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Tapani, Twins celebrate 1991 World?Series crown

August 5, 2011
By Dennis Grall - Sports Editor ( , Daily Press

ESCANABA - The Minnesota Twins are celebrating their World Series championship of 1991 this weekend, and Escanaba's Kevin Tapani is among the participants.

Tapani was the Game Two winning pitcher against the Atlanta Braves and was the losing pitcher in Game Five. He also beat Toronto in an American League playoff game to help the Twins reach the Series.

Festivities get underway tonight but two weeks ago the Twins started the party by selling a limited edition bobblehead set that featured every member of the championship team. There were 1,000 sets at $391 apiece, and sold out in one day.

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Dennis Grall

Jack Morris, the winning pitcher of the classic 1-0 championship game that lasted 10 innings, also signed 1,000 baseballs that have been sold for $91.

A series of World Series prints displaying some of the memorable moments of that Series have also been available for purchase.

Six of the seven games were decided by one run, with only Tapani's 14-5 loss in Atlanta breaking that incredible streak of competition at the highest level.

Twins alumni will be available for photos before games tonight and Saturday.

Speaking of Tapani, he is part of two all-time units for the Twins.

Earlier this year, Twins' columnist Tim Arcand selected the top 20 pitchers in Minnesota Twins history and put Tapani in the No. 11 slot. Tapani, a 1982 Escanaba High School graduate, was 75-63 with 19 complete games and six shutouts while pitching for the Twins from 1989-95.

He was also selected among the 50 greatest Twins of all-time last year by FoxSports North and the Twins.

Tapani was drafted by the Oakland A's in 1986 after completing his career at Central Michigan University, then was traded to the New York Mets. He came to Minnesota in 1989 in a deal that sent Frank Viola, No. 8 on Minnesota's all-time list, to the Mets.

He also pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs, finishing with a 143-125 record in 13 seasons. He was inducted into the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Recent Hall of Fame inductee Bert Blyleven was selected No. 1 among the team's top pitchers. He was followed by Jim Kaat, Jim Perry, Camilio Pascual, Johan Santana, Dave Boswell, Brad Radke, Viola, Dave Goltz and Jim "Mudcat" Grant. Other than No. 15 Scott Erickson, the other pitchers behind Tapani in the top 20 were not standouts.

* Former Menominee High School basketball standout Pat Miller is now an assistant coach for the Central Michigan University men's basketball team. A former head coach at Northwood Institute in Midland, Miller was inducted into the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.

* One of the players who competed in the LPGA Futures tournament at Sweetgrass Golf Club in June will appear on The Golf Channel's Big Break event in September.

Annie Brophy of Spokane, Wash. tied for 22nd place at Sweetgrass



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