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Thread: 1965 Twins win - How bad was it for fans of the Old Senators?

  1. #1
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    1965 Twins win - How bad was it for fans of the Old Senators?

    1965 Twins win - How bad was it for fans of the Old Senators?

    I just realized that the Twins won the AL pennant in 1965 in only their 5th year in Minnesota. After a franchise dry spell going back to 1933.

    I also notice that the Twins win in '65 was only the eighth non-Yankee pennant win in the last 40 years. Pretty prodigious.

    How did fans of the old Senators feel at the time about their old team pulling it off so soon after years of frustration? Or were you glad-at-heart to see some of the players you knew as rookies share a drink of champagne? And ... were you rooting for the Dodgers in the WS?

    P.S. not trying to rub it in. As a Browns fan, I believe that frustration is a good and healthy thing!

  2. #2
    From what I recall, people in DC were pretty happy for the Twins. You would have thought it was the DC Twins that won the pennant that year.

    There were a lot of jokes about the "Washington First in War, First in Peace and now First, in the American League".

  3. #3
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    I was a lad of 7 when the original franchise left town, so my memories of them are slight.

    One of the recurring themes that I've heard over the years is that fans knew Calvin Griffith had the nucleus of a good team when he absconded to Minnesota after the 1960 season. However, comparing the roster of the 1960 Senators against the 1965 Twins I can only find 8 players on the roster of the 1960 Senators who remained with the Twins in 1965. Those players:

    Pitchers:

    Jim Kaat
    Camilo Pascual

    Catcher:

    Earl Battey

    Infielders:

    Harmon Killebrew
    Bob Allison
    Zolio Versalles
    Don Mincher

    Outfielder:

    Bob Allison

    Here's a link to the rosters, in the event I've missed someone:

    1960 Washington Senators roster

    1965 Minnesota Twins roster

    This doesn't include players who may have been in the farm system of the Senators when they relocated.

    By the time the Twins reached the World Series in 1965 I'd reached the ripe old age of 12 and my memory was that many fans were happy for the former Senators players reaching the national stage. However that was tempered with envy mixed with resentment that the original team had done so well after departing and that Washington was "stuck" with an expansion team that was firmly mired in the bottom half of the league.
    Last edited by Aa3rt; 08-16-2008 at 08:34 AM.
    "For the Washington Senators, the worst time of the year is the baseball season." Roger Kahn

    "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby.

  4. #4
    3B Rich Rollins, CF Jimmie Hall and OF Sandy Valdespino were in the Senators farm system at the time of the move. RF Tony Olivia, while technically signed by the Twins in 1961, was a Joe Cambria find prior to 1961. Oliva would have been part of the "Cuban Connection" had the original Senators stayed.

    I believe people assume the same trades and acquisitions that were made in Minnesota would have been made in D.C. Such as, Jack Kralick being traded for Jim Perry and farmhand Lee Stange being dealt for Mudcat Grant. Or closer Al Worthington being purchased from Cincinnati. For the most part, I think people were happy seeing former favorites Killebrew, Pasqual and Allison playing on the big stage after enduring some trying seasons in the late 1950's.

  5. #5
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    I was delighted. I never forgave or forgot what Calvin did by taking the team away, but, in particular, it was fun to see Pascual, Killebrew, and Allison in the World Series. They were special.

    We should note that MLB did not have round-after-round of playoffs in those days. It was the original-style one team from each league World Series: while today a team might make it to post-season play as the fifth or sixth wild card, in those days a team won the pennant over the entire rgular season. Rare to play in the WS unless you played for the Yankees.

    Also, we should note that '65 was the end of Yankee dominance of the AL.

  6. #6
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    Not only did the Twins win the pennant in 1965 but they clinched the pennant in Washington.

    I attended the doubleheader that was played the previous day.

    Although i was 15 at the time and living in NEPA, I went with my family that weekend to visit relatives in Riverdale, MD. They set my father and I up with tickets for the Saturday doubleheader. I remember Mudcat Grant pitched the first game with Zoilo Versalles providing the big blow with a homer. We didn't stay to see more than 3 innings of the second game since it was getting late.

    On the way back to Pa the next day, I remember listening to the radio broadcast in the car.

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