Former Twin Newman still 'a baseball nut'

Alexandria manager Al Newman

It might have taken 20 years, but former Minnesota Twins infielder Al Newman made amends to a long-ago snubbed fan on Sunday afternoon at Mayo Field.

Newman, who played on both Twins' World Series championship teams in 1987 and 1991, is now the first-year field manager for the Alexandria Blue Anchors in the Northwoods League.

The Honkers came from behind to beat Alexandria 6-5 but that didn't spoil Newman's day.

Between innings late in the game, the famously gregarious Newman wandered over and interacted with fans sitting along the third base line, shaking hands and signing a few autographs.

"One guy said he met me 20 years ago but I didn't sign an autograph for him," Newman related. "I felt bad, so this time I signed something for him and had my picture taken with him.


"It's all about the fans; I just loving talking baseball with the fans."

Newman, who turned 53 last week, said he is enjoying his first coaching stint in the Northwoods League, despite that he is roughly twice as old as most of the other managers in the 16-team league. Rochester's first-year manager Adam White is 28.

"I didn't realize this was a young man's league until we had a league meeting recently; that's when I found out most of the coaches are younger than my two daughters," Newman conceded with a laugh.

Newman played eight seasons in Major League Baseball and was with the Twins for most of it, from 1987-1991. He managed various teams in the Twins' minor leagues from 1996-2000, and was the Twins' third base coach under Ron Gardenhire from 2002-'05.

Newman said coaching in the Northwoods League is just like coaching Rookie League ball in the pros. He is no longer married and his kids are grown, so he isn't bothered by the play-everyday schedule and the travel.

"I think of it as an opportunity to show young people how to play the game," he said. "I'm just a baseball nut, and I feel like I still know some things that I can pass on.

"I'm having a blast so far."

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