Randolph Graduate Is Twins Hero

Caleb Thielbar, less than a week after his alma mater Randolph won the MSHSL Class A State Baseball Tournament, salvaged a much-needed win for the Minnesota Twins today.

According to Baseball Reference.com, it was Thielbar’s first career in the major league save. Obviously the stats weren’t updated when I checked them after the game, but the official box score listed a save for Thielbar.

The win prevented a victory for the Cleveland Guardians and put Minnesota back in a tie for first place in the American League Central Division.

A Randolph jersey in a large glass frame sits in the hallway near the cafeteria leading into Randolph High School’s gymnasium, promoting arguably its most famous graduate. In 2005 he graduated from Randolph.

Thielbar had an impressive baseball career at South Dakota State University. When his career was over there, at 44, he was the all-time leader in starts. Innings pitched with 274 and was second in strikeouts with 196.

In 2009, Thielbar became the first player in South Dakota state history to make the majors. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball draft.

His degree is Wildlife and Fisheries Management. Caleb is an avid outdoorsman.

I had the privilege of calling a game on the Gophers’ internet service when his jackrabbits came to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome to play the University of Minnesota when he was the game’s starting pitcher.

It was a great experience to say the least because I broadcast some of his high school and Legion baseball games and some basketball competitions.

Caleb and his parents were always great people to visit whenever I had the opportunity.

Caleb provided me with an autographed South Dakota state hat that I have on display in my garage but never wear. I can’t remember if I got the hat that day or later in the dome.

As you can see, the writing on the peak of the cap is fading.

Annotation by Caleb Thielbar Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

Annotation by Caleb Thielbar Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

Thielbar was a standout basketball player at Randolph. A 1,000 point scorer in addition to his baseball talents.

In 2013 he received the Twins Rookie of the Year award from the team. That year, Thielbar had some impressive stats.

Began MLB career with 19.2 straight innings scoreless from May 20 to July 6, setting a Twins record that tied him with the Mets’ Joe Smith (1st allowed only five hits during the streak and knocked out 17 .31 consecutive retired batters without conceding a hit according to Elias tying Joe Nathan (2006) for fifth longest in club history broke a streak on a home run by Ben Zobrist in Tampa Bay on July 8th…the streak was the second-longest in club history for a rookie, after Jerry Arrigo’s 33rd straight win in 1964. Earned first major league win against Seattle on June 1. Tossing 1.0 scoreless inning of relief Allowed only two earned runs in first 28 appearances (28.2 IP) and posted a 0.63 ERA over that span (to August 5) 41 of 49 appearances were scoreless, including 32 of the first 36 from May 20 to August 25. Posted a batting average t of .154 opponents, the lowest in Twins history and the second-lowest in Twins/Senators franchise history (since 1901) behind Johnny Niggeling’s 1943 average of .153. Posted a 1.76 ERA (46.0 IP, 9 ER), the sixth-lowest in Twins history…his 49 games was the eighth-most ranked rookie in Twins history. 6th in AL in ERA (40.0 minimum IP), 2nd among rookies… tied 5th among AL rookies in appearances. Received the Bill Boni Award for Twins Most Outstanding Rookie from the BBWAA’s Twin Cities Chapter.

I know he was excited to learn his Rockets team won a state title at Target Field in a 2-1 pitcher duel with the 2021 state champions, the Hayfield Vikings.

Thielbar had a very good 2021 season that resulted in his salary doubling to $1.3 million that year.

Wife Carissa is an assistant coach on the WNIT championship-winning South Dakota women’s basketball team. They have a young son (Joshua).

South Dakota State University gift hat by Caleb Thielbar. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

South Dakota State University gift hat by Caleb Thielbar. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

As long as we present Major League Baseball.

APPEARANCE: MLB history since the year you were born

Stacker has compiled key moments from Major League Baseball history over the past 100 years. Using a variety of sources from Major League Baseball (MLB) record books, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and audio and video recordings of events, we’ve listed the iconic moments that shaped a sport and a nation. Read on to find out what happened in MLB history the year you were born.

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