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Don Mincher was an original and an expansion Senator

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  • Don Mincher was an original and an expansion Senator

    Don Mincher's career as a Senator was not long--all told, he spent 127 of his 1,400 career games in a Senators uniform, which accounts for less than 10% of the total matches in which he appeared. However, due to the serendipitous timing of his career, he managed to be both an original Senator and an expansion Senator during the final season both times the Senators moniker was used.

    In 1960, he made his big league debut for the Washington squad, appearing in 27 games and hitting .241 with two home runs and 19 RBI in 79 at-bats. It took him a couple games to get acclimated to the major leagues, as he went hitless in his first six at-bats, however on April 20 he collected the first knock of his career--a double off of Orioles pitcher Milt Pappas. Only a week into his major league career, he hit his first of 200 home runs on April 25, when he sent a solo home run over the fence, also against Milt Pappas. Then, two days later, he hit the second home run of his career off of future Hall of Famer Whitey Ford.

    The Senators became the Twins the next season and Mincher would play six years for them, slugging .483 and averaging 15 dingers a year.

    Flash forward to 1971, with Mincher in the twilight of his career. He began the season with the Oakland Athletics, but was traded with Frank Fernandez and Paul Lindblad to the new Senators for Mike Epstein and Darold Knowles. He performed quite well in 100 games for the team, hitting .291 (the highest mark of his career) with 10 home runs and 45 RBI. Just a week into his second go-around with the new squad, on May 15, Mincher blasted a game winning, walk-off home run in the 15th inning against pitcher Tom Timmermann and the Detroit Tigers. Then, on August 31, he hit a grand slam against the New York Yankees.

    Following the 1971 season, the Senators became the Rangers. Mincher spent part of 1972 in a Rangers uniform, before being traded off the the Oakland Athletics, with whom he finished his career.

    The other players who spent time for both Senators are Rudy Hernandez, Hector Maestri, Camilo Pascual, Pedro Ramos, Johnny Schaive, Roy Sievers, Zoilo Versailles and Hal Woodeshick.

    Here is Mincher's obituary. He died on the 4th of March.

    HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Don Mincher, the gentlemanly figure synonymous with Huntsville baseball for a half-century, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 73.

    Crowned in 2010 as "King of Baseball," the highest honor in Minor League Baseball, he was unique in baseball history in the various roles he held, from player to team owner to league president.

    "I'm proud of my career," he once said, "but I'd like to be recognized not only for what I did as a player, but doing other things in the game."
    Read more:

    http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/03/..._baseball.html

  • #2
    Mincher hit exactly 200 home runs as a big leaguer and made two or three American League All-Star teams in a dozen years in the majors. His development in his first full year in the majors made him popular among Minnesota Twins fans right off the bat, as he was certainly one of the bright spots on the 1961 expansion Twins. As he described himself, he was a "Pretty Fair Country HardBall Player". Back in his beloved Deep South in later years, he was a natural as a Southen League(AA) executive.

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    • #3
      Don Mincher was one of my favorite players. He holds the distinction of hitting the last grand slam homer for the expansion Senators (In a win over the Yankees.) and was the only Seattle Pilot to ever appear in an All-Star Game.
      "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.

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