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Wayne Terwilliger

May 19, 2004

Where is Wayne Terwilliger now? Exactly where you'd expect him to be, where he's always been, in the dugout.

"Twig," as he's known to most, was on the field in 1949, and he's there now, managing the independent Central League Fort Worth Cats, at 79 years of age.

Those 79 years include twelve playing in the majors and 44 coaching and managing, all over the map. Twig has worked in the minors with the Des Moines Cubs, the Los Angeles Angels, the Minneapolis Millers, the Charleston Senators and
the Richmond Virginians, and has compiled a career managerial record of 1113-1012. And counting.

He coached third for the 1987 and 1991 Minnesota Twins championship clubs, was recruited by Ted Williams to work on both his Washington Senators and Texas Rangers staffs, and patrolled the St. Paul Saints third base coach's box from

As a player, Twig was a sure-handed middle infielder from 1949 to 1960, playing for the Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers, Senators, New York Giants and Kansas City

"I was in the dugout counting my money" when Bobby Thomson's 1951 shot spoiled Brooklyn's World Series hopes.

"I sat behind Robinson for the Dodgers. From Campanella all the way around, all of them were All-Star, great players. That was quite an experience to be on that club. It would have been nice to get there as a player but it didn't happen. To finally get to the Series as a coach with Minnesota was great and

Of his own prowess with the bat, Twig talked about bunting and bat control, and said, "Oh, I had a .240 lifetime average in the big leagues, there were a lot of pitchers who were tough. Allie Reynolds, Clem Labine, anybody with a good curveball.

I was with Ted Williams as a coach and he asked me one time, 'what did you look for when you came up to bat,' and I thought, oh bleep, this is the great Ted Williams asking me about hitting, and I said, well, I looked for a fastball
until I had two strikes and he says why, and I said, cause I couldn't hit the breaking ball. And he said 'not a bad idea.'"

"Coaching with Williams, when he came back to the game after ten years to manage the Washington Senators in '69, was a huge thrill. He picked me to coach third base out of the clear blue. I was going to manage Buffalo. You can imagine what a big thing that was for me, for the greatest hitter that ever lived,
to be back in the big leagues as his coach."

Terwilliger still follows the major league game closely and roots for the Twins: "Ron Gardenhire and I are good friends and I pull for him."

And Twig has no thoughts about retiring anytime soon: "No! absolutely not, thanks to some of those other [senior managers] that are doing well, like Jack McKeon. I feel great, I'm in great shape, and I love the game. It's a fascinating game."

And he's working on a book, tentatively titled "Twig Bunts One." Not a bad idea.

Howard Cole



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