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Monday Morning Minnesota: Joe Mauer in a horse mask and other incredible tales

Also Ron Gardenhire pranks and Bartolo sightings!

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Previously on Twinkie Town:

Elsewhere in Twins Territory:

The Wide World of Former Twins Doing Stuff:

Old Timey Baseballer of the Week:
On October 3rd 1885, a 20 year old John Francis Smith started a ballgame for the Newark Little Giants (???? That’s just a regular sized person, Newark!) against Baltimore. He would go the distance, only allowing two baserunners on one error and one walk. Smith would pick them both off at first. It was this no hitter that earned him the moniker that stuck with him for the rest of his playing days. Phenomenal Smith was born.

It went straight to his head.

Phenomenal claimed he was so good that he did not need team-mates to win his games. His team mates responded by purposefully committing 14 errors in one game. Can you imagine the media coverage if a team did that now? The 1800s were balls out crazy, you guys.

Anyway, the President of the club Phenomenal played for at the time tried to fine each of the error committing players 500 bucks (roughly equivalent to one bazillion-million dollars today, probably.) but ended up just releasing Smith instead.

In 1890, our hero would pitch for the ill-fated 23-113 Pittsburgh Alleghenys, where he was the winning pitcher in 21 percent of their wins, with a whopping 5. The next year would be Smith’s last in the Majors, but he would do the player-manager thing in the minors for a bit, where he was somehow credited for discovering HOFer Christy Mathewson.

Here’s a choice list of Minor League teams he played for, because old team names are so hilariously bad.

  • Green Bay Bays.
  • Reading Actives.
  • Hartford Cooperatives.
  • Three different teams named “the Phenoms” in case you thought maybe his ego cooled down with age.

After baseball, Phenomenal Smith had 10 kids and became a cop, presumably having all the criminals he caught released by his co-workers because they were sick of him being a dick all the time.

Today’s soundtrack is Sonic, because I just saw the movie. (It was cute!)