Stories and Photos by Gordy Jones
One of my favorite characters on the Minnesota Twins is Trevor Plouffe. He is always fresh and enthusiastic, and you can tell how much fun he has with baseball. I always see Trevor rooting for others, and he’s the first to congratulate his teammates when they make a good play. He is also the guy jumping around the dugout trying to rev up his colleagues. Right before the game, he sometimes runs down in front of the bench high-fiving, giving knuckles, and doing a “jump-bump” with those standing. There have been a couple times when he has kept going, and run over to the photo well to give me knuckles. Once at spring training, he even high-fived me after hitting a home run. Most reporters and photographers must stay neutral, but he knows where my heart is because I write “Twins Talk.”
Trevor has played all over the field, but this year he went into spring training knowing he had a home at third base. I asked him how different this was for him. He said, “It’s different, especially at this level, to come in and know I’m going to be at one spot. It helped in my off-season training — being able to work on things. Coming out of last year, I knew there were things I needed to work on. It’s been a really good thing for me so far.”
Last year Trevor grew his hair long, but didn’t tell anyone there was a reason for it. When it was plenty long, he had one of his teammates buzz him in the clubhouse, and donated the hair to Locks of Love — an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients. That’s just one example of what a thoughtful guy he is.
Besides being able to play almost any position well, the man can hit…and hit for power, too. I asked Trevor where he prefers to be in the batting order, and he said, “It doesn’t matter to me. I just want to help the team win. Gardy makes the lineup, I look at it, and I go play.” Even though he prefers playing third, he went on to say: “I wouldn’t mind if I’d have to change positions, either. I want to play third base, but if need be, I’ll play anywhere.”
Trevor appears to be a natural athlete, but continues to work out and train hard, making him the essence of fitness and health. I was curious if it took a special diet to keep so fit. “You’ve got to watch what you put in your body,” he said. “You don’t want to be eating a lot of junk. You’ve got to stay healthy. That’s the biggest thing during a baseball season — keeping yourself healthy. But I don’t stay on one particular diet; I just try to eat healthy.”
Trevor seems quite content with life. He was married in the off-season, and he loves to play golf and fish. “Yes, whenever I get an off day, I like to play golf, and in the off-season, I love to fish. But I love to do most anything you can do outdoors.” And right now, that is trying to help his team win.
Farewell to a Classic
For many years, a couple of my favorite days of the summer were the John Gordon Touch ‘em All Classic and the Harmon Killebrew Golf Classic. They were both very well-done golf events, which raised thousands of dollars for many great causes. They both brought out the elite from MLB, and also brought other big names of Minnesota sports. I was fortunate enough to be the official photographer for both — it was my way of giving back. In fact, that was the motive of everyone involved. It was hard to believe folks could be doing such a good deed while having so much fun. Baseball people would do anything for John Gordon and the late Harmon Killebrew.
But two years ago, when John Gordon retired, so did the Touch ‘em All Classic. When Harmon Killebrew passed away, there was one more Killebrew Classic — suddenly a memorial golf outing. All of Harmon’s friends showed up, along with his lovely widow Nita, and had a blast as they raised lots of dough for one last time. I had hoped that we could keep this event going forever. But I recently learned that if Harmon had lived, he felt the Classic had done its job, and was going to end it while it was on top. It was a lot of hard work and stress, which Nita then inherited. Although this summer may seem a little melancholy and incomplete to me, I’m thankful I had the good fortune to aid a couple of great friends with their causes, and I relish the wonderful memories from the good times shared with Hall of Famers and just plain, nice people.