Reusse: 'Everyday Eddie' ready for his big day in Twins Hall of Fame

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 13, 2013 - 12:42 PM

Minnesota Twins coach Eddie Guardado

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

LaTroy Hawkins was appointed as the Twins closer for the 2001 season. Todd Jones was acquired from Detroit on July 28 as an option for that role. It was Sept. 8 when manager Tom Kelly went to Eddie Guardado for the final four outs in a 6-4 victory over the Angels.

“TK never said anything about it; he just kept using me in save situations for that last month,” Guardado said. “Then, TK quit and Gardy [Ron Gardenhire] got the job, and one of the first things he said was that I would be a closer.

“I don’t think I’d be here if that hadn’t happened.”

On Wednesday morning, “here’’ was the shore of Lake Minnetonka, waiting to do some fishing with Rod McCormick, the Twins equipment manager, and known as “Hot Rod” to all players of Guardado’s generation.

Guardado will be the 18th player inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame on Friday night. He arrived early from his home in California’s Orange County, to get in some Minnesota fishing.

“My first fishing partner here was Puck [Kirby Puckett],” Guardado said. “First time we went, he said, ‘Meet me at 5 a.m. at Perkins.’ I figured, ‘There’s no way Puck is going to be there at 5 o’clock,’ but he was waiting for me, eating a cheeseburger.”

Guardado is the Twins’ career leader in appearances with 648. That’s 158 more games than Rick Aguilera, second on the list. He earned the nickname “Everyday Eddie” when leading the major leagues with 83 appearances in 1996.

Even with that, it wasn’t until April 12, 2002, that Guardado gained folk-hero status in the Metrodome. The Twins were 5-5 on an opening road trip in 2002, with Guardado getting four saves.

There was a cheer from the Opening Night crowd of 48,000 when he started warming up to protect a 4-2 lead over Detroit. There was an “Eddie, Eddie, Eddie” chant when he raced to the mound for the top of the ninth. And then the lefthander struck out the side, and the Dome rocked with the “Eddie” chant each time, and for the remainder of that season.

In October, with the Twins in the playoffs, Guardado relayed this tale: “I was renting movies at Blockbuster, gave the kid behind the counter my card, and he gave me this look and said, ‘Hey, you’re that Everyday guy.’ ”

His son Niko was 5 and his father’s constant companion as Eddie ran errands before heading to the ballpark. “Niko walks up to strangers and says, ‘Do you know my dad is Eddie Guardado?’ ” Guardado said in that 2002 interview. “... He’s proud of his dad. That’s good, huh?”

Years later, that Everyday guy is extra proud of Niko, now 16, and the rest of his family: wife Lisa, son Jakob (11) and daughter Ava (8), who has a severe form of autism.

“Niko and Jakob are amazing with her,” Guardado said. “They would do anything for Ava. She has made them better people.”

Guardado earned $29 million during his career — most of it on a free-agent contract signed with Seattle after the 2003 season.

“Yeah, we’re good,” Eddie said. “I never had an entourage. I never was throwing money around. I might like to get back in the game eventually, work with young players, but right now … it’s all about family.”

Lisa and the three kids were flying to town on Wednesday afternoon. There will be more family and friends. The invitees include Pat Doyle, Guardado’s coach at San Joaquin Delta, a junior college in his hometown of Stockton, Calif.

“He did a lot for me, to get a chance in the pros,” Guardado said.

Once he got the chance, Eddie did a lot without an enviable pitching assortment. A decade ago, he was talking about his 90-miles-per-hour fastball, little slider and his “splitty” (a split-fingered pitch picked up from Aguilera), and said: “I’ve watched Eric Gagne finish a few games for the Dodgers. Ninety-eight with the fastball, hammer curve, changeup. I shake my head and say, ‘Look at this cat.’ ”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Atlanta 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 FINAL
San Francisco 8
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
San Diego 4 FINAL
Seattle 9
Cleveland 9 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Milwaukee 2 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 4 FINAL
Kansas City 5
Colorado 3 FINAL
Arizona 4
NY Mets 4 Bottom 7th Inning
Washington 3
Boston 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Minnesota 3
Toronto 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Baltimore 0
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Dallas 9:30 PM
Calgary 1 2nd Prd
Boston 1
St. Louis 1 2nd Prd
Philadelphia 0
Minnesota 0 1st Prd 2:04
Washington 1
Toronto 0 1st Prd 16:47
Tampa Bay 0
Dallas 1 1st Prd 16:28
Florida 0
NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 76 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 89
Niagara 54 FINAL
Siena 71
Holy Cross 17 1st Half 5:05
Bucknell 25
Western Ky 39 2nd Half
Charlotte 33
Navy 18 1st Half 5:46
Colgate 23
Temple 17 1st Half 10:46
East Carolina 19
UAB 30 1st Half 1:02
Fla Atlantic 29
Boston Univ 31 1st Half 0:44
Lafayette 37
American Univ 23 2nd Half
Lehigh 27
Wisconsin 44 2nd Half
Minnesota 34
Fairfield 7 1st Half 2:46
Saint Peters 18
Arkansas 45 1st Half 2:36
South Carolina 33
Morehead State 36 2nd Half
UT Martin 28
USC Upstate 25 1st Half 1:44
Fla Gulf Coast 25
Lipscomb 20 1st Half 4:38
North Florida 27
Southern Ill 22 1st Half 2:20
Missouri State 14
Texas State 2 1st Half 16:30
Appalachian St 3
SC State 6:30 PM
Delaware State 6:30 PM
Coppin State
Middle Tennessee 8 1st Half 13:35
Texas-Arlington 16 1st Half 15:12
Ga Southern 7
Norfolk State 6:30 PM
NC A&T 6:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Georgia State 7:00 PM
Marshall 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Rice 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
South Alabama 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Grambling St
Alabama A&M 7:30 PM
Jackson State
Sam Houston St 7:30 PM
Central Arkansas 7:30 PM
Portland State 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Southern U 7:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Houston Baptist 7:30 PM
SE Louisiana 7:45 PM
New Orleans
California 8:00 PM
Eastern Ill 8:00 PM
Memphis 8:00 PM
VA Commonwealth 8:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Marist 8:00 PM
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northwestern St 8:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
North Texas 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 8:00 PM
Idaho 8:00 PM
Weber State
Abilene Christian 8:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Eastern Wash 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Bradley 8:35 PM
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Long Beach State
UC Riverside 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Massachusetts 63 FINAL
Richmond 67
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Campbell 65 FINAL
Winthrop 52
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Oregon 64 FINAL
Washington St 66
Indiana 52 FINAL
(23) Rutgers 63
Pepperdine 67 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 68
Auburn 47 FINAL
(18) Texas A&M 57
Morehead St 66 FINAL
Tennessee St 81
George Mason 43 FINAL
Saint Josephs 71
Western Carolina 53 FINAL
East Tenn St 73
Arizona 62 FINAL
Texas State 55 FINAL
Appalachian St 61
TX-Arlington 66 FINAL
Georgia Southern 41
SC State 57 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 56
Delaware State 51 FINAL
Coppin State 80
Portland 58 FINAL
Santa Clara 66
Norfolk State 49 FINAL
Hampton 64
NC Central 46
Savannah State 68 2nd Half 3:55
Florida A&M 46
Virginia Tech 43 2nd Half 4:07
Pittsburgh 39
Central Arkansas 43 2nd Half 0:15
Nicholls 52
Houston Baptist 45 2nd Half 2:42
TX A&M-CC 69
Gardner-Webb 59 2nd Half 4:08
Radford 46
Georgia 50 2nd Half 7:18
Missouri 45
Old Dominion 63 2nd Half 1:44
Marshall 50
Ark-Little Rock 60 2nd Half 5:34
Louisiana 50
South Alabama 55 2nd Half 4:19
Arkansas State 58
Georgia State 54 2nd Half 4:52
ULM 53
Sam Houston St 37 2nd Half 13:53
Lamar 51
SE Louisiana 44 2nd Half 15:00
New Orleans 52
Northwestern St 25 2nd Half 14:37
Stephen F Austin 28
Alabama A&M 31 2nd Half
Jackson State 27
Alabama State 25 2nd Half
Grambling 27
Southern U 36 2nd Half 19:00
Prairie View 19
Alcorn State 34 2nd Half 15:36
Texas Southern 44
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 33 2nd Half 10:19
Mercer 47
Abilene Christian 34 2nd Half
Incarnate Word 26
La Salle 29 1st Half 0:11
Rhode Island 23
Illinois 24 1st Half 3:51
Nebraska 43
TX-San Antonio 25 1st Half 1:38
Rice 24
Valparaiso 27 2nd Half
Oakland 25
Missouri State 20 1st Half 2:55
Indiana State 18
Georgia Tech 7:00 PM
(15) North Carolina
Presbyterian 7:00 PM
High Point
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
North Texas
Wichita State 7:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Bradley 7:05 PM
Vanderbilt 7:30 PM
(12) Kentucky
Colorado 8:00 PM
San Francisco 8:00 PM
FIU 8:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
Weber State 8:00 PM
Purdue 8:25 PM
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach St 9:00 PM
Hawaii 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Northern Ariz 9:00 PM
Portland State
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Utah 10:30 PM
BYU 10:30 PM
St Marys-CA
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question