The National Pastime

Focusing on baseball in Minnesota.

  • Twin Cities Ballparks of the 20th Century and Beyond By Stew Thornley

    Early baseball teams in Minneapolis and St. Paul played in a number of hastily built and short-lived ballparks before settling on a pair that each lasted 60 years, longer than any other park or field used for professional baseball in the Twin Cities. 

  • The Legacy of Twins Legends: Killebrew, Carew, Puckett, Mauer By Charlie Beattie

    Since the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota in 1961, the team has boasted many stars, including several of the greatest players in the game. Minnesotans have embraced these players differently, highlighting the changing nature of our complicated relationship with our sports heroes.

  • Top 50 Players in Minnesota Twins History By Aaron Gleeman

    When the Senators moved from Washington to Minnesota in 1961 the roster that became the Twins included an incredible combination of young, established stars and MLB-ready prospects. Remarkably, the Twins have continued to consistently stock the roster with star players ever since.

  • A Surprising Disappointment: The Minnesota Twins of the Late 1960s By Daniel R. Levitt

    After a heartbreaking loss in Game 7 of the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1965, there was every reason to believe the Minnesota Twins would return to the World Series soon. But it took the Twins two decades to win another pennant. Why did the Twins, who showed so much promise in 1965, fail to capture another flag?

  • Felled By the Impossible: The 1967 Minnesota Twins By Mark Armour

    After a World Series appearance in 1965 and finishing second to the Balitmore Orioles in 1966, there were many reasons to believe the Minnesota Twins had a good shot at the American League pennant in 1967. Decades later, this remains one of baseball greatest and most historic pennant races.

  • Ted Williams' Year in Minneapolis By Bill Nowlin

    This article provides an indepth look at Ted Williams and his year spent in Minneapolis.

  • The Minnesota Twins Story By John Bonnes

    A chronological account of the Minnesota Twins' history as a franchise from their opening year in 1961 to their 2011 campaign in the newly built Target Field.

  • Two African American Pioneers Cross Paths: Roy Campanella and Carl Rowan By Joel Rippel

    Roy Campanella became the first African-American player in the American Association in 1948 by joining the St. Paul Saints. At the same time in Minnesota, Carl Rowan was getting his start as a journalist. This is a detailed description of how Campanella and Rowan's career paths crossed.

  • The St. Paul-New York Underground Railroad By Steve Steinberg

    On January 1, 1925, local newspapers announced that the St. Paul Saints of the American Association had been sold to Bob Connery, longtime New York Yankees scout. This started a close relationship between the two teams which included a regular shuttle of players between the Saints and Yankees. What was not known at the time was that Yankees manager Miller Huggins was a part-owner of the Saints, as well. How much did the two teams benefit from this relationship?

  • The Saints-Millers Holiday Series By Joe O'Connell

    By the mid-1870s, both Minneapolis and St. Paul had professional teams on an on-again, off-again basis. A rivalry formed between these cities' teams not only because of the proximity, but also because of their ties to the Giants and Dodgers at the major league level. This article takes a look at the Minnesota rivalry and the twinbills played on holidays.

  • Baseball’s Twin Towers in the Twin Cities: The Minneapolis Millers and the St. Paul Saints in the American Association, 1902–1960 By Rex Hamann

    The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul became part of the newly formed American Association in November of 1901. The rivalry budded between these two teams shortly after and would continue for years later. This article takes a look at that rivalry and the history of each city's team.

  • Perry Werden’s Record-Setting 1895 Season and the 1890s Minneapolis Millers By Joel Rippel

    After years of professional baseball coming and going, Ban Johnson, a former Cincinnati sportswriter and the league’s new president, stabilized the baseball in Minnesota, while “Peach Pie Perry” lead the 1895 Minneapolis Millers to a huge season.

  • Rube and His Bears: A Short History of the Virginia Ore Diggers and the Team’s Time in the Northern League By Rich Arpi

    The Virginia Ore Diggers are the only franchise in Organized Baseball that ever called Northern Minnesota's Mesabi Iron Range home.

  • Professional Base Ball Debuts in Minnesota: The St. Paul Red Caps, Minneapolis Brown Stockings, And Winona Clippers Of 1875–1877 By Rich Arpi

    Base ball clubs from various Minnesota cities began playing match games with each other in the mid-1860s. The first games were rather cordial events between clubs of gentlemen; within a few years they became spirited games for the silver ball, awarded to the base ball champions of Minnesota.

  • The Rise of Baseball in Minnesota By Cecil O. Monroe

    Excerpts from Cecil O. Monroe's "The Rise of Baseball," detailing the events between 1857 through 1870 that shaped baseball in Minnesota.

  • Calvin Griffith: The Ups and Downs of the last Family-Owned Baseball Team By Kevin Hennessy

    When Calvin Griffith sold the Minnesota Twins in 1984, he bowed out of baseball as the last of the family owners whose franchise represented their principal business and source of wealth.

  • A Saint and a Miller By Doug Ernst

    A fictional tale about a personal rivalry between a Minneapolis player and a St. Paul player in the late 19th century.

  • John Donaldson and Black Baseball in Minnesota By Steven R. Hoffbeck and Peter Gorton

    For sixty years, professional baseball was as segregated as the Deep South. However, instead of accepting segregation as a grim reality, young black baseball players of Minnesota resolved to integrate the sport, one baseball diamond at a time.

  • Play Ball: Minnesota Baseball Litigation Lore By Marshall H. Tanick

    Baseball has been a recurring subject in the courtrooms of the state of Minnesota. Minnesota jurisprudence has addressed issues relating to the national pastime with cases ranging from injuries to Little Leaguers and spectators to the travails of major league owners, stadiums, teams, and players. Here’s a look at some of the more notable cases that have contributed to the litigation lore of baseball in Minnesota.

  • Small College Baseball in Minnesota By Doug Skipper

    Some of the finest small college baseball in the country is played in the Upper Midwest. Here’s a look at the conferences which are home to college programs in Minnesota. 

  • University of Minnesota Baseball By Doug Skipper

    In a sport now dominated by teams from sunnier climates, the University of Minnesota baseball program has had a considerable amount of success over the years. The Golden Gophers have won three College World Series Championships, 22 Big Ten Conference championships, and have had 30 players go on to play in the major leagues.

  • A Perfect Right to Play: Billy Williams, Dick Brookins, and the Color Line By Todd Peterson

    In the relatively progressive state of Minnesota, African Americans were still able to participate on integrated amateur and semi-professional ball teams. Two men in paticular, slugger Billy Williams and crack infielder Dick Brookins, figured prominently on the Midwestern diamonds of the early twentieth century, although their experiences with the color line took radically different turns.

  • Dames in the Dirt: Woman's Baseball Before 1945 By Anne Aronson

    Despite the fact that the great American pastime has been almost exclusively identified as a male sport, women have played baseball in Minnesota for over 100 years. This article focuses on women’s baseball in Minnesota from the 1890s through World War II.

  • How (Not) to Build a Ballpark: The 1884 Minneapolis Grounds By Chris Kimball and Kristin Anderson

    This article illustrates the problems that existed in the 1884 Minneapolis Grounds, covering the social tensions that arose to legal difficulties that were created by the ballpark.

  • May 17, 2011: A Strong Man Dies By Francis Kinlaw

    A poetic tribute to the late Harmon Killebrew.

  • SABR Collector Finds Mays Jersey By Stew Thornley

    Bob Evans, a longtime SABR member and avid baseball collector, once bought a jersey with many unknown details for $50. After much research, he discovered that it may have belonged to one of baseball's all-time greats.

  • Download the PDF By SABR

    Read the 2012 TNP on your computer or e-reader!

  • Introduction By Daniel R. Levitt

    An introduction by "The National Pastime" editor Daniel R. Levitt.

  • Forward By Greg Olson

    A forward by Minnesota native and former All-Star catcher Greg Olson.

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