Each week, commenter Stu tracks down a former Minnesota sports figure. This works out well for everyone. Stu?
The Hunt Down
Name: Rich Becker
Claim to Fame, Minnesota: the Twins’ 3rd-round draft choice in 1990, Becker was an outfielder who made the big leagues in 1993 and was given the unenviable task of succeeding Alex Cole as Minnesota’s starting center fielder in 1995. You could argue that Cole having to succeed Kirby Puckett in center the previous year was more difficult, but that’s a debate for another day! Becker was among the American League leaders in putouts, assists and range factor for the wretched 1995 Twins and the not-as-bad 1996 team. He also struck out a lot: every third at-bat in 1997, to be precise. He was traded to the Mets for Alex Ochoa after that season.
Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else:
became a post-Cheers sitcom vehicle for actor Ted Danson. Sorry, wrong Becker. In addition to the Metropolitans, Rich played for the Orioles, Brewers, Athletics and Tigers before retiring. A much-honored high school athlete, Becker may be the biggest thing to come out of Aurora, Ill., since Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar.
Where He Is Now: fighting fires in North Fort Myers, Fla. He lives in nearby Cape Coral with his wife and three children.
Is He On Twitter: no.
Glorious Randomness: I had completely forgotten Alex Cole, too. Turns out it’s not the Common Man’s brother, either.
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