The Huntdown

Name: Jamie Quirk

Claim to Fame, Minnesota: Jamie Quirk played for the Cleveland Indians for one week at the end of the 1984 season. The Indians were going nowhere, but the upstart Minnesota Twins were looking to make their first playoff appearance in over a decade. They traveled to the old Municipal Stadium looking to surpass the Kansas City Royals (NOTE TO CHILDREN READING THIS: that is not a typo; the Royals used to be really good at baseball.) and claim the AL West crown. What happened next? 25 years ago this Sunday, as noted by Patrick Reusse in my surpassingly bitter Ron Davis Hunt Down, Ron Davis happened: Davis relieved Mike Smithson with two runners on in the bottom of the eighth and the Twins leading 3-1 at Cleveland. Both runners scored and, with the score tied in the bottom of the ninth, Davis gave up a two-out home run to Jamie Quirk, who was making his only plate appearance in a one-week stint with the Indians. The game basically eliminated the Twins from the AL West race. I submit that anyone who thinks Reusse is too negative about local sporting concerns needs to watch Ron Davis set everything you’ve ever loved on fire, over and over and over again, before judging him.

Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: a journeyman if ever there was one, Quirk did put in three stints with the Royals (1975-1976, 1978-1982, and 1985-1988). Beside that and his aforementioned at-bat with the Indians, he clocked time with the Brewers, Cardinals, Yankees, Athletics and Orioles.

Where He Is Now: as of 2008, was a scout for the Cincinnati Reds.

Glorious Randomness: I chose Quirk as this week’s subject because odds are that the Twins still are not going to get past the Tigers and win the AL Central. Should this come to pass, there will likely be an opposing player who dashes your playoff dreams in a crushing loss. If I had to pick, it’ll either be Curtis Granderson or Zack Greinke (who might start twice against the Twins, in case you were starting to feel confident). But what if it isn’t a “name” player? What if it’s another Jamie Quirk? Trust me, it will hurt more if it is. Leave your guesses as to the identity of who ultimately ends the Twins 2009 season in comments.

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