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Monday, March 05, 2012

Don Mincher, long-time baseball figure, dies at 73

Lonely teardrops. RIP Don Mincher...

Don Mincher, the gentlemanly figure synonymous with Huntsville baseball for a half-century, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 73.

Crowned in 2010 as “King of Baseball,” the highest honor in Minor League Baseball, he was unique in baseball history in the various roles he held, from player to team owner to league president.

“I’m proud of my career,” he once said, “but I’d like to be recognized not only for what I did as a player, but doing other things in the game.”

Mincher, a 12-year major league veteran and two-time American League All-Star, would ultimately become the face of the Huntsville Stars’ franchise as general manager, broadcaster and owner.

From the spring of 2000 until last October, he served as president of the Southern League. Upon his retirement, the league named him President-Emeritus.

Repoz Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:03 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, athletics, mariners, minor leagues, nationals, obituaries, rangers, twins

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   1. TerpNats Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:11 AM (#4074002)
The last member of the (expansion) Washington Senators to hit a grand slam. He played for both versions of the team, as did Camilo Pascual, the last member of the original Senators to hit a grand slam.
   2. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:19 AM (#4074009)
pretty fair country ballplayer
   3. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4074015)
Never saw him catch a cab.
   4. Mike Emeigh Posted: March 05, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4074034)
Apropos of nothing:

When I was a kid, I used to play All-Star Baseball (the Etahn Allen spinner game) with a neighborhood friend. He had a cousin named Don Minch - so naturally the captain of his team was Don Mincher, except that he blacked out the "er" at the end of his name on the disk. I honestly don't remember how Minch(er) did overall, but my recollection is that he had more than his share of clutch hits in our games.

I probably should get this and check it out.

-- MWE
   5. Charlie O Posted: March 05, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4074096)
I saw Don Mincher and Harmon Killebrew together for the Rickwood Classic in 2010. It's sad to know both of them are gone.
   6. Morty Causa Posted: March 05, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4074150)
Last year around this time it was Goose Goosen. This year it's Mincher. I wander how many Seattle Pilot players are still alive. I know when Bouton goes (if he goes before me), it'll hit really hard.
   7. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 05, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4074190)
Don was the first player I interviewed for Baseball's Last Dynasty. A really nice guy and a smart man who ran the Hunstsville franchise before becoming president of the Southern League.

His last hit was a big one, a pinch-hit single that helped the A's win one of the games, I believe it was Game Four, in the 1972 World Series. I was surprised that he didn't find work in '73, what with the DH coming in, but a clutch pinch-hit in the Series is a good way to go out.
   8. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 05, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4074195)
Damn. In the first MLB game I ever attended, Don Mincher hit a walk-off home run to win the game for the Seattle Pilots. A moment I'll never, ever, forget...
   9. Benji Posted: March 05, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4074475)
I always loved the story of Mincher picking up the courtesy phone and blasting Wayne Comer.
   10. Dag Nabbit at Posted: March 05, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4074525)
One of five future All-Stars traded away by the White Sox in the 1959-60 offseason. RIP.
   11. Jose Canusee Posted: March 05, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4074671)
I walked into the Stars' office before a game once and spoke to him and got him to autograph my hat. Didn't see any mementos of his MLB days, I imagine he was all about the present team and league. He saw one of his players had already signed it and said "that one's a keeper". The player was Eric Chavez. A few other players without fame and manager Jeffrey Leonard signed it after the game.
   12. Bruce Markusen Posted: March 06, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4074785)
Among the more prominent Seattle Pilots, Mincher, Ray Oyler, Greg Goossen, Jim Pagliaroni, Steve Barber, Gene Brabender, and George Brunet have all passed away.

Still with us are such players as Tommy Davis, Tommy Harper, Wayne Comer, Steve Hovley, Diego Segui, Mike Marshall, and, of course, Jim Bouton.
   13. Jay Z Posted: March 06, 2012 at 01:29 AM (#4074793)
Last year around this time it was Goose Goosen. This year it's Mincher. I wander how many Seattle Pilot players are still alive. I know when Bouton goes (if he goes before me), it'll hit really hard.

I know for me it would hit harder if I went before Bouton.
   14. Morty Causa Posted: March 06, 2012 at 01:48 AM (#4074796)
Thanks. And, to put it in the words of John Crowe Ransom, long may those still living bloom, and toughly I hope they may thole.

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