So, um, How’s That Arm?

“I hate that guy. Rad would get
you 0-for-4 and you’d go home wondering, ‘How did he do it?’ That’s the
type of guy he was. He was one of the best pitchers they had in a long
time.”  -Ozzie Guillen

  • Twins induct Brad Radke into franchise Hall of Fame

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Radke was honored
in a pregame ceremony before Saturday’s loss to the White Sox, and that
turned out to be the only thing worth watching in that game (well,
maybe Joe Crede’s two homers).  I’ve written a piece about Radke here, and I think this is the perfect time to post this commercial he did for SEGA “World Series Baseball” way back in the day:

Radke has always been a fan favorite, and it’s really no wonder
why.  Besides being a consummate professional and (as far as we know)
decent human being, he gave us something to cheer for during the lean
years when there wasn’t much to look forward to.  To be honest, he was
really the only decent starter on the staff for about half of his
career, and though his career numbers certainly aren’t good enough to get him into Cooperstown, they sure look good compared to Frankie Rodriguez

Fans probably love Radke the most, though, because he turned down
more lucrative offers from other teams to remain in Minnesota.  He had
never been particularly overpowering, and he certainly wasn’t a
dominant pitcher by any stretch of the imagination, but his ability to
rack up strikeouts and eat innings was valuable enough that he could
have gotten a better deal elsewhere.  The era of free agency was just
hitting its peak, and pretty much everyone was eager to cash in.  Not
Radke, though.  He opted to re-sign with the Twins simply because he
liked it here.  He liked the organization, his family loved the area,
but he also wanted to see the team through its rebuilding process. 
After years and years of being one of the worst teams in baseball, the
Twins had finally started to put together a decent team, culminating in
a string of four playoff appearances from 2002-2006.  Unfortunately,
his arm started to give out during the 2006 season, and he decided to
retire rather than have surgery and try to keep his career (and chances
of winning a World Series) alive. 

  • The late George Brophy was inducted, as well

Brophy is often overlooked by fans, since his job as the director of
scouting and minor-league operations was mostly behind-the-scenes, but
he did play an important part in building the 1987 World Series-winning
team.  Patrick Reusse wrote a very good article (as well as this one
from 1998) about former farm director last week, detailing the conflict
within the organization at the time and his thankless task of trying to
build a championship-caliber team on a shoestring budget (seriously,
then-owner Calvin Griffith made the Pohlads look like the
Steinbrenners).  Obviously he played a key role in drafting and
developing players like Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett, but he made a
number of other moves that would help shape the 1987 team.  He was the
one who insisted that the Yankees throw in Greg Gagne as part of the
Roy Smalley trade, and demanded the Angels throw in Tom Brunansky as
part of the Rob Wilfong-Doug Corbett deal.  He also found guys like Larry Hisle, Bobby Darwin, and Doug Corbett (who, like I said, was instrumental in bringing Brunansky to the Twins).  Brophy
was one of the original members of the Twins’ front office when he was
hired in 1961.  He was later fired by then-team president Howard Fox in
1985 (the two never did get along), and he served as a scouting
assistant for the Astros before his ill health forced him to retire in
1996.  Sadly, he passed away in 1998.

10 Comments

One of the first bobbleheads I ever got was of Brad Radke. More because of the Florida ties to him.
I always feared a start by him against the Rays.
He has been a class act as a player, which might be his greatest honor.
Glad to see a former great Twins pitcher get the recognition of the franchise by honoring him like that.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Brad Radke was my favorite player on backyard baseball, he always had a big head though lol. Great post and he deserves to be awarded like that. please comment!
http://balorioles.mlblogs.com/

Okay – I feel old; “way back in the day….” sigh I played on a Sega……

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Similar to Halladay. Radke was a very decent player during some down years Minnesota. A shiney diamond in a pile of garbage.

http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com

Man, I didn’t realize Radke had been gone long enough to be put into a HOF. I think Eric Milton is barely hanging on right now. I guess those guys are getting old, huh?
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com

Radke was a great pitcher. As a White Sox fan I was always pissed when he pitched against the Sox. Also, I referenced your blog in mine (a small tribute). I like your blog and I hope you’ll check out mine. Enjoy the All-Star game and the rest of the season.

http://giftofgod80.mlblogs.com/

Radke was a great pitcher. As a White Sox fan he always frustrated me I must say. Also, I referenced your blog in mine (a small tribute). I enjoy your blog and I hope you’ll check out mine. Enjoy the All-Star game and the rest of the season.
http://giftofgod80.mlblogs.com/

I remember Radke very well. Every time the Yankees had to face him, I’d say, “Gee, we should get to him. He doesn’t look that overpowering.” And every time he’d beat us (or at least that’s how I remember it). A real pro in the best sense of the word.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Radke was always a class act and a classy guy.
-Dillon
http://dillonm.mlblogs.com

Rays,You have a Radke bobblehead? Was that before or after Tampa Bay had its own team (I forget)? I just think it would be a little strange if a team handed out bobbleheads for an opposing player, even if he were from that area. Julia,Me, too. I never was a huge gamer, but I liked the Sonic the Hedgehog games. Kids these days don’t know how good they have it, what with their 1089p HD graphics and all. We had 16-bit and we liked it, dammit!Jeremy,Well, yes, Bradke was similar to Doc in that respect. They were pretty much the lone bright spot on some pretty crappy teams. Although, even the worst Blue Jays teams this decade are better than the best Twins teams of that dark era. Raysfanboy,I can’t believe Milton is still in the major leagues. He wasn’t pitching too badly for the Dodgers either, until he got hurt. The Twins probably aren’t going to induct him into the HOF, though.lilmatt,Thanks, I’ll be sure to check it out :)Jane,I think the Yankees were actually one of the few teams that had quite a bit of success against him. Although, that was when they were in the midst of their four-World-Championships-in-four-years run, so I guess they kind of steamrolled over everybody.Dillon,Yep, that’s why we loved him. Plus, he was an iron man. He pitched his final season with a broken shoulder for half of the year, on top of the torn labrum he suffered since the start of the season. It was really because of him that the Twins made the playoffs that year, since he stepped up when Francisco Liriano went down with an elbow injury in August.

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