Monday, March 4, 2019

Hail Cesar: Remembering Cesar Tovar, multi-position regular

The Monday print column concerns Marwin Gonzalez, the Twins new multi-position regular, and how he's fit into the lineup.

Twins fans of a certain age have seen this act, or something like it, before. Cesar Tovar in the late 1960s played pretty much every day while splitting starts between second base, third base and the outfield.

He may be remembered for the 1968 gimmick game in which he played all nine positions, but he was truly a multi-position regular:

1966: 73 starts at second base, 27 at shortstop, 16 in center.

1967: 60 starts in center, 56 at third, 31 at second. (Tovar that year played 164 games in a 162-game schedule, an iron-man feat made possible by two ties.)

1968: 67 at third, 29 in center, 15 in left, 20 at short, 12 at second.

1969: 65 in center, 33 at second, 14 at third.

And those are just the positions at which he had at least a dozen starts in a season.

Tovar was essentially locked in as the center fielder for 1970, and he was predominately an outfielder the rest of his career. The Phillies did shuffle him around in 1973 in a part time role.

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