Pitcher Tommy "The Blade'' Hall had been signed by the Twins in the January 1966 draft. He passed through big-league training camp, was spotted by Cesar Tovar, and they had a weigh-in.
"We weighed 130 and 132 pounds," Hall said earlier this year.
Which is more evidence that MLB records listing Tovar at 5-9 and 155 pounds were generous, by an inch or so in height and at least 10 pounds in weight.
"I don't think Cesar ever weighed more than 145," said Tony Oliva, his friend and teammate. "But he was strong ... and tough. He would let a pitch hit him to get to first base, and then show you the bruises after the game."
Tovar appeared briefly for the Twins in 1965, then became an everyday presence in the lineup for seven seasons. You couldn't be sure where he was going to play, just that managers Sam Mele, Cal Ermer, Billy Martin, Bill Rigney and Frank Quilici would have him in there — and generally leading off.
One of the smallest ironmen you could imagine finally will be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame on Sunday. He died in 1994 in Venezuela, seven years before the Twins' Hall started and, for many years, was lost to generations of voters from the media-heavy committee.
He finally made it in January, along with Dan Gladden and Ron Gardenhire. The ceremony for Gladden and Tovar will take place before Sunday's game at Target Field.
Ironman? The Twins played 164 games (two official ties) during the Great Race in 1967. Tovar played in all of them, starting all but two in this fashion: 31 starts at second, 56 at third, five at shortstop and 70 in the outfield (60 in center).
He led the American League with 720 plate appearances — and would go over 700 in two other Twins' seasons. He led the AL with 36 doubles and 13 triples in 1970. He led the AL with 204 hits in 1971.
Scoring runs was Tovar's specialty and he led the AL with 120 in 1970. He helped himself into scoring position with 186 stolen bases, third on the Twins career list behind Chuck Knoblauch and Rod Carew.
Tovar had terrific seasons during the pitching-dominated era that led to the AL adopting the designated hitter in 1973. He had been acquired by the Twins for young lefthander Gerry Arrigo before the 1965 season. He was traded to Philadelphia after the 1972 season for first baseman Joe Lis and pitchers Ken Reynolds and Ken Sanders.
No doubt about it: The Twins did better in trading for Tovar than in trading him away.