Wayne Terwilliger died at the age of 95; Baseball was his (long) life

    Wayne Terwilliger got his first RBI in professional baseball when he was fired with bases loaded in a 1948 minor league game. This was hardly an auspicious beginning. But he became a baseball “lifter” and was still in uniform in 2010, closing his career at age 85, with a coach hitting fungi in batting practice for minor leggers.

    Tervilleer died Wednesday at 95 in a hospice in Weatherford, Texas, near Dallas. His death was confirmed by the St. Paul Saints, who belonged to a minor league in the Minnesota Twins. He He was a manager and coach for the Saints when he was an independent team.

    He He was treated for bladder cancer, but the cause of death was not given.

    Terwilliger spent 62 years in Pro Ball. A major league second baseman before becoming a coach and manager, he was dedicated to his craft with the hope that it would ever make him rich.

    Twigg, as he was known in the baseball world, at the age of 80, managed the Fort Worth Cats for the 2005 championship of the Central League, an independent professional circuit. He Five years later there was a coach with the team.

    He Connie did not come close to Mack as baseball’s oldest manager. But Mack, who also managed Philadelphia athletics for 50 years, also owned the team, so he could remain in the dugout until he was fired at the age of 87.

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    Credit …Via Wayne Terwilliger

    Tervillegar played for nine seasons in the major leagues with five teams. On the 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers, he supported second base Jackie Robinson.

    “I hit .240, which I have to say I would get $ 1.5 million these days,” said the 1998 St. Paul Pioneer Press recalling his career batting average. “I should have been a better hitter. I could double play with anyone. But I am getting a break and coaching for all these best work. “

    Terwilliger was a coach under Ted Williams when he managed the second Senators of Washington and its successor, the Texas Rangers, from 1969 to 1972.

    He A second stint with the team in the 1980s was Rangers coach for five seasons, then a coach for the Twins’ manager Tom Kelly, when he received the championship ring in 1987 and 1991, winning the World Series.

    Tervilleer was mostly known to baseball fans, but he made a cameo appearance in popular culture.

    Garrison Keylor described a radio broadcaster for the Minneapolis Millers in his novel, “Lake Wobgon Summer 1956” (2001), stating that the minor league team narrowly missed a home run, then telling the audience, “Now Wayne Terwilliger comes to the plate. “

    “The crowd,” he said, “goes back to sleep.”

    In her memoir “An American Childhood” (1987), Annie Dillard described how her mother became comfortable with the name Terwilliger when a radio broadcaster for a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Giants called “Terwilliger Bunts One.” In the ensuing years, his mother transformed that phrase into a personal joke.

    “Testing a microphone, he repeated ‘Terwilliger bunts one,” Ms. Dillard wrote. “Testing a pen or a typewriter, he wrote.”

    Terwilliger, a self-destructive type, rewrote the Keiler and Dillard vignettes in his 2006 memoir, with Nancy Peterson and Peter Bohm. Its title: “Terwilliger Bunts One.”

    Willard Wayne Terwilliger was born on June 27, 1925, in Clare, Michigan, the son of Ivan and Doris Terwilliger. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Charlotte, Michigan, where his father was a one-time owner. He Served in World War II with the Marines on Siphon, Tinian and Ivo Jima, then played baseball for Western Michigan University and signed with the Chicago Cubs in 1948.

    He Made his Cubs debut in August 1949, then hit .242 in 1950 with 10 home runs and 13 stolen bases.

    In June 1951 Terwilliger was traded to the Dodgers as part of a multiplayer deal. His short victory came a month later, when he got a game-winning pinch hit against the St. Louis Cardinals at Ebetsets Field. He Long cherished a photo that Jackie Robinson greeted her on the field.

    He Later played for the first Washington Senators franchise, Giants and Kansas City Athletics.

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    Credit …associated Press

    After working as a coach at Major, Terwilliger returned as manager and coach to the minors as well as the Cats. He He spent only a year away from baseball in his long career, when he operated his family-owned bar in Michigan in 1974.

    Terwilliger was married to Mary Jane Locke, a son, Steve, and a daughter, Marcy, who ended in divorce. He He had two stepchildren Mike and Kevin from his marriage to his second wife, Linda. The full list of survivors was not immediately available.

    Tervilleer never lost his enthusiasm for baseball.

    Pat Burden wrote in The New York Times in 2001, “With a big head on a small body and a bag under the eyes, he looks like an old Tweety Bird in a baseball uniform.”

    But as Fort Worth Cats fielder Byron Smith told The Associated Press during the team’s 2005 championship season: “Nobody understands him as old until someone says something. He’s excited about being on the field and we have to Encourages young children to come here. “

    That same season, Cats pitcher Logan Stout described The Clarion-Ledger as Jackson, Miss: “. It’s amazing to see him while he’s out there batting practice and hitting molds. We all hope we still Can walk when we turn 80. “

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