SEASON: 11 | YEAR: 1959

Game 73 | January 20, 1959 | Mike Svendsen
A graduate of Minneapolis Roosevelt, Svendsen, a center, captained the 1958 Gopher football team that finished 1-9. His coach, Murray Warmath, was hanged in effigy, but major improvements were on the horizon.

Game 74 | January 27, 1959 | Sherm Lollar, Gene Mauch
Lollar was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner as the Chicago White Sox catcher in 1958. He was soon to report to spring training for what would be his best season and a World Series Championship for his team. Lollar was such a fixture at catcher that his backup, Earl Battey, was traded to Washington and would be a future Minnesota Twins star: Mauch, a future Twins manager, had guided the Minneapolis Millers to the Junior World Series title as manager in 1958.

Game 75 | February 12, 1959 | Ken Bartholomew
Before major league football and baseball came to Minnesota, speed skating drew large crowds to the rink at Powderhorn Park in south Minneapolis. During the 1950s, Bartholomew won 14 national titles and was one of the first inductees into the Star Tribune's Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame.

Game 76 | April 16, 1959 | Vern Mikkelsen, Bob Short
Long-timer Dunker Mikkelsen ended his Minneapolis Lakers career in 1959. The NBA's original power forward, he played in 798 of the 800 games in which he suited up. Short, a very successful local hotel and business owner; told Dunkers that the Lakers' future in Minneapolis was in jeopardy unless they could find a permanent place to play. A year later, the team became the Los Angeles Lakers. Bob Short was a Dunker from 1962-1965.

Game 77 | April 27, 1959 | Branch Rickey
One of major league baseball's great innovators, as a general manager for the Cardinals and Dodgers, Rickey set up the first minor league "farm system," and later broke the game's color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Mostly retired from active baseball in the 1950s, Rickey was a popular guest speaker. He died in 1965 at age 83. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame two years after his death.

(LtoR) Charlie Johnson (physician), Brank Rickey, Jerry Moore

Game 78 | May 20, 1959 | Walter Wolfner
After the completion of Metropolitan Stadium, Twin Cities civic leaders were aggressive in seeking a National Football League franchise. The plan revolved around persuading teams to come here for preseason exhibitions. Walter Wolfner was the president of the Chicago Cardinals, and he was the guest of Minneapolis Chamber president Jerry Moore on one of those visits.

Game 79 | July 31, 1959 | Harold Sargeant, Wally Mund
Golf was a popular topic at Dunkers meetings over the years. Sargeant was the president and Mund the vice president of the PGA in 1959. They were in town to promote the upcoming Trans-Mississippi Tournament at Woodhill.

Game 80 | August 18, 1959 | Jack Nicklaus, Deane Beman
The Trans-Miss has been played since 1901 to create a field for the best amateur golfers in the nation. Nicklaus had won the event in 1958 and came back to win it again in 1959. He turned pro in 1961. Beman, who went on to be commissioner of the PGA, lost to Nicklaus at Woodhill, but came back to win the event the next year at the Wichita Country Club.

(LtoR) Tot Heffelfinger (physician), Deane Beman, Jack Nicklaus, Paul Foss

Game 81 | September 24, 1959 | Jeanne Arth, Norm MacDonald
A 1952 graduate of St. Paul Central High School, Arth teamed with Darlene Hard to win the U.S. Women's Tennis Doubles title in 1958 and the Wimbledon Women's Doubles title in 1959. MacDonald, a tireless organizer; for many years was known as "Mr. Tennis" in Minnesota.

Game 82 | October 23, 1959 | Fritz Crisler
The man who is credited with inventing the "two platoon" system, Crisler rose to fame as the head football coach from 1938-1947 at Michigan where his teams compiled a record of 71-16-3. He was the Michigan athletic director in 1959. Much earlier in his career; he was the head coach of the Gopher football team in 1930 and '31, compiling a record of 10-7-1 before giving way to Bernie Bierman.

Game 83 | December 1, 1959 | Forest Evashevski, Milt Bruhn
Evashevski inherited a dismal Iowa football program and built it into a winner in the 1950s, winning three Big Ten titles and two Rose Bowls. He became the Iowa athletic director following the 1960 season. Bruhn was the head football coach at Wisconsin from 1956-1966. A University of Minnesota football player; Bruhn coached the Badgers to two Big Ten titles and two Rose Bowl appearances.


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