June 24, 1938|
|Died: March 4, 2012
|April 18, 1960, for the Washington Senators|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 4, 1972, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Runs batted in||643|
|Career highlights and awards|
Donald Ray Mincher (June 24, 1938 – March 4, 2012) was an American Major League Baseball first baseman. He played from 1960–1972 for the original Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins, California Angels, Seattle Pilots, Oakland Athletics, the new Washington Senators, Texas Rangers and again the Oakland Athletics, all of the American League.
During a 13-year baseball career, Mincher batted .249, hit 200 home runs, and collected 643 runs batted in. He was elected to the American League All-Star team twice (1967 and 1969). As one of two representatives for the Seattle Pilots in 1969 (their only season in existence before they became the Milwaukee Brewers), he also holds the distinction of being the only player to ever play in an All-Star Game as a Pilot; Mike Hegan also was selected to the team as a reserve, but did not appear in the game. The following season, Mincher slugged a career-high 27 homers as a member of the Oakland Athletics.
Mincher served as the first president and general manager of the Huntsville Stars, the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland A's (1985–1998) and, later, the Milwaukee Brewers (1999–2014). He served in this role from 1985 until 2001. In 1994, Mincher and a group of local investors purchased the team from Larry Schmittou to keep baseball in Huntsville.
In 2000, Mincher was named Interim President of the Southern League, where the Stars play, when league president Arnold Fielkow left for an executive position with the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. Mincher resigned from his position with the Stars when his group sold the team to Miles Prentice in early 2001. This cleared the way for the Southern League to remove the interim tag and they made him league president beginning with the 2001 season. He served as league president until retiring in October 2011, at which point the league named him President-Emeritus.
Mincher was elected to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. Though he never played for the team, the Huntsville Stars retired his number 5 in an on-field ceremony on June 6, 2008. In 2010, he was presented with the King of Baseball award given by Minor League Baseball.
Mincher died after a long illness on March 4, 2012.
Records and achievements
On June 9, 1966, in the seventh inning of a game against the Kansas City Athletics, Mincher was one of five Twins players to hit home runs. The others were Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Rich Rollins and Zoilo Versalles. These five home runs still stand as a Major League record for the most home runs in a single inning, and were hit off starter Catfish Hunter (three) and reliever Paul Lindblad (two).
Mincher was one of only 21 players to hit a home run completely over the right-field roof and out of Tiger Stadium in Detroit during the 64-year history of its final configuration. He accomplished the feat on August 23, 1964, as a member of the Minnesota Twins.
- McCarter, Mark (March 4, 2012). "Don Mincher, long-time baseball figure, dies at 73". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Branch, John (October 7, 2010). "A Twin, a Ranger and, Most of All, a Senator". The New York Times. p. B14. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
- "Stars Retire #5 in Honor of Mincher". Huntsville Stars. June 6, 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
- Retrosheet – Box score: Minnesota Twins 9, Kansas City Athletics 4. Game Played on Thursday, June 9, 1966 (N) at Metropolitan Stadium
- This Week in Tiger Stadium History -- August 17-23 Archived October 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.