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Dick Stigman

Dick Stigman and Jerry Kindall were the two Minnesota natives on the 1965 Minnesota Twins.

Neither played an inning of the World Series

Smiling crewcut baseball player with golf clubs
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Kindall had lost his starting second base job around mid-season, but there were certainly opportunities for manager Sam Mele to give Kindall an inning of defense -- which remained a bit of a sour memory for Harmon Killebrew 40 years later.

Stigman refused to criticize Mele for not getting him into the Series, maintaining, "I really hadn't been pitching that well at the end of the season."

In fact, he pitched well in August and September after a poor July -- he just didn't pitch much. He threw only 20 innings in the final two months of the season, but fanned 20 with a 2.25 earned run average.

It would have been easier for Mele to get Kindall into the Series than Stigman. The lefty was in the bullpen, but with the Dodgers sporting an entire infield of switch-hitters there was less chance for Mele to use the lefty to get a couple outs against left-handed batters.

The Ohio connection

Athough he was from Nimrod, Minnesota, and Kindall from Saint Paul, the pair are part of the long list of '65 Twins with an Ohio connection.

Stigman, Kindall, Mudcat Grant and Jim Perry had all been teammates on the Cleveland Indians before trades to Minnesota. Jerry Fosnow, Joe Nossek, Andy Kosco, Garry Roggenburk, Rich Reese, Bernie Allen and coach Hal Naragon were all born in Ohio.

An All-Star as a rookie, Stigman suffered arm problems with the '61 Indians before the club shipped him to the Twins along with Vic Power in exchange for Pedro Ramos in 1962. Stigman won 27 games during his first two seasons in his home state, and during a game in 1962 had the distinction of being an out away from his sixth inning of no-hit ball. Washington Senator John Kennedy entered to pinch hit in his first big-league at-bat. Kennedy became only the fifth Major Leaguer to debut as a pinch-hitter and hit a home run.

Stigman's career begen to slide in 1964, although in his 21 decisions the Twins averaged just 2.2 runs a game for him. They scored more than five runs for him just once. He was backed with no more than a run in 10 of his starts, and on three other occasions he got two runs of support.

Mele thought Stigman was well suited to relief, saying in '65, "he seems to cut loose with everything he has, and really fires the ball" when brought in during a game. Pitching mainly in relief in '65, he struck out 70 batters in 70 innings.

Stigman's career was over after 1966, when he was a 30-year-old pitching with the Red Sox. As a left-hander pitching today, he might have been one of those lefties who hangs on forever. It would have certainly been a better role for Stigman for one reason: as a relief pitcher, he probably would not have to bat. Stigman couldn't hit. He struck out in half his Major League at-bats.


Where are the 1965 Minnesota Twins?

 


Dick Stigman was born in January of 1936 in Nimrod, Minnesota, an unincorporated town of about 100 people nearly smack-dab in the middle of the state. In his honor, the town's park is called "Stigman's Mound."


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