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Minnesota Twins Visit World’s Fair

May 19, 1964 - The musclemen of the Minnesota Twins have tumbled blindly into the trap that the Yankees and the Mets are using this year to wear out visiting teams. The Twins spent all day yesterday rubbernecking at the World’s Fair and therefore should be in a considerable state of exhaustion when they make their season debut against the Bombers at Yankee Stadium tonight.

The Twins, however, have been using one labor-saving device this year for conserving their energies. They have been hitting the ball so far that they have been able to jog for their scores instead of run hard for them. The Clout Circus from the Northland has belted 56 homers in 30 games, a rate of production that would bring them the grandiose total of 302 for the season, far beyond the Yankee record of 240.

“Almost everyone in there can pop the ball,” said Harmon Killebrew (pictured) today, “even Zorro Versalles and Bernie Allen. Has there ever been anything more outrageous than our games with Kansas City?”

The answer is a loud NO. These clubs had 11 homers between them in one three-game series and then overdid it with 25 in a four-game series. One was an epic performance. In the 11th inning, Tony Oliva, a wonderful rookie, smashed a home run. Up stepped Allison. He hit a home run. Up stepped Jimmie Hall. He hit a home run. Up stepped Killebrew. He hit a home run. The four straight homers equaled a record.

A year ago, the Twin outfield consisted of Killebrew, Hall, and Allison, with respective homer totals of 45, 33, and 35. But Oliva was such a spring training sensation that he went to the outfield, and Allison shifted to first base. It wasn’t until Monday that the 23-year-old Oliva saw his average drop below .400. He now is at .398.

“The last time I looked at the averages — I’m afraid to look at mine any more — I noticed that Tony had more hits than Willie Mays,” said Killebrew.

“Real good hitter, real strong arm,” said Bob Allison. “He acts as if he expects to get a hit every time he goes to bat.”

“He’s shown so few weaknesses,” said Killebrew, “we’re surprised when he doesn’t.”

“One thing I like about playing first,” said Allison, “is you find out everyone’s problems. All the baserunners talk to you. Only the catcher gets a better chance at conversation — as Yogi Berra would be the first to admit.”

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