August 1, 2019

OTD August 1

McCovey played for the Danville Leafs (Danville, VA) of the Carolina League in 1956 at age 18, hitting .310 with 29 HR.

photo: Willie McCovey (left) and Wayne Twitchell

OTD in 1977, two Carolina League alumni were part of MLB history. Future SF Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey extended his then National League record for career grand slams when he hit his 18th off Expos pitcher Wayne Twitchell on August 1, 1977. McCovey played for the Danville Leafs (Danville, VA) of the Carolina League in 1956 at age 18, hitting .310 with 29 HR. Twitchell pitched for two Carolina League teams early in his career, the Asheville Tourists in 1967 and Greensboro Patriots in 1968.

Twitchell was drafted 3rd overall by the Houston Astros in the 1966 MLB Amateur Draft, right after 1) Steve Chilcott by the Mets and 2) Reggie Jackson by the KC Athletics. Twitchell was a fireball pitcher aided by his 6’6″ 215 lb frame. He spent 10 years in the Major Leagues. His best season was in 1973. By the end of June, Wayne had a 6-2 record with a 1.99 ERA in 12 starts. His performance earned him his only MLB All-Star selection. Twitchell finished the ’73 season 13-9 with a 2.50 ERA in 34 games (28 starts).


Box score of McCovey’s then record setting game: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MON/MON197708010.shtml

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