My cousin Matt and I had a shared love of baseball growing up. I was the city boy with a backyard and a fence, and Matt lived on the farm with a huge open field with barns and dogs. I always enjoyed visits to the farm during the summer where we could play baseball. We often improvised games that included his dog Freckles as our center fielder. Freckles was an outstanding fielder. We were also big Twins fans, and would share many games with our Grandpa on TV on his porch.
As we grew older, the love of baseball never waivered. Matt was an accomplished high school player, to be sure. We ended up at college together at Winona State University and we shared many memories — many I am sure neither of us would want documented.
One particular memory, though, was my most cherished baseball memory. As lifetime Twins fans we had never seen the Twins in the playoffs, never mind the World Series. It was October 1987 — Game 7 of the World Series — and Matt and I were together at his house on Main Street in Winona.
I will never forget the last out. A ground ball fielded by Gaetti, over to Hrbek for the final out. We embraced and jumped around like little kids. It was like we were back at the farm dreaming about a Twins World Series win.
It was great because I got to share it with Matt. I’ll never forget it.