Friday, July 15, 2011

Leach becomes a forgotten man from '91 team

Twenty years ago the Twins went on a magical run to win their second World Series title in five seasons. There were 35 players that played for the Twins that season. There are everyday players, part time players, and various other players that fit into the puzzle during the campaign.

Since it is the 20th anniversary of the 1991 World Series, the Twins will be offering a variety of commemorative activities. During a weekend series on August 5-7, there will be an on-field ceremony and a unique bobblehead doll giveaway that features the infamous play between Kent Hrbek and Ron Gant.

The Twins will also be raising money for the Twins Community Fund by selling a set of bobblehead dolls that includes every player for the World Series team and the Twins manager, Tom Kelly . The problem is the list of players that was sent to the factory did not include every player that played in the World Series for the Twins. One man got lost in the shuffle...

Terry Leach was a middle reliever for the Twins in that season and he played an important role on the way to the AL West title. Out of all of the relief pitchers, he made the third most appearances and he managed a 3.61 ERA. He was the elder statesman in the bullpen as he was four years older than the next oldest reliever.

Leached pitched in two games during the 1991 World Series. Both of these games were loses for the Twins but Leach still made contributions to a World Champion team.

World Series Game 3
Leach was asked to enter the fifth inning of Game 3 of the World Series in Atlanta during a very sticky situation. David West had entered the game and given up back to back walks. This pushed Atlanta's lead to 4-1 and it meant Leach was forced to try and get the last out with the bases loaded. Leach struck out Lemke to end the inning and keep the game close for the Twins.

World Series Game 5
The next game that Leach pitched in was Game 5 and the Twins were already down four to nothing. Back to back singles to start the inning lead to Leach giving up one run in the inning.  The Braves could have scored more in the inning because they had a runner on second with only one down. Leach would coax two popflies to end the inning. The Twins would cut the lead to two in the top of the sixth so Tom Kelly let Leach go back out for the bottom of the inning. Leach had a quick inning and the Braves went down 1-2-3 to end the sixth.

The Twins have done their best to rectify the bobblehead situation by saying that Leach will be added to the set. Initial reports say that the list of players that was sent to the factory was only the players that competed in the 1991 ALCS vs. Toronto. Initially Leach was offended that he had been left off the list but now it seems as if the waters have been calmed. Leach will be added to the bobblehead set and he will be honored on the field with the rest of the members of the '91 team.

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