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Twins notebook, 6/11

June 11, 2011

Perry inducted into Twins Hall of Fame

MINNEAPOLIS — One of only three Cy Young Award winners in Twins history, right-hander Jim Perry was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Perry, the 1970 Cy Young Award winner, was honored in an on-field pregame ceremony before the Twins played the Rangers at Target Field.

“I’ve been really looking forward to a day like today,” Perry said. “It’s great to be with the group, the other Minnesota Hall of Famers.

“Minnesota, my family really, they still call it home up here.”

Past inductees joining Perry for the ceremony included Rick Aguilera, Gary Gaetti, Tom Kelly, Tony Oliva, Rod Carew and Bert Blyleven.

A teammate and rookie during Perry’s Cy Young season, Blyleven introduced Perry before his induction speech. Perry said after the ceremony he planned to be in New York on July 24th for Blyleven’s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

“He still calls me ‘Dad’ and he calls my wife, ‘Mom,'” Perry said of Blyleven. “That’s the way Bert is all the time.

“I was here in October, I said, ‘You’re not in the Hall of Fame yet, but when they come up in January, you’ll be on that and I’m going to be there when you’re inducted.'”

After Oliva and Carew unveiled Perry’s plaque, Perry tossed a ceremonial first pitch to his former teammate and manager, Frank Quilici.

The ceremony also honored the deceased members of the Twins Hall of Fame, including Harmon Killebrew, who recently passed after batting esophageal cancer. Perry said Killebrew was the first person to greet him when he arrived in Minnesota back in 1963.

“I really missed having Harmon, I thought Harmon would be here,” Perry said. “The last time I saw him, he was doing pretty good, but that changed real quick.”

Perry, 75, is the older brother of 72-year-old Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. Between the two of them, the Perry brothers won 529 games and three Cy Young Awards, as Gaylord won the honor in 1972 with the Indians and in ’78 with the Padres.

The Perry brothers are the second-winningest brother combination in baseball history behind Joe and Phil Niekro, who had 539 victories between them.

Nishioka moves up to Triple-A Rochester

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka moved a step closer on Saturday to returning to the big league club, joining Triple-A Rochester on the road in Toledo.

Nishioka flew from Fort Myers to Toledo in the morning and was expected to be in the Red Wings’ lineup on Saturday night, according to Twins head trainer Rick McWane.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before Saturday’s game that he was happy to hear Nishioka was headed to Triple-A.

“I talked with him on the phone, told him what we’d like him to do, and he had no problem with that,” Gardenhire said. “He’s excited to go up in a new place, a new venue, and get after it.”

In four games at Fort Myers, Nishioka batted .333, collecting four hits in 12 at-bats, including a double and an RBI. Nishioka also stole a base, walked twice and struck out twice.

As he moves from Class A to Triple-A, Nishioka will face much better competition, while also dealing with an increase in fans and media that will better prepare him for a return to the Major Leagues.

If everything goes as planned, Nishioka should make his return to the Twins during their current homestand.

“It’s a big move when we have to do something like that,” Gardenhire said. “But that’s what we want. We want him to get some swings against some [Triple-A] pitching. He should be able to join us by midweek.”

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