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Subject: Wayne Terwilliger, Baseball Player

Dies at 95
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Date Posted: Wednesday, February 03, 09:48:14am

Wayne Terwilliger, teammates with MLB greats, Rangers coach, Cats manager, dies at 95

Wayne Terwilliger’s winding baseball career provided him brushes with the game’s all-time greats, two World Series rings as a coach with the Minnesota Twins, two stints with the Texas Rangers and a place in history with the Fort Worth Cats.

All of his accomplishments in the national pastime came after he served in the Marines in the Pacific theater in World World II, and he said nothing in his 62 years in baseball was more important than two years in the military.

Plagued by dementia and advanced cancer of the bladder, Terwilliger’s spectacular journey ended early Wednesday morning when he passed away after a brief time in hospice care in Weatherford.

Twig, as he was affectionately known, was 95.

His wife, Linda, said a broken hip in 2017 and subsequent surgeries derailed his active life, which included bagging groceries at age 88 a Brookshire’s grocery store in Willow Park..

Terwilliger’s final act in baseball came as the manager and first-base coach of the independent Cats. When he reached 80 in 2005, he became one of two men in professional baseball to serve as a manager in his 80s.

The other was Connie Mack, the Hall of Fame manager of the Philadelphia Athletics. (Jack McKeon became the third in 2011 when he finished out the season with the Miami Marlins.)

Born on June 27, 1926, in Clare, Michigan, Williard Wayne Terwilliger first played in the major leagues in 1949 with the Chicago Cubs. He became their regular second baseman in 1950, when he posted career-highs in at-bats (480) and home runs (10).

He was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951, where he was teammates with Jackie Robinson among other Dodgers greats such as Duke Snider, Roy Campanella and Pee Wee Reese. He played with the Washington Senators in 1953 and 1954, the New York Giants in 1955 and 1956 with Willie Mays, and didn’t play again in the majors until 1959 with the Kansas City Athletics.

Terwilliger retired as a player in 1960 after only two games with the A’s.

Coaching was around the corner, though, and his first of seven seasons as a minor-league manager with the Senators came in 1963. He became the Senators’ third-base coach in 1969, on the staff of manager Ted Williams.

The staff remained in tact in 1972 as the Senators became the Rangers, but they were all replaced after the season. After working as the manager of Double A Columbus in 1963 in the Houston Astros organization, Terwilliger returned to the Rangers’ system in 1975 at Class A Lynchburg.

Four seasons at Class A Asheville followed before Terwilliger was bumped to Double A Tulsa as manager. He joined the big-league staff in 1980 under manager Don Zimmer and stayed with the Rangers through 1985 on the staffs of Darrell Johnson, Doug Radar and Bobby Valentine.

In 1986, Terwilliger moved to the Twins as the first-base coach for manager Tom Kelly. The Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991, and Terwilliger stayed with the Twins until 1994.

He then dived into independent ball, first as manager of the St. Paul Saints from 1995-2002 before the Cats hired him for the 2003 season. He retired as manager after guiding them to the Central Baseball League title, but stayed on as first-base coach until 2010.


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