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Bittersweet

Minnesota Twins, baseball, glove

The state greeted Griffith as a hero. There was news coverage of his home on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, a wooded, affluent suburb that was minutes from downtown Minneapolis featuring one of the larger lakes in the state. He was named honorary chair of the state's Christmas Seals campaign.

Attendance topped the million mark for 10 straight seasons and the Twins led the league in attendance in two of their first five years in the state.

Griffith had gone from using vendors as grounds crews to having his team fly chartered airlines.

As host of the '65 All-Star Game, Griffith had a pool at the hotel that served as game headquarters stocked with freshwater fish, and poles were provided for the game's dignitaries. He had the foul line at Met Stadium chalked in red, white and blue, rather than the regular white. When the Twins clinched the pennant, $18-a-bottle champagne flowed.

It was a bittersweet season for Griffith, and eventually a bittersweet life in Minnesota. Griffith was ill with phlebitis and pneumonia during the spring and missed the 1965 home opener. He could not be with the team in Washington when it clinched the pennant because a subpoena awaited him as a result of a lawsuit brought by (Gabe) Murphy. Being back in Minnesota when the team clinched the pennant was sad and difficult for Griffith's family, who had deep roots in Washington.

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"Never in my lifetime will the Washington team be moved."

– Owner Calvin Griffith


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