Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 06.20.2013

June 20, 2013

Today: Zach Mitchell, returning exchange student (V. Dilley)

Birthdays: David Koenig (6/21) and John Sinning (6/22)

Next Week: Lonna Lyne, Rotary Fellowship Exchange to Turkey (V. Dilley)

Last Week:

Bob Showers knows how to spin a baseball yarn. And he has done that in spades with his latest book “Twins At The Met,” a retrospective on the 20 years the Minnesota Twins played at Bloomington’s Metropolitan Stadium.

He whetted our appetites with stories of Rod Carew pummeling pitcher Dave LaRoche, a chronic complainer, in a darkened closet; of Bert Blyleven, newly acquired by the Texas Rangers, posing as an umpire to call a game because of rain; and the inside scoop on why “camper weekend” was abandoned as a Twins promotion at the behest of the Hennepin County Sheriff. Bob is an unabashed baseball aficionado. He was 9 years old when he traveled from Waterloo, Iowa to see his first game at the Met; his fascination with that experience and that venue has never waned.

He uses photos to drive the book’s narrative. Many come from the Twins’ publicity collection. Bob used them in interviews with former players and front office personnel to elicit the stories that he shares. He interviewed Carew, Tony O., Jim Kaat, Harmon Killebrew and many, many more.

His literary projects are fueled by his passion for the subject matter. Bob has also authored a book about the Minnesota North Stars hockey team. He is donating proceeds from his latest literary turn to the Twins Community Fund.

Mini Classification

John Ophaug grew up in Excelsior and first came to Northfield to attend Carleton College. After graduating from the University of Minnesota School of Law, he returned to Northfield in 1977 to practice law, mostly real estate and estate planning.  He met his wife, Patsy, at a Twins game at the Met on July 4, 1973. Since then, they have raised two children, Kristin, who is in orthopedic residency at the University of Minnesota, and Eric, who works for Wilderness Inquiries out of the Twin Cities.  John has been a Rotarian for 33 years. Running and woodworking occupy his time when he is not poring over musty law books.


Mark Abbott, chair of International Service Projects, reviewed the investments we’ve made in the past year. We have provided $1,250 for infant care and medical testing equipment to a community in Argentina, $960 for computer hardware to Todd Thompson’s school in Guatemala, and $650 for diabetes education in Mali. Our real success story, however, is the $8,170 we raised with help of the foundation and other Rotary clubs to fund 56 beds for an Elder home in Guanambi, Brazil. Newell Krogman, chair of the District Rotary Foundation, was present to recognize the club’s good work.

Guests: Adnan (Fenton), Laura Graber (V. Dilley), Deanne and Thomas Weber (Weber), John Cogan (Cogan), Annika Hansen, Avery Nelson, Cindy Wang and Rachel Dawson (Fenton); and Monica Muchow (V. Dilley).

Scholarship Enhancement: Richard Maus, the “lucky one” indeed!


If you want to fight polio by watching the Minnesota Twins, District 5960 is offering tickets for Saturday, Aug. 3 at Target Field. The deadline for sign up is July 2. If you are interested, go to the district website at

Coming Up:

July 4 — Holiday. Enjoy the Fireworks

July 11 — Rick Ornsby, Faribault Rotary Club’s service project