April 7, 1970
Less than a month after the Twins traded for him, “Boom Boom” Brant Alyea was making a lot of headlines. Alyea tried to downplay the Ted Williams factor, but it was clear that some of his motivation was to prove his former manager wrong. Williams, the first year manager of the Washington Senators in 1969, had been openly critical of Alyea throughout the season. Alyea maintained that he had respect for Williams, but added:
“All I ever said was that I felt I was a better player than Ted thinks I am. I felt I deserved a chance to play. Ted isn’t God when it comes to judging talent.”
Whether revenge was on his mind or not, Alyea impressed his new team with a 4-for-4, 2 HR, 7 RBI performance against the Chicago White Sox. The Twins won the game 12-0, and Calvin Griffith may have thought he found the answer to his team’s troubles against left-handed pitching. Alyea gave Griffith and the Twins ample reason to believe that might be the case with a .415/.473/.774 April.
Unfortunately for both Alyea and the Twins the hot start was just that. He came back down to earth and batted just .259/.335/.468 the rest of the season. After a .177/.282/.241 performance in 1971, the Twins let Alyea go in the Rule V draft. He bounced around the league in 1972 attempting to find the magic that propelled him in April of 1970, but was never able to.