The series versus the Texas Rangers provided one of the more unique series of the season at Target Field this year. Throughout the weekend the Twins were officially celebrating their 50th anniversary as a ball club. It started Friday by announcing the 50 greatest players in Twins history. On Saturday, Greg Gagne was inducted into the Twins hall of fame. Finally, on Sunday many of the Twins 50 greatest participated in an exhibition Legends Game before the start of the Twins and Rangers game.
Kent Hrbek, Paul Molitor, Burt Blyleven, Jack Morris, Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, Ron Coomer, Gary Gaetti, Greg Gagne, Rick Aguilera, Brad Radke, Scott Leius, Al Newman, and others all participated in the Legends Game. It was quite a fantastic experience to witness all those great Twins players on the field again wearing their Twins uniforms. Especially considering it was at Target Field. It was a great juxtaposition of the past and the future of the Twins organization. What made this particularly special for me is that I was lucky enough to have front row seats right next to first base for all of this. At one point or another all of the players mentioned above came within arm’s reach of my seat to sign autographs for the fans. That’s something I won’t soon forget. As for the Twins and Rangers game, it ended on easily one of the most bizarre plays that could possibly end a game.
The Twins entered the 9th inning with a 4 run lead, but the Rangers were determined not to go out quietly. After Nick Blackburn pitched 7 solid innings, Jon Rauch had pitched a scoreless 8th inning, but ran into trouble in the 9th. With 2 outs, Rauch gave up a double that scored a run and Matt Capps came in to get the final out. Capps didn’t fair much better. He gave up back to back singles and walked the third batter. The Twins lead was down to 1 run with Vladimir Guerrero up to bat and 2 runners on base. Guerrero hit a hard ground ball up the middle of the infield and Orlando Hudson managed to cut the ball off before it got to the outfield. The runner that was on second base at the beginning of the play, Michael Young, rounded third base too hard and had to make a dive back to the base as Hudson threw over to Matt Tolbert covering the bag. In a very unexpected turn of events, Young was called out to end the game because of incidental contact he made with the third base coach when he rounded the base. Young and Ron Washington, the Rangers manager, argued the call as the Twins were on the field celebrating the victory. It was certainly an unexpected way to finish the game, but the Twins came away with the much needed win to stay ahead of the White Sox in the Central Division race.
As I mentioned before, I had front row seats at the game, so I was able to take a lot of great pictures. I hope you take a look and I hope you like them. Here are the links to both the Legends Game pictures and the Twins vs. Rangers pictures.
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