ed. given the news that Don Mincher passed away this week, I thought it would be appropriate to compile some of the things I have written about him in previous posts.
Here’s my take on the trade that brought Mincher to Washington/Minnesota.
1962: 1B Don Mincher .240/.406/.488 9 HR 0.5 BFW 6 WS 1 FRAR 1.3 WARP3
Mincher was set to start at first base out of spring training, but neither Griffith nor Mele were comfortable with the 24-year-old playing every day, prompting the trade for Vic Power. Still, Mincher showed glimpses of power in his brief playing time in 1962, and would get more playing time a year later.
1963: 1B Don Mincher .258/.351/.520 17 HR 0.5 BFW 10 WS 1 FRAR 2.3 WARP3
Mele didn’t tend to use his reserves very often, but the fact that Mincher showed so much power in such little playing time meant that he was sure to get at-bats off of the Twins’ bench.
1964: 1B/OF Bob Allison .287/.404/.553 32 HR 4.5 BFW 25 WS 12 FRAR 8.4 WARP3
1B Don Mincher .237/.300/.547 23 HR 0.6 BFW 8 WS 3 FRAR 2.4 WARP3
To make room for Tony Oliva, Bob Allison was moved to first base for the 1964 season. He spent a good part of the early portion of the season adjusting to his new position, but you wouldn’t know it from his hitting stats. Allison had his best major league season at the plate, and was named the starting All Star first baseman after playing just 75 games at that position. Allison’s time as the regular first baseman was short lived. After the season, Calvin Griffith announced that he would be moving back to left field for 1965. Mincher continued to hit for power as a backup to Allison and pinch hitter.
1965: 1B Don Mincher .251/.344/.509 22 HR 0.4 BFW 17 WS 0 FRAR 2.9 WARP3
Mincher had begun to show signs of frustration in the spring of 1965, and started to make noise about wanting to be traded. With Killebrew and Allison both able to play first base, it didn’t seem as there would be any room for Mincher to play as a regular. Still, Mincher maintained a positive attitude and was willing to work in both the outfield and at third base if it would help the team. As it turned out, his number was called at his most comfortable position when Killebrew lost most of the second half of the season due to injury. Mincher responded to the regular playing time with the best season of his career so far. The biggest compliment he might have received, however, came from Killebrew before the injury. Harmon suggested to Mele that perhaps he should play another position to get Mincher in the lineup more. Sure enough, Killebrew started to show up at third base when the team faced right handed pitchers, and when he returned for the last few weeks of the season he was installed there regularly so Mincher could remain at first base for the World Series.
1966: 1B Don Mincher .251/.340/.418 14 HR 0.4 BFW 14 WS 8 FRAR 3.3 WARP3
After falling off from his numbers of the previous several seasons, Mincher was traded to the California Angels. Mincher bounced around the majors from 1967 to 1972, even posting a career best season with the Angels in 1967. He finished his 13-year major league career with 200 home runs.