Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Catcher Dave Engle's 'stardom' with Twins was short-lived

  • Article by: DENNIS BRACKIN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 22, 2014 - 6:44 AM

Many afflicted

Engle came to accept that the throwing problem was psychological. If there’s any comfort, it’s knowing he is not alone. Infielders such as Steve Sax and Chuck Knoblauch encountered problems making easy throws, and other catchers, most notably Mackey Sasser, have had the same problem as Engle, getting the ball back to the pitcher.

Hrbek said he had “the weebie geebies” after fielding a pickoff throw with a runner at first. He said he always took a couple of steps toward the mound and lobbed the ball to the pitcher, fearful of throwing it past the mound.

“There’s probably a lot more guys than we know of who couldn’t throw the ball [on easy plays],” Hrbek said. “A lot of guys have the weebie geebies.”

Few, however, have had their careers affected as much as Engle, going from an All-Star catcher to not being able to play the position regularly by the end of the same season.

“The thing about David Engle, he beat out [Hall of Famer Wade] Boggs for the batting title in the International League [1981], and he came to the big leagues with a reputation of being a hitter,” said former Twins bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek, who worked hours with Engle on his catching problems. “Well, he couldn’t find a position. … You get a mental block like that, you start thinking. And the more you start thinking, then you start making corrections and pretty soon you get screwed up between the ears.”

Engle, a .262 career hitter in nine big-league seasons, has learned not to look back. He said he thinks of the big perspective of his career, a total of 36 years in baseball as a player, coach and front office employee.

“It wasn’t an easy thing to deal with,” he said of his throwing problem. “But I’ve had a remarkable run in the game. You’ll never hear me complain. Sure, I wish I never had anything like that happen to me, absolutely. But for whatever reason, it did.

“But I have nothing but fond memories, and a lot of thankfulness that I was able to play major league baseball in any capacity. Ninety-nine percent of it was positive, 1 percent ‘What if?’ ”





 

  • related content

  • Interactive graphic: The 50 Twins All-Stars

    Sunday June 22, 2014

    Twins players who have participated in All-Star games. Scroll over each photo for details on each player.

  • All-Star Insider: One AL ballot

    Saturday June 21, 2014

    TARGET FIELDTues., July 15 • 7 p.m.After Sunday, only four Twins home games remain in which you can cast a...

  • Dave Engle, shown here in his All-Star season of 1984, hit the first home run at the Metrodome in 1982.

  • Dave Engle

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
8:10 PM ET123456789RHE
DetroitR. Porcello (15-11)000
MinnesotaR. Nolasco (5-11)000
@theBallpark
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box

ADVERTISEMENT

Boston - A. Ranaudo 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - C. Morton
Toronto - D. Hutchison 6:05 PM
Baltimore - U. Jimenez
Washington - T. Roark 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Miami - N. Eovaldi 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
NY Yankees - M. Pineda 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cincinnati - J. Cueto 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 7:10 PM
Kansas City - L. Hendriks
Cleveland - C. Kluber 7:10 PM
Houston - N. Tropeano
Detroit - R. Porcello 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 7:15 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
Los Angeles - D. Haren 7:40 PM
Colorado - T. Matzek
San Francisco - J. Peavy 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Seattle - R. Elias 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Texas - N. Tepesch 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 9:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Philadelphia 30 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close