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.

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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
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Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Utah 101 FINAL
Orlando 94
Charlotte 109 FINAL
Philadelphia 91
Brooklyn 91 FINAL
Cleveland 95
Washington 105 FINAL
Miami 103
Minnesota 98 FINAL
Boston 114
Toronto 110 FINAL
Detroit 100
Chicago 103 FINAL
Memphis 97
Portland 129 FINAL
San Antonio 119
LA Clippers 106 FINAL
Denver 109
Oklahoma City 104 FINAL
LA Lakers 103
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 3
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Ottawa 6
NY Islanders 2 FINAL
Detroit 1
Boston 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Calgary 1
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 49 FINAL
Alabama 69
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 62 FINAL
Buffalo 88
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 60 FINAL
Central Mich 97
Northern Ill 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 58
North Florida 83 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 54 FINAL
Hampton 66
NC A&T 57 FINAL
Kent State 71
Central Penn College 65 FINAL
Liberty 94
Eastern Ky 72 FINAL
Miami-Florida 44
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
Morehead State 60
Northern Ariz 62 FINAL
Norfolk State 81
MD-Eastern Shore 43 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 47 FINAL
St Johns 53
Clemson 45 FINAL
South Carolina 68
Tenn Tech 58 FINAL
Tennessee 61
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 46 FINAL
Mercer 67
Furman 78 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 83
South Dakota St 53 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 49
Milligan 53 FINAL
Lamar 80
LSU-Alexandria 71 FINAL
ULM 76
Southern Utah 57 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 73
Chattanooga 58 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 68
Seattle 57 FINAL
Minnesota 92
Lipscomb 55 FINAL
Princeton 77
Winthrop 71 FINAL
SE Louisiana 81
Dickinson State 48 FINAL
North Dakota 78
New Orleans 56 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
TX-Pan American 60 FINAL
Creighton 75
Colorado State 85 FINAL
Denver 84
Alabama A&M 49 FINAL
Marquette 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 51 FINAL
Texas Tech 72
Eastern Wash 67 FINAL
California 78
Idaho State 56 FINAL
Utah State 69
Arizona 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 55
Hawaii 94 FINAL
Chaminade 63
Nevada 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
UCLA 71 FINAL
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 49 FINAL
Virginia 62
McNeese State 55 FINAL
Rice 57
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
NJIT 62 FINAL
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 65 FINAL
Maine 36
Lafayette 58 FINAL
Stony Brook 60
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
Longwood 56 FINAL
Clemson 72
Savannah State 51 FINAL
Florida State 97
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Buffalo 68 FINAL
Manhattan 58
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
Davidson 66 FINAL
NC State 82
Northern Ky 63 FINAL
Delaware 58
Saint Louis 81 FINAL
Austin Peay 86
(25) DePaul 64 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 98
Ohio U 74 FINAL
La Salle 63
Florida Atlantic 60 FINAL
Long Beach St 85
Miami-Florida 65 FINAL
Tulane 70
Miss Valley St 39 FINAL
Memphis 62
Ark-Pine Bluff 56 FINAL
UAB 65
Bowling Green 58 FINAL
Illinois State 54
Arkansas State 78 FINAL
Missouri State 62
ULM 42 FINAL
Wichita State 57
(16) Oregon State 71 FINAL
Southern Ill 55
Pacific 67 FINAL
New Mexico St 62
No Dakota State 79 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 86
Utah State 92 FINAL
Sacramento St 102
Bethesda (CA) 61 FINAL
Fresno State 83
Utah Valley U 44 FINAL
Montana 68
LSU 78 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 45

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