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You Look Like You Could Use Some Baseball: The Story of an Original Texas Ranger

Before we go any further, click

here

. You'll find a picture taken on May 29, 1972, in Arlington, during a Texas Rangers-Oakland Athletics game at what had only months before been Turnpike Stadium. The photo features then-Rangers skipper Ted Williams arguing with home-plate ump Jim Odom over a strike-out call. Also in the picture, at right, is Rangers first baseman Don Mincher. He looks far more furious than the stoic Splendid Splinter. It's a terrific photo.

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In this morning's New York Times, Mincher -- who would only play 61 games for the Rangers during the team's first season in Arlington, 1972 -- reflects upon his brief tenure with Teddy Ball Game in Texas. He says of Williams:

"He was the most personable guy I ever met. He wasn't that great a manager, because he didn't really care about defense. And he just couldn't figure out why everybody couldn't hit .340. It was beyond his imagination that not anybody could pick up a bat and hit .340. He just couldn't stand it."

As for the reason Mincher is profiled in this morning's Times -- he played for the original Minnesota Twins and the original Texas Rangers, two franchises sifted from the ashes of the never-say-die Washington Senators (and both in the postseason together for the first time). Says Mincher, a 200-home-run-hitter now 72 and living in his native Huntsville, Alabama, "I'm the answer to a trivia question."

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