With the Season Opener right around the corner (or not,) we at Twinkie Town took a trip down memory lane to recap historical happenings from the Marches of yesteryear. (Spoiler alert: March wasn’t kind to Kirby Puckett. Sure, he was born in March. But he also suffered a massive stroke and subsequently died from said stroke in, you guessed it, March.) Anyhow, without further ado, here goes nothing:
March 1, 2019—Marney Gellner becomes the first woman in franchise history to do play-by-play for a Twins Spring Training game.
March 2, 2004—Hoping to rid the Twins of their losing streak, Matthew LeCroy tells teammates he’ll eat a cockroach if they pony up enough bucks. The players scrape together $500. And LeCroy, of course, consumes the cockroach.
March 3, 2014—Major League Baseball debuts its expanded replay rules in an exhibition game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Minnesota Twins.
March 4, 2018—The Pirates top the Twins 9-3 in Fort Myers, Florida. Jose Berrios dazzles for two innings. But Anibal Sanchez screws everything up and gets shelled for six runs in just two innings of work.
March 5, 2006—Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett is in critical condition after suffering a massive stroke.
March 6, 2006—Kirby Puckett passes away at 45.
March 7, 2013—Aaron Hicks, vying for center field, goes 4 for 5 with three home runs and a stolen base for good measure.
March 8, 2019—The Rays and Twins tie 5-5 in an exhibition game. What is this, hockey?
March 9, 2019—The Twins hammer five home runs and pummel the Pirates 10-1. It seems the Bomba Squad is heating up.
March 10, 2019—The Jays clobber the Twins 10-1. Jake Odorizzi gets lit up for five runs in ⅔ of an inning. The Bomba Squad fails to put a single ball in the bleachers.
March 11, 1961—The brand-new Minnesota Twins play their first exhibition game. But the Detroit Tigers spoil the day, beating the Twins 4-1.
March 12, 2006—Some 15,000 fans show up to the Metrodome to pay respect to the late Kirby Puckett.
March 13, 2002—Adam Johnson is cut just two years after being selected second overall in the draft. Johnson isn’t happy and has a hissy fit, tearing up his assignment papers as he storms out of Ron Gardenhire’s office.
March 14, 1960—Twins all-time great Kirby Puckett is born in Chicago, Illinois.
March 15, 2019—Michael Pineda picks up the win over the Baltimore Orioles with a score of 12-9. No bombas clear the fence during this exhibition game.
March 16, 2018—Jose Berrios spins a nice one for the Twins, but the bullpen can’t hold it together. The Rays top the Twins 11-1 at Hammond Stadium.
March 17, 1992—John Smiley arrives in Minnesota in exchange for Midre Cummings and local native Denny Neagle.
March 18, 2018—Jorge Polanco receives an 80-game suspension for testing positive for Stanozolol, a synthetic steroid.
March 19, 2018—The Twins test out the opener pitcher in an exhibition game against the Pirates. It doesn’t work out so well. Taylor Rodgers coughs up two runs in the first, and it’s all downhill from there. The Pirates plate 11, the Twins score 8.
March 20, 1989—The Twins send Balvino Galvez to the Yankees and receive Steve Shields in return. Shields pitches 11 games for Minnesota and only has an ERA of 7.79 to show for it.
March 21, 2010—The Twins share that all-star closer Joe Nathan will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his pitching elbow. Nathan misses the entire 2010 season.
March 22, 2010—Joe Mauer officially signs his eight-year contract extension worth $184 million. At the time, it’s the fourth-highest contract in MLB history.
March 23, 2011—Repair work begins on the collapsed Metrodome roof.
March 24, 1988—The Twins trade future A’s GM Billy Beane to the Tigers for Balvino Gomez. Gomez never suits up for the Twins. Beene, however, goes on to use sabermetrics to run the A’s in a cost-effective way, as depicted in the film Moneyball.
March 25, 2014—The Twins sell (yes, sell—not trade) Vance Worley to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
March 26, 1989—Keith Atherton is sent packing to Cleveland in exchange for Carmello Castillo.
March 27, 1979—All-around good guy Michael Cuddyer is born in Norfolk, Virginia.
March 28, 1996—On the final day of Spring Training, after having just hit .344, Kirby Puckett wakes up without vision in his right eye. He’s diagnosed with glaucoma, undergoes multiple surgeries, but nothing improves his sight.
March 29, 1971—In what has to be one of the most unimportant trades in League history, the Twins acquire Mike Adams and Art Clifford from Detroit in exchange for Bill Zepp. *yawn*
March 30, 1981—The Twins ship Ken Landreaux to Los Angeles for Mickey Hatcher, Kelly Snider, and Mathew Reeves. *double yawn*
March 31, 1987—The Twins land spark plug Dan Gladden from San Francisco for Bryan Hickerson, Ray Velasquez, and Jose Dominguez. The Giants also send something called David Blakely to the Twins.