Throwback Tuesday Volume 2: Denny Hocking and Antti Laaksonen

Baseball Hockey Twins Wild

I can’t believe it. I am actually keeping my word and making this a weekly blog. If you missed last weeks blog check it out here! Now for volume 2. We have 2 random names that actually have some pretty cool moments and records for the local teams they played for.

Denny Hocking

If you were a kid in the mid-to late 90s and early 00s this is name that should bring back some memories. He was drafted in the 52nd round fo the 1989 MLB draft and made his major league debut in 1993 as a late season September call-up. Hocking spent the next 4 years playing sparingly in the majors and finally broke through as a starter in the 1997 season when he played in 115 games. With career numbers of .252, 25 career home runs and 215 RBIs he wasn’t much of a power hitter or run producer. My favorite memory of Denny Hocking came in the 2002 post season. My school in Brooklyn Park (shoutout Edinbrook Elementary) would have us sing the Minnesota Twins song and each one of us got a version of the Homer Hankey.

Sadly, this highlight of a series clinching win is the last that Minnesota Twins fans have seen. That’s right, it has been 20 years since the last time the Twins won a legit playoff series. According to trusty news site, Wikipedia, Hocking has been managing various teams in baseball since 2010 and is currently the manager of the U18 Team USA squad.

Antti Laaksonen

A legit blast from the past. Our second athlete is Antti Laaksonen. A stalwart penalty killer for Jacques Lemaire and the early Minnesota Wild teams. I remember Antti almost never missing a game, in fact in his first 3 seasons he played in all 82 games becoming the teams first “Iron Man”. Another cool piece of Wild history that Laaksonen has is the first ever hat-trick in franchise history. He completed this feat in the Wild’s inaugural season on November 26, 2000 in a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Also, he just looks like a movie villain. Then again, most Finnish guys do. If you told me he was the less tan, less Hollywood, brother of Wolf Stansson, I’d believe you.