Former big leaguer Mincher dies after illness

Former big leaguer Mincher dies after illness

Former big leaguer Mincher dies after illness
Former Major League first baseman and Southern League president Don Mincher died Sunday following a long illness, BallparkDigest.com reported. He was 73.

Mincher, a left-handed hitter, spent the first seven of his 13 big league seasons with the Senators/Twins, contributing 22 home runs and 65 RBIs to the 1965 American League-champion Twins.

He was part of a Major League-record five home runs in one inning that the Twins hit against the Kansas City A's in 1966. The other homers were hit by Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Rich Rollins and Zoilo Versalles. Three of the homers were hit against future Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter.

Traded to the Angels in a deal for 1964 AL Cy Young winner Dean Chance and others, Mincher surpassed 25 homers in three of four seasons from 1967-70, hitting 25 for the '67 Angels and '69 Seattle Pilots and 27 for the Oakland A's in 1970.

Mincher finished his career winning the 1972 World Series with the A's. In his only at-bat in the Series, he drove home the tying run with a pinch single in the ninth inning of Game 4. Oakland then won the game, 3-2, and took the Series against the Reds in seven games.

A two-time All-Star, Mincher finished his career with a .249 average and 200 home runs.

Mincher was president of the Southern League from 2000-11, stepping down in October because of health reasons. A native of Huntsville, Ala., he also was the first president and general manager of the Huntsville Stars, currently the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Mincher was elected to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.