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 Minnesota Twins > Twins Greats > Tom Brunansky
     
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Tom Brunansky
Tom Brunansky

Position:  OF-RF 
Born:  August 20, 1960  
Place: Covina, California 
Height:  6-4  
Weight:  216 
Bats:  Right  
Throws:  Right 
High School:   West Covina High School (West Covina, CA)  
College:  California State Polytechnic University, Pomona 
Nick Name: “Bruno”

Played For: California Angels (1981); Minnesota Twins (1982-1988); St. Louis Cardinals (1988-1990); Boston Red Sox (1990-1992); Milwaukee Brewers (1993-1994); Boston Red Sox (1994)

Post Season: All-Star game 1985; World Series Championship 1987 with Twins

Biography:
Thomas Andrew Brunansky was born August 20, 1960 in Covina, California. Chosen by his hometown California Angels in the first round of the June 1978 draft, Tom Brunansky exhibited consistent, if unspectacular, power throughout his career. After a brief holdout while he considered attending Stanford University, Tom signed with the Angels after Richard Nixon, a close friend of team owner Gene Autry, helped negotiate a then-unheard-of $125,000 contract.

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Tom Brunansky played just 11 games for the Angels in 1981 before being traded with pitcher Mike Walters to the Twins for Doug Corbett and Rob Wilfong in May 1982. The trade was said to be the best in Twins history.  He was the right fielder on the 1982 All-Rookie team and set a Twins club record with 15 game-winning RBI’s the following year.

On July 19, 1982, Tom helped the Twins overcome two homers by Robin Yount to beat the Brewers, 6–4. Tom hit his 2nd inside-the-park homer of the year. This infield homer was special because it was also a grand slam. The infield slam is a first in Twins history.

One of seven players with 20 or more homers each season from 1982 to 1987 and one of six to play 150 or more games each of those six years, Tom Brunansky's power was hurt in the Metrodome, which favored left-handed pull hitters. Despite possibly not reaching full potential, he still led all players in the 1987 ALCS in batting average, total bases, doubles, and RBI, and tied for the lead in runs, hits, and homers. He was also Minnesota's active home run leader, and a huge fan favorite.


Tom Brunansky helped the Minnesota Twins win the 1987 World Series and as part of one of the greatest group of guys in history.  The chemistry between the players was almost magical.  Tom said that as a Twin he took it for granted that every team was filled with players who arrived at the clubhouse early, left several hours after games and frequently socialized away from the ballpark. He was wrong. "What we shared was real unique, from what I learned later," said Tom.


Tom was shocked when he was traded to St. Louis for Tommy Herr in April, 1988. He made himself at home in St. Louis and started the season with a bang. He smacked seven homers and drove in 34 runs in his first six weeks with the club. After the all-star break, however, Tom slumped mightily, hitting below .200 for the rest of the season.

Fed up with his lack of production, the Cards shipped Tom to the Red Sox in exchange for closer Lee Smith in May 1990. There Tom Brunansky enjoyed two solid, but not spectacular, seasons. On October 3, 1990, Tom helped the Red Sox beat Chicago 3–1 on the final day of the season to wrap up its 3rd American League East title in five seasons. Tom ends the game with a spectacular sliding catch in the RF corner with the tying runs on base.
 
The Milwaukee Brewers signed Tom as a free agent in January of 1993. He retired after the 1993 season, having spent much of the past two seasons riding the bench, first with the Brewers and then the Red Sox.

In a 14-season career, he batted .245 with 271 home runs and 919 RBIs in 1800 games. Tom Brunansky averaged 24 homers a year. He had 69 all-time stolen bases and 306 doubles. He ended with 1543 career hits in 6289 at bats.

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