Blog #38 (Tom Brunansky)

By Richard J. Decker on October 31, 2012 7:00 AM

This week there is no legal section of the blog.

Now for the Opening Day memory:

This week's memory is from Tom Brunansky, a rifle armed right fielder who was best known for his tenure with the Minnesota Twins. Tom also played for the then California (now Los Angeles) Angels, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox (twice) and Milwaukee Brewers. Tom was a consistent middle of the lineup hitter who hit 20 home runs for 8 consecutive years with the Twins and Cardinals. He helped the Twins win a World Series against the Cardinals in 1987, and was then traded to the Cardinals immediately thereafter. Tom played in the big leagues from 1981-1994 and finished his very solid career with 271 lifetime home runs. Here is his Opening Day memory.

Brunansky.jpg"Opening Days for me were always the most exciting games of the regular season. Notice I said "regular" season! Playoff games and World Series games go way beyond exciting! On Opening Day, optimism is everywhere. New uniforms, new hats, new teammates. And you just pray you're not the last starting player to get a hit in the new year. THAT honor always makes the headlines!

My first year with the California Angels in 1981 was my most memorable Opening Day. As a 20-year-old rookie in a line up of star studded veterans, I was afraid to say a word to anyone. In my first at bat, I hit a ground ball to the shortstop, and I never once felt my feet hit the ground! I must have really been flying! Then, on defense in left field, I prayed no one would hit me a ball. Sure enough, in the very first inning, a ball was hit into the left field corner. The ball hit the wall and caromed right to me. I was thankful my Nike spikes were made of good leather, because that was the only leather that the ball hit! I picked up the ball at my feet, threw it somewhere in the vicinity of third base, and was very relieved that the play was over. Welcome to the Big Leagues, Kid!

One of the toughest things about Opening Day was that there was so much hype. You win and your team is going to go 162-0; you lose and your fans are dejected and you instantly become an overpaid bum!"

See you in two. Richie