Many St. Louis Cardinals fans may best remember Gary Gaetti from his almost-three seasons with the club late in his two decade-long MLB playing career. It was the first three of the Tony La Russa years, 1996-1998, during which Gaetti was proclaimed “the pride of Centralia, Illinois” by broadcaster Mike Shannon.
I, however, most vividly recall “The G-Man” from his 1980’s heyday with Minnesota. Third baseman Gaetti, along with Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky and Kirby Puckett, formed the offensive core of the strong Twins clubs expertly managed by Tom Kelly.
Living in the Twin Cities area at the time, I can still remember the fan who often sat in the upper deck of the Metrodome, far above the baggie in right. He tirelessly held a sign proclaiming himself a member of the “Liza Minnelli Fan Club,” apparently in honor of the resemblance between the singer and the third baseman, set off by their prominent schnozzes.
Gaetti’s most famous time in the Cardinals spotlight unfortunately occurr...