In fact, Oliva’s career would have ended in 1972 had the designated hitter position not been brought to the American League in 1973. Oliva retired in 1976 after hitting .277 in his four seasons as a DH.
• Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders says he has no regrets about drafting Zach LaVine in the first round after watching the former UCLA guard in practice and scrimmage sessions. In fact, Saunders said that LaVine is a lot better athlete than he thought he was.
• Former Gophers and Wolves guard Bobby Jackson, who was an assistant coach for the Wolves under Rick Adelman, is working with Saunders, but at this point a decision hasn’t been made about his future.
• The Twins haven’t decided whether to sign Mahtomedi High School pitcher Mike Baumann, a 34th-round draft pick who has committed to Jacksonville University. The deadline for draft picks to sign is July 18.
• According to Athlon Sports, former Gophers center Greg Eslinger was rated 34th among the top 50 football players who performed during the Bowl Championship Series period. Eslinger was a four-time All-America for the Gophers. The BCS era ended after last season, as college football is going to a playoff this fall.
• Kyle Rau, a senior forward this fall for the Gophers hockey team, is working out with the Tampa Bay Lightning in Florida during the offseason. Tampa Bay drafted Rau but he hasn’t signed any paperwork to play professionally next season.
• The NFL Network placed Vikings running back Adrian Peterson at No. 4 on their list of the Top 100 players in the league. It’s the fourth time on the list for Peterson, he was No. 1 in 2013, No. 8 in 2012, and No. 3 in 2011. He was the highest- rated running back on the list, beating out Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy, who was No. 5.
• Former Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper is the coach for one of the two softball teams that will play this weekend for the Celebrity Sweat Softball Game at Midway Stadium. The other team is headed by former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. email@example.com