth Hockey Coach).
Famous Deaths: Deaths from 1962 wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Marilyn Monroe. A star larger than all, mired in controversy.
Niels Bohr, William Faulkner, and Eleanor Roosevelt also pass away this year. Peace be with them.
Twins Born This Week:
January 5th – Bud Bloomfield, Earl Battey, Mark Redman, Eduardo Escobar.
January 6th – Anthony Slama, Brian Bass, Dan Naulty, Lenny Green, Early Winn(Senators, HOF).
January 7th – Rob Radlosky, Allan Anderson, Bob Gorinski.
January 8th – Carl Pavano, Reno Bertoia.
January 9th – Otis Nixon.
January 10th – Gary Rath, Kelvin Torve.
January 11th – Warren Morris.
January 12th – Luis Ayala.
All decade candidate: 3B, Rich Rollins. How great a year did Rich Rollins have in 1962? After a cup of tea in 1961, Rich came into 1962 as a rookie looking to prove himself, and promptly did so. He hit .298/.374/.428 that year, with 23 doubles 16 dingers and 96 driven in, batting most of the year as the #3 hitter ahead of Killer. His tremendous bat and average glove would earn him All-star game nominations for both 1962 games, and MVP ballots.