That Time When God Faced The Devil At The Metrodome

Jim GottSo the Giants just traded for reliever Trevor Gott, an unassuming deal for a back-end reliever.

The trade does, however, serve to remind us of former pitcher Jim Gott (who himself pitched for the Giants from 1985 to 1987, and is not related to Trevor)—specifically that time when he first squared off against Twins infielder Tim Teufel.

It was 1983. Gott was in his second season with Toronto and Teufel was a September call-up for the Twins. Neither player was a world-beater, and both teams would finish in the second division. The reason the showdown gained notice: In German, Gott means “God” and Teufel means “Devil.” The players didn’t yet possess enough name recognition for religious, Teutonic-minded baseball fans to pay notice, which was probably a good thing. Teufel, playing in his 10th major league game, touched Gott for his first-ever home run, a sure sign of evil defeating good.

Or was it? Teufel singled against Gott an inning later in his next at-bat, then went hitless against him for the rest of his 11-year career (even as Gott moved to the Giants, Pirates and Dodgers, Teufel to the Mets and Padres)—a stretch of seven at-bats plus two walks. (Gott is currently the bullpen coach for the Phillies, and Teufel a minor league instructor for the Mets.)

Trevor Gott will likely encounter no such nemesis as his namesake. Hell, even the Devil Rays scratched Satan from their name.