1961 Minnesota Twins Roster
On October 26, 1960, Minnesota baseball fans learned that Calvin Griffith was given permission by Major League Baseball to move his fledging Washington Senators to Minnesota for the 1961 baseball season. Metropolitan Stadium was covered in snow when the now dubbed 'Minnesota Twins' caravan came to town to prepare for an April opening, but skies were bright and clear as the Twins began their first season in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The former Senators team was a powerhouse, featuring hitters Harmon Killebrew and Jim Lemon, 1959 Rookie-of-the-Year Bob Allison, and premiere pitchers Camilo Pascual and lefty Jim Kaat. But Griffith was also known for stocking his team and the minors with aging veterans hoping for one last shot at big league glory. The Twins drew a then amazing 1,256,723 fans in 1961, and Griffith enjoyed the spoils of TV revenue triple of what he experienced in Washington D.C. Killebrew and Pascual represented the team at the All-Star Game, and Earl Battey earned a Gold Glove as catcher. Cookie Lavagetto was fired mid-season after a dismal start and replaced by coach Sam Mele, who inspired new confidence in the Minnesota Twins. Note: 'Down on the Farm' includes some players on-the-team or involved in transactions from the previous season's Washington Senators roster -- interesting who could've been Twins!