August 16, 2007 at 8:38 a.m.
Time Marches On!
Our youngest turned 25 last week. It doesn't seem possible that it has already been a quarter century since we dropped off our two-year old with friends and headed for the hospital.
It was a hot Saturday afternoon when we started for the old hospital on Highway 8. It turned out to be a false alarm, but we went back on Sunday for the real deal. Everything went well. The two year old was excited to get to spend time with her best friend and the baby was born. After a few nights in the hospital (way more time than the insurance company allows now), things gradually calmed down.
In 1982, the Twins struggled. The Twinks were 60-102, the worst season in the history of the Minnesota club. They finished 33 games behind the California Angels and, even worse, they were 30 games behind Kansas City.
Gary Ward led the team with 28 homeruns. He batted .289 and drove in 91 runners. Third baseman Gary Gaetti hit 25 dingers and drove in 84. Kent Hrbek hit .301 with 23 homers and 92 RBI's. Another outfielder, Tom Brunansky, had 20 homeruns, gut drove in only 40. If I recall, Bruno, Hrbek and Brunansky lived in a house together. Rumors circulated that quiet and calm was not always the norm in their place. It seems likely that, if Mauer and Morneau hosted similar events today, local media would keep a much closer eye on the activities.
This season, Twins pitchers like Johan Santana and youngsters Matt Garza and Scott Baker have pitched well without a lot of run support. In '82 Billy Gardner had a pitching staff led by Bobby Castillo who had 13 wins and a 3.66 ERA. And, when the team had a lead in the late innings, Gardner put the ball in Ron Davis' hands. Ron Gardenhire must feel a whole lot more confident when he calls on Joe Nathan to save the game.
Santana has been at, or near, the top of the league in strikeouts for years. Gardner's leader was Brad Havens, who notched 129 stikeouts for the 1982 Twins. Santana has more than 160 K's with nearly two months to go this year. The 1982 starting rotation included Castillo, Havens, Jack O'Conner, Albert Williams and a young guy named Frank Viola. Let's hope Garza or Baker follow in Viola's footsteps.
The NFL players went on strike after the second game of the 1982 season. During the 57 day walkout, the NFL Players Association played games. NFL players toured the country, playing games to raise money for the union. NBC chose to show football hungry fans Canadian Football League games rather than the NFLPA games. Neither the NFLPA games nor NBC's coverage of the CFL attracted many viewers. According to helmethut.com, the CFL games had fewer viewers than reruns of old Super Bowls or episodes of Chico and the Man.
After play resumed in mid-November with game 10, the Vikings played to a 5-4 record. They beat Atlanta in the playoffs before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins.
Tommy Kramer was the Purple's quarterback that year. He threw 15 TD passes and 12 interceptions. Ted Brown led the Vikes in rushing (515 yards in 120 attempts) and receiving (31 for 207 yards). Sammy White had 29 receptions for 503 yards as a wide receiver. Defensive tackle Doug Martin led the league with 11.5 sacks.
Minnesota Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1982 and drafted by the Wild in 2001.
Kelly Clarkson, the winner of the first American Idol competition in 2002, was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1982. She came in second to Norwegian singer Kurt Nilsen in the World Idol competition in 2003.
Al Gore III was born in 1982. If memory serves, he is most famous for being arrested for driving a Toyota Prius 100 mph on a California highway. I seem to remember that he was in possession of some unprescribed substances at the time.
Tony Gwynn, Jr. was also born in '82. The son of a San Diego Padres Hall-of-Famer, Junior currently plays center field for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Minnesota Viking defensive end Erasmus James was born in St. Kitts (West Indies) in 1982. He attended high school in Hollywood, Florida before going to the University of Wisconsin.
Also in 1982
EPCOT(Experimental Community of Tomorrow) opened at Disneyworld in Florida.
The Boston Celtics won the NBA championship. The front line was Larry Bird (who made less than $1 million) Robert (The Chief) Parrish, Cedric (Cornbread) Maxwell and a youngster named Kevin McHale.
Italy beat West Germany, 3 games to 1, for its third World Cup (soccer).
The New York Islanders won hockey's Stanley Cup for the third year in a row.
The St Louis Cardinals beat the Brewers 4-3 in the World Series.
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