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Cool Of The Evening: The 1965 Minnesota Twins Perfect Paperback – January 31, 2005


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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Kirk House Pub (January 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886513716
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886513716
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Thielman has worked at newspapers in Minnesota, Florida, and North Dakota.He covered the Minnesota Twins from 1977 until 1993 and has reported on such events as the National Football Conference Championships, the British and U.S. Opens, Rose Bowl, Major League Baseball All-Star Game, post season playoffs, and World Series.

The internationally published freelance writer has been employed by the Minnesota House of Representatives, University of Minnesota, and Cargill Incorporated.


More About the Author

Minnesota's Jim Thielman worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Florida.

He covered the Minnesota Twins from 1977 until 1993 and also reported from events such as the National Football Conference Championship, the British and U.S. Opens, Rose Bowl, Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, post-season playoffs and World Series.

Also an internationally published freelance writer, he has been employed by the Minnesota House of Representatives, University of Minnesota, Cargill Incorporated, General Mills Incorporated, and a Minneapolis law firm.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By T. Cain on April 9, 2005
Format: Perfect Paperback
While "Cool of the Evening" effectively tracks the 1965 Minnesota Twins' roster and their run to the American League pennant, it's much more than a game-by-game retelling of the team's story.

Jim Thielman has provided a history of a game and society in change, from Latin American players like 1965 MVP Zoilo Versalles and ought-to-be Hall-of-Famer Tony Oliva learning to live in America to African-American players battling prejudice just months after national civil rights legislation was signed.

Sometimes a compelling story can be told even when you know the ending. Such is the case here.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By KldHrt on September 29, 2005
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
You don't have to be a Twins fan to fully appreciate 'Cool of the Evening', but it helps. Jim Thielman covered the Twins as a freelancer and staff reporter through a couple decades.

The book is meant to take fans back to 1965, the very first pennant winning season of the Minnesota club. The World Series, the first ever to be played in Minnesota, is almost an afterthought, but it's been so well documented elsewhere, Thielman prudently allows space to go behind the scenes, through spring training and the entire season.

Thielman goes in depth on player backgrounds, the trades and twists of fate that brought them all together, and where they ended up after '65.

Even though the team came out on the losing end to the Dodgers, '65 has always been special for Twins fans. The record of 102-60 is still the best ever for the franchise, in terms of wins. (The 1933 Senators who later became the Twins had a better win-loss percentage.)

But beyond the statistics, Thielman brilliantly captures the drama of a pennant winning season by an underdog with a losing record the year before, a team that would dethrone the Yankees, winners of the past five pennants. He recounts the struggle of the league MVP and makes his case why Zoilo Versailles was absolutely more crucial to the pennant winning cause than any other team member, including Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew and batting champ Tony Oliva. He details the conflict between pitching coach Johnny Sain and players coach and future manager Billy Martin, all the while leaving the reader sympathetic to each.

He delves into the histories of the early Twins' stars, Oliva, Killebrew, Bob Allison, Camilo Pascual, and owner Calvin Griffith.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By RL8791 on February 4, 2006
Format: Perfect Paperback
I appreciated that Thielman didn't put the players on pedestals but wrote about them in a way that made me see a real person in each uniform. Thielman gave equal time to a number of the lesser known players so that by book's end, you felt you knew third-string catcher John Sevcik almost as well as league MVP Zoilo Versalles.

I think there is a tendency for fans to believe that championship seasons are "magical." One thing you will take away from Thielman's book is that a championship season is really about hard work and being able to overcome adversity. The 1965 Minnesota Twins lost Camilo Pascaul and Harmon Killebrew - their best pitcher and most feared hitter - for significant portions of the season, but managed to still keep winning thanks to players like Jim Perry and Don Mincher filling in for them and not missing a beat.

Another thing I liked about Cool of the Evening was the depth in which Thielman dealt with manager Sam Mele and coaches Johnny Sain and Billy Martin. These three men were as vital to the team's success as Mudcat or Versalles or Oliva and just as interesting to read about.

Cool of the Evening was an entertaining and well-written book that I would recommend not only to Twins fans, but to any baseball fan. I compare it favorably to The Last Good Season which I read last year and also enjoyed.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Lehrer on September 28, 2005
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
This book makes great reading for a Twins fan like me who is starved for more information on the 1965 Twins. The book shares stories about some of the great Twin players of the 1960's that I've read nowhere else. The only reason that I rated it 3 stars rather than 5 is not because of the material in the book. It's because of what wasn't in the book. There should have been a lot more photos. Instead, there were small "soft focus" snapshots at the beginning of each chapter. The text is well written, but more large, clear photos of the players particularly off the field would have made the book come alive even more.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Frank on January 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished reading this and really enjoyed it. It provided great insight to the background and chemistry of the 1965 Twins team. I was about 8 years old then and I remember rooting for them to beat the Dodgers and collected many of their baseball cards.

This book fills in all of the gaps in my memory and gives a nice summary of the team and how they fit into the world of baseball and the world as a whole. I hadn't realized there was such a strong Cuban connection on this team put together on the heels of Castro's takeover. Also interesting to learn about how the owners of those days (The Griffiths) often struggled financially to make ends meet. If you are a fan of 1960's baseball, you'll enjoy this book.
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