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Continued: Millers, Saints were gateway to the majors for several baseball stars

  • Article by: STEW THORNLEY , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 9, 2014 - 12:51 AM

Third base: Bill McKechnie.

The infield is completed with another Hall of Famer who got to Cooperstown based on his managerial career. McKechnie played for the Saints in 1912 and 1913.

Catcher: Roy Campanella.

Campanella had a spectacular six weeks with St. Paul in 1948. He not only integrated the American Association, but he also hit 13 home runs in 35 games with the Saints before being called back up by the Dodgers. He won the National League Most Valuable Player award three times and is in the Hall of Fame.

Righthanded pitcher: George Pipgras.

Part of Murderers’ Row in 1927 and other great New York Yankees teams, Pipgras won 22 games for the Saints in 1926. Two years later, back in New York, he led the American League with 24 victories.

Lefthanded pitcher: Lefty Gomez.

After pitching for the Saints in 1931, Gomez was back in the majors for good the following year. He pitched all but one game of his Hall of Fame career with the Yankees, had a 6-0 record in the World Series, and was the winning pitcher in the first All-Star Game in 1933.

Manager: Walter Alston.

Alston, who managed the Saints in 1948 and 1949, later managed the Dodgers, in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles, from 1954 to 1976. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983.


Stew Thornley is a Twin Cities author.


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