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Monday, March 11, 2013

Twins’ Brunansky can’t walk away from baseball

Grocery store blues: Bruno mars career by being minor league thief.


It was a perfect fit. Bill Springman, Twins minor league hitting instructor, played with Brunansky from 1978 to ’80 in the Angels farm system, and the two have remained close.

The former minor league teammates revel in tales from their youth. In 1978, when the two were at Idaho Falls, Springman and some other roommates were hungry and out of money. They sent Brunansky to a local grocery store wearing a large coat. They stuffed the coat with food as Brunansky walked the aisles.

“He was packed like a mule,” Springman says. “He went up to the counter and bought a stick of gum.”

Springman and Brunansky say they all returned to the store and paid the bill once they received their checks from the Angels. That’s their story, and they’re sticking to it.

...Brunansky has been successful in a Twins uniform before, being selected as an All-Star and helping them win a World Series, and manager Ron Gardenhire believes that being in that uniform once again will do wonders for a Twins team expecting a lot from its offense in 2013.

“There was never a doubt about his ability to teach,” Gardenhire says. “He loves the game, always loved the game. Loved talking about the game. Players that love talking baseball, staying around after games, he was one of them. Those are guys that are good teachers because they love to talk baseball and they think about the game. It is easy to see why he is successful.”

Repoz Posted: March 11, 2013 at 05:35 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, twins

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   1. RMc is Fairly Irrefutable Posted: March 11, 2013 at 08:08 AM (#4386071)
I've always referred to Brunansky as "Comrade Nubowsky" ever since a Bill James article about him, and the fact that names were hard to hear over the echoing Metrodome sound system.
   2. DL from MN Posted: March 11, 2013 at 09:45 AM (#4386151)
Tom Brunansky hit a home run in the first major league game I saw in person.
   3. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: March 11, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4386181)
I was hoping I'd somehow missed that Tom Brunansky had been showing up at spring training for the last 20 years trying to win a roster spot.
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 11, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4386281)
he entered his decline phase about 16 games into his MLB career
   5. Mark Armour Posted: March 11, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4386295)
The players I have seen hit three home runs in a game (in person): Tom Brunansky, Todd Helton, Jim Thome.
   6. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 11, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4386297)
Never got back to where he was at age 21. But he had a good career - played good defense, would take a walk, could hit for power.

I think of him first as a Twin, but I will always remember his sliding catch for the Red Sox in the RF corner near the Pesky pole to clinch the division in 1990, where he disappeared from Sean McDonough's view, causing McDonough to delay his call: "Long fly ball into the corner and... BRUNANSKY!!! Did... HE....... MADE the sliding catch in the corner!!! And the Red Sox are champions of the American League East in 1990!!!!!"

Of course, that was back when division titles meant something, something we have been robbed of in favor of the hideous format that is in effect now.
   7. Mark Armour Posted: March 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4386306)
I was sitting in the center field bleachers for Brunansky's catch. I had a better angle than McDonough, but I was still 300 feet away, and after he slid he got up and ran back to get his hat. Since we did not know he had the ball, the move induced some panic.

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