It took one swing for Scott Leius to secure his position in Twins baseball lore. On the first pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 2 of the 1991 World Series, with a deadlocked 2-2 score, Leius took Atlanta starter Tom Glavine deep.
The Twins won the game, 3-2, eventually forced a deciding seventh game, and won the championship.
These days, Leius works as an account manager for Forsythe Solutions, an employee-owned IT company based out of Chicago.
His passion, however, is working with kids.
Leius helps run Big League Baseball Camps with former teammates Gene Larkin and Tim Laudner in the winter, coaches seventh-grade football in the fall, coaches youth baseball in the summer, and supports Youth Alive Wayzata, a faith-based youth group.
"I love being involved with the kids," Leius said. "I want to be a good influence and mentor to them."
Leius, born in Yonkers, N.Y., was drafted in the 13th round by the Twins in the 1986 First-Year Player Draft. He played with the club from 1990-95. Leius also played a year with the Indians and two seasons with the Royals before retiring after the 1999 season.
Leius was a hard-working, solid defender who struggled with injuries. Still, he forged a nine-year career in which he batted .244 with 172 RBIs.
He still keeps in touch with former teammates Scott Erickson, Chili Davis, Paul Sorrento, Kevin Tapani and Kent Hrbek. He said he wears his World Series ring about "50 percent of the time," acknowledging that it is a "great conversation piece."
The 42-year-old Leius now focuses on being the best father he can for sons Mickey, 12, and Jack, 10.
As a native New Yorker, Leius keeps an eye on the Yankees, but says "the Twins are my team." He still talks to manager Ron Gardenhire, a man whom Leius believes had a positive influence on his career.
Leius was 25 years old when he helped Minnesota win the '91 World Series. He played in all seven games, going 5-for-14 (.357). He is frequently recognized and still gets fan mail to this day, a testament to his influence in securing the championship.
"I still miss baseball," Leius said. "I still miss Spring Training. I miss the smell of pine tar, swinging the bat."
Leius would like to be remembered as a guy who "played the game the right way and played the game with passion and as hard as you can."
"That's my thing with the kids," Leius said. "You'll win some, lose some, stink some nights, but no one can take away your passion or your effort."
Thor Nystrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.