There is an Eddie Bane column in today’s Star Tribune print edition and at startribune.com. It marks the 40th anniversary of his monumental pitching debut at Met Stadium on July 4, 1973.
Bane and David Clyde were lefthanders of great contrast, other than the fact both went directly to the big leagues in an attempt to help teams dying at the gate -- Texas and the Twins -- to sell some tickets to their ballgames that summer.
Here are some of the basics on the two pitchers:
BIO: Selected No. 1 overall by the Texas Rangers in the major league draft on June 5, 1973. He was 18 out of Westchester High School in Houston. He was 6-1, 180-pound left-anded pitcher.
RESUME BEFORE DRAFT: He was 18-0 with a 0.18 ERA and 328 strikeouts in 148 innings in his senior year of high school.
SIGNING BONUS: Texas owner Bob Short claimed Clyde had signed for a then-huge bonus of $125,000. In truth, he received $65,000 as a bonus, and another $30,000 for being in the major leagues that season.
DEBUT: Clyde came directly to the big leagues and faced the Twins on June 27. Clyde’s debut attracted a sellout of 33,010 to Arlington Stadium. He went five innings, allowed one hit (a home run by Mike Adams), two runs, walked seven, struck out six and was the winner in Texas’ 4-3 victory.
Clyde drew several more large crowds, before the Cowboys’ season started to close in. On Aug. 22, he pitched and the crowd was 7,787. For the season, Clyde made 12 starts and drew 218,250. In 62 other home dates, the Rangers drew 467,835.
NOTE: He now lives in his parents’ home in Houston and serves as the caregiver for his 85-uear-old father who suffers from dementia. His mother is deceased.
BIO: Selected No. 11 overall by the Twins in 1973 draft. He was 5-9, 160-pound lefthander out of Arizona State.
RESUME BEFORE DRAFT: Bane was 40-4 with a 1.64 ERA in three seasons at ASU. His 535 career strikeouts were an NCAA record at the time. He wasn’t a hard thrower, and this week explained the strikeouts, saying: “I had a great curveball in college. I lost the curve — the great one — early in pro ball and never got it back. I don’t know why.’’
SIGNING BONUS: Twins owner Calvin Griffith gave the ASU junior a $55,000 bonus, the largest ever to that point for the team.
DEBUT: Bane came directly to the big leagues and faced Kansas City on July 4. The crowd of 45,890 was the largest ever for a regular season game at Met Stadium. Bane went seven innings, left trailing 1-0, the Twins scored three in the eighth, but then gave up four in the ninth and lost 5-4.
NOTE: Dan Bane, one of Eddie’s older brothers, is the CEO of Trader Joe’s specialty grocery stores.
HERE’S AN ADDED remembrance of the Bane debut from my friend Scott Becker:
“This is the 40th anniversary of a first date with my wife, Julie. We are both from Austin and I took her up 35W to see Eddie Bane debut at Met Stadium. I thought it was the perfect date to break into a baseball family.
“Julie’s maiden name is Hartman and her brothers Dave (1964 Austin Packers and state baseball champs) and Doug (Austin Packers 1966) were stud pitchers back in the day. Dave ended up at Iowa State as their ace. Doug was the Friday night starter for Mankato State.
“I met Julie at Marcusen Park at a Legion game after playing Attucks Brooks. As the only Pacelli boy on Post 91, I kept trying to explain to my Packer teammates that there was this kid named Molitor that I played against in the Central Catholic Conference and he was pretty good.
“So, I pick up Julie on July 4th, and smooze the heck out of this guy painting their house. We get about half way to Blooming Praire and I tell her what a nice guy her Dad is ...
"She says, 'You haven't met my Dad.' I say, ‘Yes I have, I just talked to him for 15 minutes while he was painting your house ... great guy.’ She says, ‘Nice work, Eddie Haskell. That was a guy we hired to paint the house.’
“Beyond that, I don’t remember much. I think the Twins lost 5-4, with a full hourse for Calvin. Eddie Haskell did all right; too. We will celebrate 35 years of marriage on Aug. 5.’’
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