Among the numerous players on the '65 Twins to be successful on and off the field, Andy Kosco studied law for a time in the off-seasons after he was
drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1959. After his career ended he became a successful insurance salesman.
Kosco was never a star, but he was bright and tenacious, and a 6-foor-3, 205 pounds had the size of a power hitter.
Kosco had signed with Detroit for a reported $80,000,
although other estimates put the total closer to half that. Regardless, it was good money for a young athlete starting out.
But Kosco never excelled with the Detroit system, and the Twins signed the outfielder to a minor league contract, with immediate results. He had driven in 116 runs at Denver when the Twins
called him up to Minnesota in August of 1965 to essentially replace injured
Harmon Killebrew. At the time of the promotion Kosco's RBI total was
the highest in all of organized baseball.
Unfortunately, Kosco did not see action in the World Series in 1965.
Odd man out
Baseball's commissioner had input into the rosters that were
finalized for the World Series back in Kosco's rookie season. The Twins had to drop a player to put their
roster at 25 men, and Commissioner Ford Frick insisted the dropped
player be someone who had not been with the team all season. The candidates were reported to
be Frank Quilici, Jim Merritt or Kosco, all of whom
had started the '65 season at Denver.
Kosco, 23, had been the last player called up, and the Twins had depth in the
outfield. Quilici had become the Twins regular second baseman and Merritt gave the Twins' a left-hander in the bullpen.
The result was Quilici started all seven World Series games at second base, and Merritt
was kept for pitching insurance. Kosco was left off the World Series squad.
During the 1965 off-season there was talk about trading outfielders Jimmie Hall or Bob Allison for a much-needed second baseman, and in order to make way for Kosco, who could play all outfield positions. The trade did not materialize, and Kosco had to leave Minnesota for the New York Yankees before his career took off.
In 1973, Kosco finally got a shot at post-season play and went 3-for-10 for
the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Championship Series. This was
"The Big Red Machine" of Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez,
Dave Concepcion and Pete Rose that lost the NLCS to the New York
Mets in five games.
In Game Two, the Mets' Jon Matlack held this feared
lineup to two hits -- both singles by Kosco.