Simply Baseball Notebook straight from the source Summer 2001

TALKIN' WITH 'THE TWIG'

twig.jpg
"Twig" back in his playing days.

Saint Paul Saints First Base Coach Wayne Terwilliger has been involved with the game of baseball most of his life. He was a 2B in the big leagues from 1949-1960 playing with the Chicago Cubs (49-51), the St Louis Browns (51), Washington Senators (53-54), New York Giants (55-56), & Kansas City Athletics (59-60). He has become a fan favorite in Minnesota since his days as the 1B coach of the Twins, which included the two world championships (87 & 91).

'Twig' is now 76 years old & shows no signs of slowing down. I caught up with him in the parking lot at Midway Stadium before a game while he was making his routine trip to chat with fans who had gathered to tailgate. During our chat we dicussed a variety of topics, including his former team, the Twins & his future in the game.

Terwilliger's current team, the St. Paul Saints of the independent Northern League (comparable to that of the high 'A' leagues in minor league baseball), are currently in the midst of a losing season "We are trying like heck to get out of this current streak of loses we are in," he says. "The guys are playing hard, we just aren't getting the big base hits - that's the biggest thing - the pitching hasn't been that bad."

'Twig' says he still tracks his former team, the crosstown Twins, mostly through the newspapers & that he still stays in touch with Minnesota legend Kirby Puckett. He attended the Twin's 10 year reunion of their '91 world championship in June and had 'a great time'. 'Twig' was impressed by how well the Twins organization handled the event & sees the Saint's influence on the Twins, pacticularly in the area of fan catering.

The 2001 version of the Twins have impressed Terwilliger - particularly, their starting pitching. He feels the Twins will win the AL Central & with a top three like Radke, Milton, & Mays, have a legitimate chance in the postseason.

Rarely does a day go by that Terwilliger doesn't get asked about his future in the game of baseball.
"I don't really set a timeline," he said "I thought (2000) was going to be my last year, but I felt good & they asked me back - i said 'heck yes'. With season going so lousy right now - I'd hate to finish on this kind of note."

'Twig' loves the atmosphere that surrounds Midway Stadium - the sights, sounds, & smells of the tailgaters. "I walk around almost every day, I meet people of all different ages & hey, it smells alot better out here than it does in the locker room."

While we were talking a group of people began to form -waiting for their chance to chat with the 'Twig'. The group included men, women, and children - some of whom he had met several times & others waiting to introduce themselves. It was now time for Wayne Terwilliger to make his rounds - to share his love of the game with others.

-David Zingler

Terwilliger's page @ Baseball-Almanac.com

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