This Day in Minnesota Racism: Calvin Griffith

The MN70’s blog has pointed out that today in 1978 was the day that the Minnesota Twins owner, Calvin Griffith, made particularly candid racist remarks:

In a notorious aside, Calvin revealed that he decided to move his baseball team from Washington to Minnesota in 1961, “when I found out you had only 15,000 blacks here.” His remarks helped drive away the Twins’ only superstar, Rod Carew, who left a few months later as a free agent.

That’s just one of the statements Griffith made that day. A young reporter named Nick Coleman (ring a bell?) logged Griffith’s remarks for the Strib:

Rod Carew is “a damn fool” for playing for as little as he pays him; ballplayers should take advantage of free love rather than get married and have their performance suffer like Butch Wynegar; Billy Martin “never punched anyone his own size”; the stadium commission “can go to hell,” and the Minnesota Twins decided to come to Minnesota “when I found out you only had 15,000 blacks here.”

The Griffith family was back in the news in 2012 with Calvin’s son Clark grabbing headlines:

Clark Griffith, a Minneapolis attorney whose late father, Calvin, owned the Minnesota Twins, was ordered Thursday to undergo sex-offender counseling after exposing himself to a St. Paul law student who considered him a mentor.

The Jan. 24 incident on St. Paul’s Victoria Street triggered panicked texts and phone calls from Griffith to the 24-year-old student imploring her to drop her complaints, the charges say.

The 70-year-old Clark actually claimed in court that he was the victim of a 24-year-old student when his penis popped out of his pants.

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