SEASON: 6 | YEAR: 1954

Game 36 | January 25, 1954 | Billy Martin
Fifteen years before he was to return as manager of the Minnesota Twins, Martin came to Minneapolis in early 1954 as the MVP of the 1953 'World Series. He had a career year in 1953, setting personal bests in home runs (15) and RBIs (75). He batted .500 in the World Series with a slugging percentage of .958. Shortly after his appearance at Dunkers, he was called to active duty with the U.S. Army and missed the entire 1954 season.

Game 37 | January 29, 1954 | Johnny Lattner, Billy Wells
Notre Dame running back, Lattner edged Paul Giel for the 1953 Heisman Trophy in what was then the closest contest in the history of the award. Wells, a great running back from Michigan State, had just been named MVP of the 1954 Rose Bowl.

Game 38 | May 12, 1954 | Bill Rigney
The former New York Giant infielder took over as manager of the Minneapolis Millers for the 1954 season and led them to a 3rd place finish. It was interesting that he followed Billy Martin as a Dunkers guest in that he followed Martin as the manager of the Minnesota Twins in 1970.

Game 39 | June 3, 1954 | Murray Warmath
Wes Fesler was out at Minnesota, and Warmath came here from Mississippi State. His first-year team defeated five nationally ranked opponents and finished with a 7-2 record. He would go on to coach 17 more seasons.

Game 40 | July 20, 1954 | Sam Snead, Horton Smith, Les Bolstad
Horton Smith won the very first Masters in 1934 and again in 1936. Sam Snead had won the 1954 Masters just two months before appearing at Dunkers with long-time friend Les Bolstad, University of Minnesota golf coach and one of the great amateur golfers in state history.

Game 41 | December 6, 1954 | Bob McNamara
Thirty-nine years before he became a Dunkers member, McNamara teamed with Paul Giel in one of the greatest backfields in Gopher football history. McNamara averaged more than 5.5 yards per carry during his career. After college, he starred for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Canada before joining Denver in the first year of the new American Football League. After football, he became one of best handball players in Minnesota state history.

Game 42 | December 28, 1954 | Clayton Tonnemaker
A member of that great 1949 team, Tonnemaker was named All-American as a center and was later elected into the College Football Hall of Fame. A native of Ogilvie, Minnesota, Tonnemaker played linebacker for the Green Bay Packers from 1950-1954. After football, he had a successful career as an executive with Cargill. He died in 1996 at age 68.


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