Friday, May 6, 2011

Lee Stange

Sent: 4/26/11
Received: 5/3/11
Time: 7 Days
Address: Home
Item Sent: 1962 Topps
Item Received: 1962 Topps, signed in black ballpoint.

Stange was a rookie on the inaugural 1961 Twins club and spent the next three season in Minnesota.  This included the finest season of his ten year career in 1963, when he went 12-5 with a 2.62 ERA.  That year notwithstanding, his most significant contribution to Twins history was his trade value.  In June 1964, he was traded to the Indians for Jim "Mudcat" Grant.  Mudcat was off to a rough start with the Tribe that year, going 3-4 with an unsightly 5.95 ERA.  He immediately turned it around for the Twins, though, going 11-9 with a 2.82 ERA over the rest of the season.  In 1965, Mudcat led the AL with 21 wins, six shutouts, and a .750 winning percentage.  He made the All-Star team, finished sixth in the AL MVP vote, and won The Sporting News' AL Pitcher of the Year Award.  Stange would also be a key member of the 1967 "Impossible Dream" Red Sox, and he returned to the Twins to serve as their major league pitching coach in 1975.

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