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Goltz became Twins mainstay in 1973 [UPDATED]

Published 4:23am Monday, June 24, 2013 Updated 6:25am Monday, June 24, 2013

Rothsay native and Minnesota Twins pitcher Dave Goltz watched batting practice on a warm and sunny day at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington on Sunday, June 24, 1973.

After 16 relief appearances, Goltz contemplated his first start of the season, in the second game of a doubleheader against the California Angels.

Goltz, who celebrated his 24th birthday the previous day, was more than pleased to receive the starting assignment by Twins Manager Frank Quilici, who at 34 was the youngest manager in the major leagues.

The 6-foot, 4-inch righthander had paid his dues. In 1972 his teammates voted Goltz as the Twins outstanding rookie.

He joined the Twins at mid-season and went on to compile a 3-3 record and 2.67 Earned Run Average (ERA) in 91 innings.

Goltz signed with the Twins shortly after graduating from Rothsay High School in 1967. He currently lives in Fergus Falls and has lots of baseball memories, including that starting nod at the old Met 40 years ago.

Back then Goltz played with future Hall of Famers Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew and Bert Blyleven. Also with the Twins were Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, Larry Hisle and rookie pitching sensation Eddie Bane.

Goltz didn’t disappoint fans at Met Stadium on that warm summer day in late June of 1973. He pitched six and two-thirds innings of shutout baseball in the second game of the doubleheader. Pitcher Clyde Wright of California shut the Twins down in a 3-0 victory.

Goltz finished the season with a 6-4 record. Four years later, in 1977, Goltz won 20 games for the Twins and compiled a sparkling 3.36 ERA.

During my junior college days I wrote about Goltz who was then a Twins minor league player.

One summer evening, in 1968, I drove to St. Cloud to see Goltz pitch for the St. Cloud Rox of the old Northern League. That year he posted a 10-3 record with 122 strikeouts and a 1.61 ERA in 123 innings pitched.

Goltz pitched a Carolina League no-hitter for Lynchburg in 1971 and compiled a total minor league record of 28-18 before joining the Twins in 1972.

He was a member of the 1981 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Goltz finished his career with the California Angels in 1983.

By the way, I still have the clipping of that game at the Old Met in 1973. I took the photo of Goltz watching batting practice from in front of the Twins dugout prior to the doubleheader.

 

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On a negative note from 1973, my friend and fellow Fergus High classmate Bob Luther reminded me the other day that Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned 40 years ago.

During his fifth year as Vice President, late in the summer of 1973, Agnew was investigated by the United States Attorney’s office for the District of Maryland on charges of extortion, tax fraud, bribery and conspiracy.

In October 1973, as noted on Internet historical sites, Agnew was charged with accepting bribes while holding office as Baltimore County Executive, Governor of Maryland and Vice President of the United States.

On Oct. 10, 1973, Agnew was allowed to plead no contest to a single charge that he failed to report income received in 1967, with the condition that he resign the office of Vice President. Nixon replaced him by appointing then House Minority Leader Gerald Ford to the office of Vice President.

Agnew is the only Vice President in United States history to resign because of criminal charges. Ten years after leaving office, in January 1983, Agnew paid the state of Maryland nearly $270,000 as a result of a civil suit that stemmed from the bribery allegations.

Agnew is remembered as a stern critic of Vietnam War protesters. He also challenged the American news media on many occasions. He referred to his critics as “nattering nabobs of negativism.”

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