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Don Mincher: 1938-2012

Mar 5, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

don mincher

Don Mincher, who played 13 seasons in the majors and made a pair of All-Star teams as a slugging first baseman, passed away last night at age 73 in Alabama.

Mincher served as president of the Double-A Southern League until retiring last year due to health problems and was previously general manager of the league’s Huntsville team.

Signed by the White Sox in 1956, he was traded to the Senators (who later became the Twins) along with Earl Battey for Roy Sievers in 1960. Six years later the Twins traded Mincher to the Angels in a deal for Dean Chance and a couple years after that the Seattle Pilots snagged him in the expansion draft.

Mincher’s raw numbers (200 homers, .798 OPS) don’t look spectacular by today’s standards because he spent most of his career in the extremely low-scoring 1960s, but he produced an adjusted OPS+ of 127 in 4,725 plate appearances. To put that in some context, Don Mattingly had a 127 OPS+ in 7,722 plate appearances.

  1. philsbirdsflyers - Mar 5, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    R.I.P., Bill O’Reilly Sr.

  2. antelope850 - Mar 5, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    And a key character in Jim Bouton’s Ball Four.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      I thought I knew that name! It’s all coming back. Rest in peace, Mr. Mincher. Another great ballplayer lost.

  3. Old Gator - Mar 5, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Mincher was an important part of those powerhouse Minnesota lineups that had the misfortune to compete in the AL with the Borg in the 1960s. Sorry to see him go. Thanks for the memories, Don.

  4. stublues33 - Mar 5, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Don came back to the Senators in ’71, their last season in Washington. After batting practice before the final Senators game (9/30/71 vs NYY) he brought a bag of balls and a fungo bat to the outfield and hit ball after ball into the upper deck. One of those balls sits on my desk as I write this. Thanks Don.

    Stuart

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