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a strange way to meet your grandfather

September 22, 2011

This past weekend, in a strange fashion, we introduced our boys to their great-grandfather, Bill Rigney, Sr.

Grandpa Rigney, father to Joe’s dad, Bill Rigney, Jr.(whom we affectionately call, Daddy Bill), was a major league baseball player and manager. He played for the New York Giants from 1946-1953, managed the Giants from 1956-1960 (when they moved to San Francisco), and was the first manager of the Los Angeles Angels (1961-1969). From 1970-1972 he was the manager of the Minnesota Twins, leading the team to the AL West championship in 1970. During his career, he managed Hall-of-Famers like Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and Harmon Killebrew.

We’d heard from some friends that Target Field, the new Twins’ stadium, had a picture of Grandpa Rigney outside the stadium. This last weekend Joe’s mom and brothers, along with Robby’s girlfriend Alison, were in town visiting. Greta arranged for us to not only attend a Twins’ game, but to get a tour of the stadium from the Twins’ General Manager, Bill Smith. Mr. Smith was unbelievably hospitable, showing us a painting of Grandpa Rigney outside one of the skybox suites, as well as showing us all over Target Field. He even gave Sam a Twins’ hat!

The Rigney family with Twins’ General Manager, Bill Smith…

Painting of Grandpa inside the Twins’ Stadium

Bill Rigney Sr.’s three grandsons, Danny, Joe, and Robby…

Daddy Bill’s presence was especially missed today, he would be so proud of his family…

Bill Rigney Sr.’s great-grandsons, Sam and Peter.  Any guesses as to where Sam inherited those amazing ears?!…

We had a great time at the game (even though the Twins lost to the Indians). Sam made friends with some kids in the seats in front of us. The highlight of the game was when a foul ball landed a few seats down from where we were sitting. For the rest of the game, Sam kept saying, “Ball go up in the air. And fall down. Man got it.”

It was a sweet time for the Rigney family.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Betsy permalink
    September 22, 2011 3:07 pm

    What a great day!
    ps: love joe wearing the petunia pickle bottom bag!

    • therigneys permalink*
      September 22, 2011 8:43 pm

      I know. I love a man who is secure enough to wear a diaper bag/purse!

  2. September 26, 2011 12:31 pm

    That is so neat Joe’s Grandpa had such a special career! Very neat family outing to see him honored at the new stadium! Joe looks so much like his Grandpa!

  3. September 26, 2011 5:08 pm

    So I did a teensy bit of research (okay, I clicked on Wiki) and discovered that your Grandpa Rigney managed the LA Angels at the same time my dad’s pastor/mentor/spiritual father (a man very like a grandpa and near and dear to me and my family, IOW) *played for * the LA Angels- Albie Pearson.

    He got out of baseball when the Lord [mercifully] gave him a back injury and called him into the ministry. Many years, church plants, pastors raised up, and lives changed later, he is now running a home for wayward boys in California, Father’s Heart Ranch.

    So. That’s kind of a cool/random connection!

  4. Patti permalink
    September 28, 2011 10:54 am

    Alison had such a wonderful time with your sweet family. I look forward to meeting you in the future. In the meantime, I enjoy your sweet blogs.

  5. Maggie permalink
    January 29, 2012 5:59 pm

    Hi Joey! This is awesome! Hopi found it by accident and forwarded the link to me. Great pics!! Really really great. Hope to see you soon and meet your family. love, Maggie

  6. Kelly Bender-Rigney permalink
    July 20, 2013 12:51 pm

    Found your site by accident but found it very interesting. I married a Rigney and have been researching his family tree for a number of years and I always wondered if Bill Rigney was related but I haven’t been able to tie him in yet. My husband’s family is from the Casey County Kentucky area from way back in the mid to late 1700’s. Take care

  7. Nick permalink
    November 27, 2013 11:16 am

    Very sorry to learn of Bill Jr.s recent passing. We worked together many years at Permian and Scurlock and I alway enjoyed my times with him. His borther Tom is a whiz on the fiddle and I’ve enjoyed listening to him several times. All the best to the entire family.

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