Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

R.I.P. Don Mincher: 1938-2012

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB, Twins offense Updated: March 5, 2012 - 10:27 AM

FORT MYERS, FLA. -- Don Mincher, a key player on the Twins' 1965 American League championship team who went on to become a two-time All-Star first baseman, died Sunday night in Alabama, the Twins confirmed this morning. He was 73.

Mincher retired as president of the Class AA Southern League last fall because of health problems, according to Ballpark Digest.

He made the move with the Washington Senators to Minnesota in 1961. In 1965, when Harmon Killebrew injured his arm, Mincher stepped in at first base and helped lead the Twins to their first pennant.

In December 1966, the Twins traded Mincher to the Angels in a deal for pitcher Dean Chance. Two years later, the Seattle Pilots selected Mincher in the expansion draft. He was an All-Star for the Angels in 1967 and for the Pilots in 1969 and continued playing through 1972.

In his 13-year big league career, Mincher batted .249 with 200 home runs and a .798 OPS. Whenever Twins teams are hit with injuries, Tony Oliva cites Mincher's 1965 contributions as a reason things can turn out OK.

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