Twenty years of Saints baseball

  • Article by: BRIAN STENSAAS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 16, 2012 - 11:53 PM

A look back at the stars, the stats, the promotions and, of course, the pigs.

view larger photos

  

WHO WERE THEY THEN? WHERE ARE THEY NOW? OPENING DAY LINEUP IN DULUTH, JUNE 15, 1993

Rick Hirtensteiner, CF

Assistant baseball coach, Pepperdine University

Eddie Ortega, 2B

Whereabouts could not be verified

Leon Durham, DH

Hitting coach, Toledo Mud Hens (Class AAA)

Jim Eppard, LF

Hitting coach, Los Angeles Angels

Tom Raffo, 1B

Head baseball coach, Arkansas State

Scott Meadows, RF

Physical education teacher, Lincoln High School (Gahanna, Ohio)

Frank Charles, C

Works in health care in Buffalo, N.Y.

Greg

D'Alexander, 3B

Out of baseball; living in Denver

Jerry

DeFabbia, SS

Assistant coach, Fordham University

Ranbir Grewal, P

Elected to Kerman (Calif.) High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010

5 NAMES YOU

SHOULD REMEMBER

JD DREW

Then: Ended up with the Saints in 1997 and 1998 after he and agent Scott Boras refused to sign with any major league team for less than $10 million. Hit .359 with 27 home runs.

Since: Helped the Red Sox win the 2007 World Series. Named 2008 All-Star game MVP.

DARRYL STRAWBERRY

Then: Did rehab in the 1996 season to make an MLB comeback. Hit a franchise-record .435 with 18 home runs in 29 games.

Since: Won World Series rings with the Yankees in 1996, '98 and '99. Runs a New York restaurant.

JACK MORRIS

Then: Went 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA for his hometown team at age 41 in 1996, capping a professional career that began in 1976.

Since: Dabbled in broadcasting with the Twins and Tigers. Received Hall of Fame votes from 67 percent of the ballots in 2012.

KEVIN MILLAR

Then: Appeared in 63 games as a 21-year-old rookie in the team's inaugural season. His contract was purchased by the Marlins at season's end. He returned 17 years later in a six-game comeback.

Since: Joined the Red Sox in 2003, when his "cowboy up" attitude was popular with teammates. Works for MLB Network.

ILA BORDERS

Then: Became the first female pitcher to appear in men's professional baseball on May 31, 1997. Her first pitch hit the batter. Eventually made seven appearances for St. Paul before being traded to Duluth.

Since: Stayed in the Northern League for two more seasons, retired in 2000. Now a firefighter in Arizona.

5 PLAYERS WHO MADE MARKS

Longevity: Brent Krause

Played parts of five seasons, ending last year after a broken wrist. Franchise leader in nearly every offensive category, including 411 hits.

Great find: Charlie Ruud

Signed out of the team's open tryout in 2005, finished his career four years later with more starts (79), victories (40) and strikeouts (318) than any other pitcher.

Mound king: Chris Chavez

Held opponents to a .180 batting average in 2003-04 while converting a franchise-record 51 saves. Made 86 total appearances.

Mr. Long Bomb: David Kennedy

Cranked a record 54 home runs in parts of four seasons in St. Paul. Hit .330 with 19 home runs in 1998. Collected 80 RBI the year before.

First Saint: Rick Hirtensteiner

At 7:19 p.m. on opening night, he took a ball, the first pitch thrown, and later grounded out to second base. Then hit the first home run in franchise history leading off the fourth inning. Saints eventually won when Leon "Bull" Durham crushed a grand slam in the top of the 10th.

BY THE NUMBERS

1 stadium manager -- Bob Klepperich

4 championships (1993, '95, '96, '04)

58 original season ticket accounts

896 wins

803 losses

4,999,073 all-time attendance; fan No. 5 million will walk through the gate Thursday night

5 MEMORABLE PROMOTIONS

• Instant-Replay Mimes

• Michael Vick Chew Toy

• Bobblefoot

• Metrodome Whoopie Cushion

• Bud Selig/Donald Fehr Seat Cushion

CO-OWNER MIKE VEECK ON ...

« I was just trying to make it 20 minutes, 20 days. The more I read, sometimes with some frequency, that we were doomed to fail I'm not certain secretly I wasn't terrified, because I was. But you could tell early on we had something here. » Veeck on 20 years in St. Paul

• • •

Surprises: "A hundred players have resurrected their careers returning to organizations -- five a year! And 17 or 18 of those have gone onto the big leagues. So many major league clubs ignored us at first, but there is no question St. Paul in many ways has set the standard."

• • •

Doing it differently: "I would have been less a smart aleck about our relationship with the Twins. Dave St. Peter came along and singlehandedly made the relationship a whole lot better."

• • •

Prospects for a new stadium: "People that I have great respect for say this is going to happen, and I put my faith in them. They say Mike McGillicutty Steam Shovel is going to start digging, so who am I to disagree?"

NAME THAT PIG (21 in all)

The Saint

• St. Paula • St. Patrick • Tobias • Hamlet • The Great Hambino • Hamilton • Hammy Davis Jr. Kevin Bacon • Wilbur • The Notorious P.I.G. • Squeal Diamond • Ham Solo • Bud Squealig • Garrison Squeallor Boarack Ohama • Slumhog Millionaire • Brat Favre • Justin Bieboar • And for 2012 ... Kim Lardashian and Kris Hamphries
  • related content

  • Ila Borders

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: D. Holland 4
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 2
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 4 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Samardzija 8
San Francisco - WP: S. Casilla 5 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: E. Stults 1
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Dallas 4
Anaheim 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 5
Arizona 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Time left for great deals

Bid thru Sept. 29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close