Skip to main content
Publish date:

Twins Daily: Twins flashback: Gladden puts on a show in 1988 Home Opener

Twins Daily with a great flashback to the opener after the 1987 World Series title.
Screen Shot 2020-04-09 at 10.08.32 AM

Over 53,000 fans packed Metrodome on a Friday night to welcome, for the first time in Minnesota’s history, their very own World Series champions. Left fielder Dan Gladden put on a career game, helping the Twins to get their first win of the season, beating the Blue Jays 6-3.

Twins 6, Toronto 3 Box Score
Blyleven: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Home Runs: Gladden (2), Gaetti (1)
Multi-hit games: Gladden (4-for-5, 2 HR, 2B), Brunansky (2-for-4), Lombardozzi (2-for-3, 2B, 3B)
Top 3 WPA: Gladden .295, Gaetti .169, Lombardozzi .129

Fans were still going through ‘Twins Fever’ on that Friday night, as never before had they had world champs to cheer on. It was the home opener of the ring-ceremony series against the Blue Jays and no one wanted to miss that. Not even a frustrating 0-2 start of the season after a series in New York against the Yankees could ruin the party at Metrodome for Twins fans.

The previous year, Dan Gladden didn’t have the most impressive debut regular season in a Twins uniform, but he was one of the great contributors to the Twins’ World Series run. He smashed a grand slam in game one, putting the game out of the Cardinals’ reach. So, he was definitely on his way to becoming a fan favorite. Also, on the previous game, he had his third career four-hit game, in the 5-3 loss against the Yankees, showing early signs of what would become his career year.

After a quick 1-2-3 top of the first from Bert Blyleven, Gladden wasted no time and hit a leadoff home run deep to left on the third pitch he saw, making it 1-0 Twins. Blue Jays starter Dave Stieb couldn’t find his stuff and after allowing two runners to reach base in the bottom of the second, it was time to face Gladden again and things didn’t go his way. The Twins outfielder hit a ground ball to the gap and scored Tom Brunansky, doubling the Twins lead.

Toronto went on to tie the game in the sixth, only to see Gary Gaetti break the tie in the same inning with a leadoff home run in the bottom. Minnesota put on a couple more runs in the seventh. Stieb was taken off the game after giving up a leadoff triple to Steve Lombardozzi. Reliever Mark Eichhorn's first batter faced was no one but Gladden himself, who doubled to bring in another run.

Toronto made another pitching change after two quick outs, which, however, didn’t stop Gladden from advancing to third on a bunt. With reliever David Wells on the mound and Kent Hrbek batting, Gladden did the unthinkable: before Wells’ third pitch, he moved up and stole home for the very first time in his career, making it 5-2 Twins.

"We worked on it in spring training, and it was the perfect situation," Gladden told Star Tribune staff writer Dennis Brackin after the game. "Two outs, left-handed hitter, left-handed pitcher."
To top it all off, there was still time for Gladden to come back and homer off the same Wells in the eighth, scoring the Twins’ final run of the night. That was only the first time in his career that he had a multi-HR game, including postseasons. It was also the only game of his career in which he had at least four hits, four runs batted in and multiple homers.

You can check highlights of that game, as well as a detailed overview of the 1988 season, on this video:

Minnesota was off to a bad start, going 4-11 in their first 15 games, but eventually things picked up and they went on to have their best record in 18 years, finishing the year with a 91-71 record, the third best in the majors. They didn’t make the playoffs, as Oakland won the AL West with a 104-58 record, on their way to a World Series appearance.

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email

This story first appeared at Twins Daily and was re-shared through a collaboration with Bring Me The News

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Post Bucks win, KAT says “I play with f****** passion”

Towns was asked how he controls his emotions on the court.

D'Angelo Russell

Wolves rebound with statement win against Bucks

D'Angelo Russell and the Timberwolves bounced back with a win over the defending champs.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 7.08.20 PM

Train carrying ethanol derails in southern Minnesota

The State Fire Marshal has sent in experts to help with the situation.

ambulance

Motorcyclist dies a month after striking deer in Minnesota

The crash happened north of Mankato near the small town of Norseland.

fire pixabay stock

House explosion kills 1, severely injures another

Authorities described the home as "completely destroyed."

Kotyza-Witthuhn screengrab

Watch: MN lawmaker 'attacked' by giggling child during live hearing

This has to be the most adorable moment ever from a Commerce Finance and Policy Committee hearing, right?

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin leaving WCCO Radio for bigger role with Big Ten Network

Martin has been a staple at WCCO Radio since Election Day 2016.

Flickr - Xcel Energy truck - Tony Webster

Xcel Energy wants to raise MN customers' electricity rates

If approved, rates go up by an average of $18.50 a month for customers.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 1.11.05 PM

MPD chief 'confident' officers will still show up after Question 2 vote

Arradondo held a press conference Wednesday in which he urged for a 'No' vote.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Charges: Driver in fatal hit-and-run said he thought he hit dog or sign

The crash killed a 56-year-old Blaine woman who had been out walking her dog.

vaccine, covid

Here is Minnesota's plan to vaccinate kids 5-11 against COVID-19

The plan includes hosting vaccination clinics at schools across the state.

Mounds View PD missing 12yo Riddley

12-year-old Twin Cities boy has been missing for 4 days

Police are asking for the public's help locating the child,

Related

Nick Gordon

Twins prospects who are best prepared to contribute in 2020

Twins Daily breaks down the talent in the minors that could help next season.

Luis Arraez

Will the White Sox push the Twins in the AL Central this year?

Twins Daily digs into how good the White Sox might be in 2020.

Mitch Garver

Should the Twins consider moving Mitch Garver to 1B?

Twins Daily doesn't want what happened to Joe Mauer to happen to Garver.

Eddie Rosario

The Twins shouldn't give up on Eddie Rosario

Should the Twins trade Rosario for pitching? Twins Daily explains why they might not want to do that.

ByungHo Park

Twins Daily: Another chance for Twins fans to watch ByungHo Park

Twins Daily found a gem of a story that should interest Twins fans.

Marwin Gonzalez

4 questions the Twins need to answer for potential playoff roster

Barring disaster, these are questions the Twins will need to answer.

Jorge Polanco

Twins Daily: 9 thoughts from 9 innings of a home-opening win

Byron Buxton couldn't believe that he didn't catch that home run ball.

Byron Buxton

Twins Daily: Home Opener preview: Twins host the Cardinals

First pitch is set for just after 7 p.m. Tuesday.