There are dozens of moments to remember from Lyman Bostock’s four seasons in the major leagues, the first three with the Twins (1975-77) and the last with the California Angels.
Two of those are early-morning phone calls to a home we had in Prior Lake:
On May 23, 1977, it was 6 a.m. and the call was from Lyman. He was at Minneapolis-St. Paul International, where the Twins had landed. This was a Monday after four games in Anaheim, and they were scheduled to be in Boston on Tuesday.
I was the Twins beat writer in St. Paul but had not covered the Angels series. Lyman had grabbed a Pioneer Press when he got off the plane. We had printed an L.A. Times story in which Bostock had criticized Twins management and the Twin Cities as a baseball market.
Lyman got my number and called the house. “I love the people in Minnesota,” he said. “You have to write that.”
I went to the typewriter and wrote Lyman’s remixed version of the L.A. quotes for the afternoon Dispatch. The Twins went to Boston, were rained out on Tuesday, and had 35 hits in a sweep of a twinight doubleheader on Wednesday.
I was there to see that wall- peppering from Bostock, Rod Carew, Larry Hisle and the rest from a team that led the major leagues in batting at .282 and runs with 867.
The other morning was maybe 7:30 on Sept. 24, 1978. It was my brother Michael, saying he had heard a radio report that Lyman had been shot to death overnight in Gary, Ind.
Bostock had been at Met Stadium on Wednesday, joking in the visitors clubhouse, packing up with the Angels for a trip to Chicago. And now this — “WHAT?” — to wake up to on a Sunday.
This was the last day of the 1978 home schedule. The players were zombies. So were the media. We embraced Lyman — as a competitor, personality and filler of notebooks.
Forty years. He would be 67. And I see that Lyman with a gray goatee, still bright eyes, and arguing in full animation with Pedro Martinez on an MLB Network panel.
PLUS THREE FROM PATRICK
• Clay Matthews and Eric Kendricks were not fined for hugging quarterbacks to the grass in Lambeau. Meaning, fans from both teams were right and referee Tony Corrente was wrong.
• Farming’s Mike Schleper died Friday after a respiratory attack. He was 59, and you weren’t going to find a more dedicated townball person in Minnesota.
• The death of Red Wing/Gophers lineman Nick Connelly at 22 is sad enough; then, you read up on Burkitt’s lymphoma and say, “How can this happen?”