SEASON: 31 | YEAR: 1979

Game 269 | January 3, 1979 | Joe Salem
Expectations for Gopher football ran high as former quarterback Joe Salem was recruited from Northern Arizona to succeed Cal Stoll as Gopher football coach. Salem had backed up Sandy Stephens on the 1960 team that was named National Champions. In his first year as head coach the team finished sixth in the Big Ten with an overall record of 4-6-1.

Game 270 | April 30, 1979 | Bowie Kuhn
By 1979 much of the focus of baseball commissioner's Kuhn's administration was on the growing drug use of players. Numerous players were suspended. Kansas City Royals catcher Darrell Porter told the Associated Press that he became paranoid, convinced that Kuhn knew about his drug use, was trying to sneak into his house, and planned to ban him from baseball for life. Porter said he sat up nights in the dark, watching out the front window; waiting for Kuhn to approach, clutching billiard balls and a shotgun.

Game 271 | July 23, 1979 | Jerry Koosman, John Castino
Minnesota native, Koosman, from Appleton, came home to the Twins in a late 1978 trade with the New York Mets for Jesse Orosco and Greg Field. Most experts thought Koosman's best years were behind him, but he surprised people by winning 20 games in 1979 and 16 in 1980 for the Twins. Castino, with no previous major league experience, made the Twins in spring training. He played an outstanding third base and hit .285, sharing American League Rookie of the Year honors.

Game 272 | July 26, 1979 | Norm Van Brocklin
The former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons got back into coaching in 1979 as the running backs coach at Georgia Tech. He did some football broadcasting the next year, but began to have a number of health issues. After a brain tumor was removed he told the press, "It was a brain transplant. They gave me a sportswriter's brain, to make sure I got one that hadn't been used." He was in Minneapolis the week he spoke to Dunkers as Honorary Coach of the Minnesota High School Football All-Star Game. He suffered a stroke in 1983 and died the next day at age 57.

Game 273 | November 20, 1979 | Glen Sonmor, Craig Hartsburg, Tom McCarthy
With the addition of new players such as Neal Broten, Dino Ciccarelli, Steve Payne, Hartsburg (age 20), and McCarthy (age 19), the North Stars had five straight winning seasons starting in 1979-80. With Sonmor as the coach that year, the team had a record attendance on January 6, 1980, when Philadelphia came to the Met Center with a 35-game undefeated streak and lost to the North Stars 7-1.


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