SEASON: 16 | YEAR: 1964

Game 121 | January 22, 1964 | Sam Mele, Jim Roland, Bill Fischer
Both Roland and Fischer were counted upon to play major pitching roles for the 1964 Twins. It didn't quite work out that way for Mele, the team's manager. Fischer; in his sixth American League stop, was released and retired after appearing in only nine games. Roland won 2 and lost 6 while saving 13 games. The Twins that year finished 79-83, 20 games out of first place.

Game 122 | March 3, 1964 | Dave Strack
Led by Cazzie Russell, Bill Buntin and Oliver Darden, the 1963-64 Michigan team, coached by Strack, won its first Big Ten title in 16 years and advanced to the Final Four. The games against a Gopher team, featuring Lou Hudson, Archie Clark and Don Yates, were a series of classic match ups.

Game 123 | April 22, 1964 | Jimmie Hall, Howard Fox, Ed Fitz Gerald
With no previous major league experience, Hall burst onto the Twins' scene in 1963 and hit 33 home runs, a record for a first-year player. A left-handed hitting outfielder, he was an American League All-Star in both 1964 and 1965. Fitz Gerald was a coach on the 1964 team, and Fox, who was Dunkers Head Coach in 1976, served as the team's traveling secretary under owner Calvin Griffith.

Game 124 | September 2, 1964 | Bob Johnson
A Minneapolis Central grad who played both baseball and hockey at the University of Minnesota, Johnson in 1963 left Minneapolis Roosevelt to become the head hockey coach at Colorado College. In 1966, he took the head coaching job at Wisconsin, where he won national championships in 1973, 1977 and 1981, earning him the nickname of "Badger Bob." He coached the 1976 U.S. Men's Olympic team. His 1991 Pittsburgh Penguins team won the NHL Stanley Cup. He died of brain cancer later that year at the age of 60.

Game 125 | September 18, 1964 | Rip Hawkins, Bill Brown
Hawkins was the second draft pick of the new Minnesota Vikings (after Tommy Mason). A linebacker from North Carolina, he became an immediate starter and played with the team for its first five years. Brown, a running back out of Illinois, was an NFL running back for 14 seasons, 13 of them as a Viking. Nicknamed “Boom Boom," he holds the Vikings record for most games played by a running back and ranks third in rushing yardage behind Robert Smith and Chuck Foreman.

Game 126 | October 13, 1964 | Jim Finks
A former star quarterback in both the National and Canadian Football Leagues, Finks became general manager of the Vikings in 1964. He held that position for a decade and was named NFL Executive of the Year after the Vikings made it to the Super Bowl against Miami. He later served as general manager of the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints and was the odds-on favorite to become NFL commissioner in 1989 when Paul Tagliabue became a surprise pick. A heavy smoker, Finks died of lung cancer in 1994 at age 66.

Game 127 | November 15, 1964 | Paul Giel
The former Gopher great and All-American in both football and baseball, pitched briefly for the Twins in their first season. After retiring from baseball, he worked in marketing for the Minnesota Vikings and became sports director for WCCO Radio before leaving to become athletic director at Minnesota. In a 1953 feature story, Look magazine wrote:

There are dreadful sights
Through the autumn nights
That a Big Ten coach must dream.
But the worst or all
Is a kid named Paul
Who's a one-man football team.

(LtoR) Larry Haeg (physician), Clare Long, Paul Giel

Game 128 | December 8, 1964 | Roy Griak, Norris Peterson
A native of Duluth, Griak left a very successful track and field program at St. Louis Park High School in 1963 to succeed Jim Kelly at the University of Minnesota. He held that position for 33 years, ultimately coaching 47 cross-country and track and field All-Americans. Peterson was the captain of Griak's 1964 cross-country team and was the Big Ten indoor and outdoor champion in the two-mile run.


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