You can say one thing for Tom Klawitter from a baseball perspective — from a baseball card perspective — dude had timing.

See, Klawitter was the Dodgers’ 19th-round pick in the 1980 Draft out of the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse, and after three-plus seasons, he was still in the minors. Worse, the Dodgers released him in May of 1983.

There’s always a market for lefthanders, though, and the Minnesota Twins signed Klawitter as a minor league free agent ten days later. Something about being a Twin clicked with the youngster, and he lowered his ERA from the mid-four range to the mid-threes.

Two seasons of that sort of production were enough to land Klawitter a spot on the Twins’ Opening Day roster in 1985, and he made his debut on April 14.

He got off to a rocky start, racking up a 6.75 ERA in 9 1/3 innings over seven games that included two starts. And then, an elbow injury ended his season on May 21.

Ah, but Klawitter got in just in time and stuck around just long enough to figure into the Twins’ summer plans, and to make an impression that would last forever.

See, Minnesota hosted the 1985 All-Star Game at the Metrodome, and they slapped that fancy little (OK, big) ASG logo on everything they could.

One of those *things* was a team-issued (in conjunction with BRF) set of player postcards. And, because you have to plan out those types of things pretty early, and because Klawitter was part of the Twins’ early plans in 1985, he made the cut:

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Klawitter never did make it back to the Twins, or to the Majors, spending part of one last season in pro ball in the Toronto Blue Jays’ farm system (Double-A Knoxville) in 1986.

In an eight-year professional career, then, he flung open his Major League window for about six weeks total … and found kneeling right onto a Big League baseball card.

If, as they say, timing is everything, then you gotta figure Tom Klawitter is the master of all he surveys.

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