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Bob Lind, Published June 30 2013

Lind: Minn. writer a huge fan of the Twins

It being midsummer, the F-M RedHawks and the Minnesota Twins are in full swing. In fact, some of you will probably be spending part of July Fourth at the ballpark.

A big-time fan of baseball in general and the Twins in particular is Tom Hintgen, Fergus Falls, Minn. Tom, a former Forum staff member and now a writer for the Fergus Falls Journal, has been to many Twins’ games.

One of them was the seventh game of the 1965 World Series, which the Twins lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tom also attended the All-Star game that year.

Tony Oliva was one of the Twins’ stars in 1965 and beyond. Tom wrote of him in a Journal column earlier this year.

He aptly called Oliva “one of the most popular Twins in the history of the franchise.”

That explains why Tom was thrilled when Oliva, in Fergus Falls as part of the Twins winter caravan in January, autographed Tom’s 1965 World Series and All-Star programs.

Tom also mentioned comments about Oliva in the book “Cool of the Evening,” the story of the 1965 Twins, written by Jim Thielman. Jim, now of Long Lake, Minn., is a native of Breckenridge, Minn., and also once worked for The Forum in the 1970s.

Speaking of Oliva, Jim wrote that he played despite having seven knee operations, plus hand and neck injuries and the chicken pox.

“In addition,” Jim wrote, “all his (Oliva’s) family was back in Cuba. Because of Fidel Castro’s rise to power, Oliva could not return home, and his family could not travel to the U.S. to watch him play.

“Worse yet,” Jim said, “Oliva came to the U.S. at the height of civil rights unrest, and as a black Cuban he suffered racism in the U.S.” So there you have some baseball memories, as the 2013 season rolls on.

See you at the ballpark!

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com