Monday, June 21, 2010
#243) WAYNE TWITCHELL
Wayne Twitchell first signed with the New York Mets as a free agent on April 4, 1979. He was primarily used from the bullpen, but did make two starts during his one season in New York. Twitchell finished with a 5-3 record in 33 appearances while compiling a 5.23 ERA. Wayne was one of only four pitchers on the Mets' staff to have a winning record in 1979.
Before the season was complete New York sold his contract to the new expansion team, the Seattle Mariners on August 19, 1979. Twitchell had thrown for the Mets that very same day in Cincinnati. Wayne entered in relief and struck out the opposing pitcher, Bill Bonham to close the fifth inning. It would be the only hitter he would face in his final game for the club.
After his baseball career, Twitchell returned to his hometown of Portland, Oregon and became the pitching coach of Wilson High School. The same school he attended, before being drafted by the Houston Astros, and who retired his uniform number at their baseball field beside fellow major-leaguer Dale Murphy. "He was a great story teller," remembered Wilson coach Mike Clopton. "Very quiet and unassuming for a guy that had achieved what most kids wanted to. Giving instead of taking. He made the game real simple so the kids would understand it. He was very calming for the pitchers." During that same time Wayne became a successful commercial real estate broker.
Twitchell was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Wayne passed away from cancer on September 16, 2010. He was survived by his wife of 39 years, Barbara Twitchell, and his two sons, Matthew and Patrick.
Wayne Twitchell signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on January 8, 2009.