Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jeff Thelen

Sent: 9/19/11
Received: 9/24/11
Time: 5 Days
Address: Home
Item Sent: 1990 Star Kenosha Twins, 1991 ProCards Kenosha Twins
Item Received: 1990 Star Kenosha Twins, 1991 ProCards Kenosha Twins.  Both signed in black gel pen.

I feel like a broken record, but my favorite TTM returns have consistently been from former Twins minor league players.  The latest just arrived from Jeff Thelen.  Born in Minneapolis, Thelen was drafted in the eighth round of the 1989 draft.  He spent four seasons in the minors, including an outstanding year at Kenosha in 1991 when he posted a 3.17 ERA over 150 innings but finished with a hard-luck 5-12 record.  Thelen has given up the very cool profession of "pro ballplayer" for the much more noble profession of teaching.  As he writes in his two-page letter that came with his return, he is a reading specialist in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.  He mentions that he's a huge Twins fan himself, as most of the current coaching staff were coaches of his while coming up through the minors.  I asked if he kept in touch with any of his old teammates.  While he concedes that he doesn't really see most of them anymore, he writes that "Facebook has helped with reconnecting a bit."  He specifically asked if I happened to have any cards of a few of his good friends: Steve Dunn, Jayson Best, and Tim Nedin.  Coincidentally, I currently have letters out to both Best and Nedin, sent during the same week as this request as I made my way through my box of Twins minor league cards.

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