Known as a sharp dresser and fine golfer, Hal Naragon wrapped his
10-plus years in the big leagues with the Twins in 1961 and 1962.
Naragon had also played the '60 season in Washington, so was one of 10
former Senators players to be part of the 1965 pennant-winning team, along with
Sam Mele, Jim Lemon, Bob Allison, Harmon Killebrew, Earl Battey, Jim Kaat,
Camilo Pascual, Don Mincher and Zoilo Versalles.
A reserve catcher who never played more than 85 games in a season, military
service cheated Naragon out of some of his prime. He was 23 and had played
three games in the major leagues when he wound up in the military for the
entire 1952 and 1953 seasons.
Naragon got into one game of the 1954 World Series with the Cleveland
Indians, making him one of the few members of the '65 Twins' clubhouse to have
played in a World Series.
Articulate and observant, he was a natural as a coach and slid into that
position for the Twins in '63. He and Twins' manager Mele had briefly been
teammates in Cleveland.
Although no mention of it occurs in the Twins' media guide, Naragon also
managed the Twins when Mele moved to the press box for a couple games to get a
different perspective on the end of the disastrous 1964 season.
Naragon also ran the show during Mele's five-game suspension in '65, and in
Baltimore after the Twins won the pennant in D.C., while Mele trekked to
Massachusetts to visit his pregnant wife.
Naragon's Marine baseball career resurfaced in an odd story during the 1959
off-season. The Washington Senators were in desperate need of relief pitching
and signed a 30-year-old teacher and baseball coach from Washington Lee High.
Red Norwood was a 6-foot-2 righthander who had pitched professionally
but retired after the '56 season. Norwood had an 18-3 record for Quantico
spanning 1952 and 1953. Naragon was his catcher.