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Matt Fox and Lefty Gomez in the Same Sentence?


11 players in the history of the Twins/Senators have ended their careers with the team at 1 game pitched, 1 game started. Matt Fox is obviously the newest member of this club, and having been placed on waivers, there is a real chance that his career as a Twin will end at 1GP, 1GS. The other members of this club are interesting both for who they are and the situations in which their starts came.


Note that some of these players continued their careers elsewhere, and others went on to play other positions for the club.

1) Lefty Gomez. May 30th, 1943. 4.2 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 0 K

The Hall of Famer known as "El Goofy" may be remembered as a Yankee but pitched one game for the Sens before retiring from baseball at the age of 35. He was drafted into the army the following year to serve in World War II. Gomez had only made 13 starts the previous season for New York and was in all likelihood washed up after battling injuries in the latter part of his career. The Sens that year would go on to finish 2nd with a 84-69 record, led by Early Wynn.

2) Cesar Tovar. September 22nd, 1968.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Amidst a season in which he finished 23rd in the MVP voting, Tovar started at pitcher in an end of the season game against the A's. And this isn't the oddest part of the contest. Tovar, with each successive inning, shifted around the diamond, eventually fielding every position by the game's conclusion. In addition to giving up a walk, Tovar walked himself at the plate and notched a single and a stolen base in what would end up a 2-1 Twins' victory.

3) Dick Mulligan, 1941. 9 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Mullligan's start is noteworthy for a number of reasons. First of all, he played one game for the Senators -- throwing a complete game, no less--and then was out of baseball until 1946 serving in WW2. I imagine many in the 1G, 1GS club suffered a similar fate in that decade.

Mulligan's start is also interesting because it came near the end of the 1941 season in a game against the Red Sox where Ted Williams was in the thick of his quest to hit .400. Mulligan, a left-handed knuckleballer, started the second game of a double header and Williams would only manage 1 hit--an infield single, only his fifth of the season--to place his average at .401.

4) Dizzy Sutherland, 1949, 1 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 H, 6 BB, 0 K

Poor Dizzy stands as one of the few who not only made a single appearance for the Sens but only made one appearance overall in the bigs. Sutherland, despite having an awesome name, ended his career with an omnious 45.00 ERA, 18 hits per nine innings, 54 walks per nine innings and a WHIP of 8.00. Small sample size be damned! Dizzy made his debut at the age of 27, and if you haven't guessed from the date, this was due to his serving in the war. Dizzy goes to show that being a part of this club is often due to simply being a lousy pitcher.

These are 4 of the 11 in the club, and are what I believe to be interesting stories, if nothing else. Matt Fox's debut will probably not live on in infamy, but it was quite useful in the context of this season and gives us occasion to reflect on an odd collection of players in Twins' history. If nothing else, he can tell his grandkids one day that he is part of an elite group that includes Lefty Gomez, Cesar Tovar, and....uh......Mike Smith.

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