1961: Off Day Deals

Thursday June 1, 1961

The Twins made some news despite not playing  when they struck a deal with the Kansas City Althletics. The Twins sent relief pitcher Paul Giel, infielder Reno Bertoia, cash, and a player to be named to the A’s in exchange for Bill Tuttle and a player to be named. Tuttle is a 31-year-old outfielder whose career started with the Detroit Tigers in 1954. He was a below average player – his best year was 1959 with the A’s when he batted .300/.369/.413 with seven home runs. His career OPS+ was in the high 80’s, and the Twins hoped to convert him the third base.

The other deal was a swap with the Milwaukee Braves in which the Twins sent infieder Billy Consolo for infielder Billy Martin. Martin is 33 years old and in the autumn of his career, though Martin claimed he had four or five more years in him. He was used sparingly in Milwaukee, coming to the Twins with only six previous plate appearances on the season. He was expected to be a regular for the Twins.

Martin had to defend his image a bit to the Minnesota media:

“My bad-boy reputation is a misnomer, but once your labeled, they hang everything on you. I never started a fight in my life, but I never backed away from one either. I’m not looking for trouble, but I play aggressively to win and things happen on the ball field.”

The two new Twins will both be in the lineup in tomorrow’s series opener against the Tigers.

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