Calvin: Baseball’s Last Dinosaur

Published Date: April 18, 2016

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“Calvin: Baseball’s Last Dinosaur” is the story of Calvin Griffith, who was rescued from poverty and adopted by his uncle (Hall of Famer Clark Griffith) and went on to become owner of the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins. Calvin’s life included friendships with many greats of the game and figures in American history from the 1920s through the 1980s. The Griffith family operation would see many highs and lows, finally succumbing to the corporate-driven economic realities of modern sports. But Calvin, in his typically-unvarnished fashion and with Jon Kerr’s help, wouldn’t go without giving his version of how baseball and the world changed.

Kerr, with Calvin’s help, replays the seduction of Calvin by Minnesota’s promise of greener fields, how he ditches his pledge to ‘keep the team in Washington as long as I’m alive;’ how he became Minnesota’s hero by delivering two quick first-division teams and in the Twin’s fourth year, a pennant. How fans were spoiled by those early successes and how, later, there was trouble in Minnesota City.

Shirley Povich, Washington Post

Superb! Jon Kerr’s book is an impeccably researched, balanced portrait of the last baseball dinosaur. Must reading not only for Twins fans, but also for all who love baseball history.

Ken LaZebnik, former publisher of the Minneapolis Review of Baseball

It’s my opinion now—and will be the day I hang up my typewriter—that the saddest day in Minnesota sports was Sept. 7, 1984, when the Griffiths officially turned over their baseball franchise to a banker who didn’t know Ty Cobb from corn on the cob. What we couldn’t do is allow Calvin Griffith and his family to get away without compiling their treasure chest of stories. Those stories are here.

Pat Reusse, Minneapolis Star Tribune

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