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Some say this is why Griffith finds a way to stay on: He's the self-appointed purist, shining the lantern upon the path baseball once walked and must walk again. But consider. When the Senators' revenue was dwindling, Griffith moved the home-run fences in and revoked his uncle's rule not to sell beer at the stadium. When Minneapolis proposed a domed stadium with artificial grass, he stiffened—and then asked where to sign.
And at the end of the '84 season, when the Twins have an option to renegotiate their 30-year Metrodome lease if they have not drawn a three-year average of 1.4 million fans a year or the league's average team attendance—whichever is lower—and Tampa and Denver are clamoring for a team...?
•Calvin Griffith: "I love baseball so goddamn much—it's like a dessert. I love to be around crowds for the simple reason that they want to hear you."
•Thelma Griffith Haynes: "I don't think Calvin would even be interested in going to baseball games if it wasn't his team."
TWINS GO AGAINST PRECEDENT, OFFER
On the office walls hang a Monet print, a Chagall print, a Dartmouth diploma and a photograph of the Griffith clan. On the table stands a Japanese grammar book. Behind the desk sits Calvin Griffith's 41-year-old son, Clark, an evening jogger, a lunchtime chess player, an evening student of Spanish. There's a faint coat of amusement on his face that would take little scraping to reveal a primer of pain.
"If I don't become the owner of this team, I won't be devastated," he says.
"I recommended Clark to be the next commissioner of baseball," Veeck says. "It would all depend on the people he gathered to do his heel work; Clark's office hours are not too punctual," Calvin Griffith says.
The relationship has always been tense. Clark remembers being asked into his father's office several years ago to discuss a tactical situation and reeling off what had happened to every batter in every inning leading up to that moment. He remembers not being asked into his father's office to talk baseball anymore.