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Stu's Hunt Down: The crazy connections between the Scranton Wilkes-Barre/Yankees + ex-Twins

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • July 13, 2011 - 2:27 PM

Commenter Stu delights you with his tales of long-lost former Minnesota athletes. This feels like a ton of Hunt Downs all rolled into one. Almost seems like a field trip to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre might be in order? Take a tour of Dunder-Mifflin. Heckle some ex-Twins. Think about it.

Also: This is a good time to note that Stu will be in the fabulous 612 next week. He would love to see RandBallers at one of two locations (or both!): The afternoon Twins game or a 5 p.m. happy hour at a TBD location. Communicate via Twitter or e-mail if you are interested ...

But now: Stu?

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The Huntdown

 
Name: the current roster and coaching staff of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees
 
Claim to Fame, Minnesota: the AAA affiliate of the New York Yankees is overflowing with connections to former members of the local professional baseball enterprise. To wit:
 
  • Terry Tiffee. The former Minnesota third baseman, owner of one of the top 5 team names of all time, signed a minor league deal with the Yankees after starting the 2011 season with the Lancaster Barnstormers.
  • Randy Flores. One of last year’s late-season bullpen answers (as noted by Howard Sinker, he was the wrong answer), Flores signed with the Bombers after opting out of a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres.
  • Mike Lamb. He signed a 2-year, $6.6 million deal with the Twins in 2007, none of which is a typo on my part. Local blogger and internet crank Jon Marthaler is probably the foremost authority on Lamb’s tenure with the teamLamb was signed at the same time as Tiffee.
  • Butch Wynegar.  The Old Testament Joe Mauer (Baby Moses?). Wynegar joined the Twins from A-ball in 1976 as their starting catcher and made the All-Star Game that year at the age of 20. He repeated that feat in 1977 and was my favorite Twin of that era not named Rod Carew. Signed a 5-year, $2 million contract with the Twins, which is the Calvin Griffith equivalent of making it rain, before being traded to the Yankees in 1982. He is now the Scranton/Wilkes Barre hitting coach.
  • Scott Aldred. A starting pitcher in the benighted mid-to-late-‘90s, Aldred’s numbers as a Twin approach Klingenbeck-ian crapulence: 8-15, 6.10 ERA, 1.54 WHIP. In an effort to prove George Bernard Shaw right, Aldred is the Scranton/Wilkes Barre pitching coach.
  • The squad also has two players with more tenuous Twins connections: Mark Prior, who the Twins passed on in favor of Joe Mauer in the 2001 draft; and Jesus Montero, the coveted Yankees catching prospect mentioned in a handful of New York/Minnesota trade rumors.
 
Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: Scranton/Wilkes Barre has been New York’s AAA affiliate since the start of the 2007 season. The franchise itself has been around in one form or another since 1886.
 
Where He Is Now:  if you’re wondering where Kei Igawa is now, look no further.
 
Are Any Of Them On Twitter: no. There are some Randy Floreses and Mike Lambs out there, but none appear to be the genuine article.
 
Glorious Randomness: Wilkes-Barre is named after John Wilkes and Isaac Barré, members of the British Parliament who were sympathetic to the American colonies. Wikipedia notes that Barré had a slave named Uffe, but you knew that already.

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