Thirty years ago on this date, the Minnesota Twins became World Series Champions for the first time. There are a lot of memories Twins fans certainly hold dear from the 1987 World Series: Danny Gladden’s grand slam. Kent Hrbek’s grand slam. Don Baylor’s home run. Kirby Puckett’s 4-for-4 game. Winning the whole damn thing, finally.
You already remember those things. If you don’t, I’m sure a handful of sites have articles rehashing those things for you (or, like, Wikipedia) — but here at Twinkie Town, we’re different.
So here are ten things you probably don’t remember about the 1987 World Series.
Paul Molitor: Broadcast Analyst
Hey, remember Paul Molitor? He was thirty years old and still playing for the Brewers back in 1987, but that didn’t prevent him from providing his expert analysis on during the 1987 World Series.
Who would have thunk he’d be managing the team he was analyzing on-air thirty years later?! Well, actually... okay, yeah, it’s not that weird. Molly was always a super smart baseball man and he’s from St. Paul. That’s kind of why they had him on the broadcast in the first place.
Whitey Herzog Brought His Own Lawn Chair
The Metrodome was only six years old in 1987 — newer than Target Field is now. Even then, players lost the ball in the roof and announcers referred to the right field “wall” as the Hefty Bag, but it was still a state of the art facility at the time. Sort of.
Apparently, however, the dugout benches were not up to standard for Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog. Instead of sitting on the bench with the rest of the team, Herzog brought his own patio chair.
(Sorry about the crappy picture. The lighting in the Metrodome was just trying its best and having fun.)
I have questions about this. Why? What was wrong with the regular bench? Did he not want to sit next to the players? Where did the lawn chair come from? Did Herzog bring it all the way from St. Louis? Did he buy it at a local Mernards? Why didn’t he go all out for a chaise-lounge type chair? Did he bring his chair for the arm rests? How much cushion did it have? The more I think about this the more I think it’s sort of low-key genius.
Someone Threw an Incredibly Sophisticated Paper Airplane on the Field and No One Seemed to Notice
Near the end of Game Two, the cameraman zoomed in on a large paper plane someone threw on to the field, then slowly zoomed out to refocus on the action on the field.
Bet you didn’t remember that!
Kirby Puckett’s Triple in the Eighth Inning of Game Three
Game three of the series, the first played in St. Louis, was a close one. The Twins scored the first run of the game in the top of the sixth inning, but the Cardinals came back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh.
With two outs in the eighth inning, Kirby Puckett hit a glorious triple to right field. It actually had the Cardinals sweating. The Twins could tie up the game with one swing of the bat! Unfortunately, Gary Gaetti lined out to third base and the inning was over. The Twins would go on to lose the game, leaving Puckett’s triple in the dustbin of history.
Them Weird-Ass Batting Stances
Though they probably seemed normal at the time, batting stances in the ‘80s were weird as heck in retrospect. It sticks out a lot (literally and figuratively) if you try re-watching the 1987 World Series. It seems like all the players had their back leg way back, sort of crouched over, kinda like this:
Maybe I’m hallucinating. Maybe it was the camera angle? I dunno, but my back hurts watching it.
Senator Bob Dole Was There
No idea why.
Kirby Puckett’s Butt
Everyone knows about The Puck Pack, a.k.a. Kirby Puckett’s ass. It was big. It was out there. But re-watching the 1987 World Series last weekend as part of the scientific research behind this blog post, I realized I don’t think anyone really remembers just how big and out there Kirby’s ass really was.
Re-watch the 1987 World Series yourself and try to not be startled by Puckett’s posterior. Just try it. I dare you.
The Shitty St. Louis Turf
Can someone explain this to me?
No, there is nothing wrong with your screen. That’s a legit shot of the turf in St. Louis during the 1987 World Series. It almost looks the grounds crew attempted to mow a cool picture into the grass, but they did not. It’s just turf. Astroturf. The Cardinals played at Busch Memorial Stadium—an outdoor stadium—but they played on astroturf because it was ‘80s and everyone was on cocaine or something.
Yeah, it looks like shit, Cardinals. Jesus.
The Tom Lawless Bat Flip
You probably haven’t forgotten about the Tom Lawless bat flip, but I wanted to talk about it just in case any of you MILLENNIALS are unaware of the Tom Lawless bat flip.
Part of what made this bat flip the GOAT of bat flips is that Lawless wasn’t even a regular player—he only played in 19 games for the Cardinals during the regular season. This home run was just the second of three Lawless would hit in his entire major league career. He wasn’t a home run hitter, and it wasn’t immediately obvious off the bat that this would even be a home run, yet he just sort of froze and watched it in amazement like everyone else.
Another point: I don’t think bat flips were a “thing” back in 1987. I don’t remember them being a thing, but I was also like two years old. In any case, if you ever read a list of the best bat flips ever and the Tom Lawless Bat Flip is not on it, feel free to passive-aggressively rip the author a new one with a sub-tweet on Twitter.
Tom Lawless bat flip 4 lyfe!!!!
“Can you imagine if Tom Kelly just lets him keep pitching?”
In the seventh inning of Game Two, starting pitcher Bert Blyleven was still pitching for the Twins. The broadcasters noted it, and told a story about why Tom Kelly didn’t bull Frank Viola earlier the night before either.
Later on, after Blyleven gets out of the inning, the broadcasters remarked something along the lines of, “What if Tom Kelly just let him keep pitching?”
Right? What if Tom Kelly just left his starting pitcher in there? I wonder what would happen... Just food for thought!
What else do you not remember about the 1987 World Series?