Twins Born This Week: January 20-26

January 20, 1934
Camilo Pascual – I’ve already written some about Pascual on this blog (here for example), and I got more than a little heat for leaving him off of my All-Time Twins Roster. I found this of interest, however- here are the 10 most similar pitchers to Pascual from his B-R page:



  1. Fernando Valenzuela (941)
  2. Murry Dickson (923)
  3. Dave Stieb (914)
  4. Howard Ehmke (913)
  5. Dizzy Trout (913)
  6. Ken Holtzman (913)
  7. Curt Simmons (909)
  8. Rick Wise (908)
  9. Frank Viola (902)
  10. Bill Lee (901)

Interesting list, and I think pretty good comparisons in regards to career accomplishment. Most of them are very good pitchers, but none in the Hall of Fame.


For discussion among those of you who saw him play: how did his curve ball rate in comparison to Bert Blyleven’s?


January 21, 1955
Mike Smithson – It often seems to work out this way, but there was just a discussion at my other blog about Smithson. The 6’8″ starter was making his first start against his former team as a member of the Red Sox in July of 1988. Smithson shut out the Twins that day, prompting everyone from Al Newman to the Twins beat writers to joke about how he never did that when he was in a Minnesota uniform. Frequent commenter Beau helpfully pointed out that Smithson indeed had pitched that well for the Twins on more than one occasion. In fact, Smithson had been one of the team’s best pitchers in from 1984-1985. Without looking back any further than my 1987-1988 research, I seem to remember Smithson getting a bit of a bum rap in Minnesota. Interestingly, while we are looking at B-R similarity scores, Kyle Lohse is sixth on Smithson’s list. I see a few parallels there, though Smithson never took a bat to Billy Gardner’s door (that we know of).


January 21, 1922
Sam Mele – He was an outfielder for the Washington Nationals from 1949-1952, and returned to the organization shortly after retiring as a player to coach. Early in the 1961 season, Mele was named manager of the Twins, and remains one of just four men in franchise history to lead a Washington/Minnesota team to the World Series.


January 23, 1975
Juan Rincon – Just signed a contract to return to the Twins for the 2008 season. If I had to guess a few months ago, I would have thought Rincon wouldn’t have been back.


January 24, 1936
Dick Stigman – The subject of a classic baseball card.


January 25, 1974
Dan Serafini – During the 2006 season, WCCO radio contacted a Cubs blogger who writes under the pseudonym “Dan Serafini” thinking he was actually the pitcher who was the Twins’ first round pick in 1992. The blogger played along and actually did an on-air interview with Steve Thomson as Serafini. Not the finest moment radio journalism history.



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