Don Mincher, a 13-year veteran of the major leagues, bats in a game between… (Los Angeles Times )
Don Mincher, a 13-year veteran of the major leagues who played with the 1972 World Series champion Oakland Athletics and had stints with the Angels, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Seattle Pilots and Washington Senators, died Sunday at his home in Huntsville, Ala., after a long illness. He was 73.
Mincher later served as general manager, broadcaster and owner of the Class AA Huntsville Stars, a Southern League franchise, and was president of the Southern League from 2000 until retiring last October.
Mincher holds the distinction of being the only major leaguer who played with the Washington Senators franchise that moved and became the Minnesota Twins, then played with a second incarnation of the Senators that also moved, this time becoming the Texas Rangers.
Born in Huntsville on June 24, 1938, Mincher was a 6-foot-3, 205-pound first baseman who broke into the majors with the old Washington Senators in 1960, backing up future Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.
The team moved to Minneapolis before the 1961 season, and he spent six seasons with the Twins. In the 1965 World Series between the Twins and Dodgers, Mincher homered off Don Drysdale in Game 1. The Dodgers won the Series, with Sandy Koufax pitching a three-hitter in Game 7.
"To bat against Koufax and Drysdale when it really meant something, I didn't realize what a big thrill it was until I got older and started thinking back on these things," Mincher told the New York Times in 2010.
Mincher was traded to the then-California Angels after the 1966 season and played two seasons in Anaheim, making the All-Star team in 1967. The Seattle Pilots chose Mincher in the expansion draft after the 1968 season and he played one year with the Pilots, again making the All-Star team in 1969, before being traded to the A's.
The A's traded him to the new version of the Washington Senators in May 1971, and he moved with the team when it became the Texas Rangers. He returned to the A's in the middle of the 1972 season and played on the squad that beat the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series in seven games.
He retired with a .249 batting average and 200 home runs and returned to Huntsville, getting involved with the minor league Stars in the 1980s.
Survivors include his wife, Pat, a son, two daughters and six grandchildren.