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A Lingering Vestige Of Yesterday
Gary Smith
April 04, 1983
Calvin Griffith of the Twins is a throwback to an era when owners owned and players played. But times have changed.
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April 04, 1983

A Lingering Vestige Of Yesterday

Calvin Griffith of the Twins is a throwback to an era when owners owned and players played. But times have changed.

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She asked him to leave in 1974, and they have been separated ever since. Griffith did not pursue a divorce, uncertain about the effect that settlement terms might have on his grip on the team. He rarely speaks to his only son and his only grandson. He rarely sees or hears from his two daughters. Corrine, 38, married Phillip Pillsbury, a man who's famous for making dough and who's even older than Calvin. Clare, 35, a landscape designer, moved to Oakland years ago.

"At home my father was—well, remote might be too harsh a word," says Clare. "Then he'd walk into the stadium and become a showman. I accepted the fact that his whole life was at the ball park. But I wonder now what we all saw through our different eyes when I see how strong the feelings have gotten about him in our family."

"He's alienated from everything he should be cherishing right now," says Griffith's older sister, Mildred.

"I like him, but I feel sad for him," adds Wheelock Whitney, a member of the Twins' board of directors. "Baseball is everything in his life. He doesn't have any nurturing relationships. It's almost like he's become a man in a bunker."

******

GOLTZ TO SIGN 6-YEAR PACT WITH DODGERS
LANDREAUX GLAD TO TAKE WALK—TO DODGER CAMP
KOOS GONE: PLAYERS' ANGER AT GRIFFITH GROWS

The Minnesota Twins' dining room is the warmest place in Griffith's bunker. There are mounds of meat and potatoes when he's not dieting, cottage cheese and soup when he is. And here, at least, there are people who like to talk baseball.

Calvin limps to the elevator, goes down two floors and studies the walls there, looking for an appropriate place to hang a picture of Clark Griffith's coffin. He enters the dining room and takes a seat. He tucks a napkin in his Twins tie clip and addresses Executive Vice-President Howard Fox, a man who sometimes calls him The Boss.

Griffith: "Boy, I see where the Gophers won big last night. Beat Illinois 70-something-to-something. Boy oh boy!"

Fox: "Must be pretty good."

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