Thelma Griffith Haynes

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Thelma Griffith Haynes
Thelma Mae Robertson

(1913-07-25)July 25, 1913
DiedOctober 15, 1995(1995-10-15) (aged 82)
OccupationMajor League Baseball team owner (Minnesota Twins)
Years active1955–1984

Thelma Griffith Haynes (July 25, 1913 – October 15, 1995)[1] was a CanadianAmerican club owner (1955–84) in Major League Baseball.

Born Thelma Mae Robertson to Scottish parents in Montréal, Québec,[2] she was the niece of Clark Griffith, a former star pitcher who became manager (1912–20) and then president and chief stockholder of the Washington Senators (1920 until his death in 1955). The Senators relocated to Minneapolis–Saint Paul in the autumn of 1960 and have been known as the Minnesota Twins since 1961.

Haynes' father, James Robertson, was a Canadian minor league baseball player who died in 1922, leaving behind a widow and seven young children.[3] Clark Griffith's wife, Anne ("Addie"), James Robertson's sister, took in the destitute survivors, and the family moved from Montréal to Washington, D.C., with eldest son Calvin Robertson and Thelma assuming the Griffith surname.[4] Calvin Griffith was groomed to succeed his uncle, who was childless, as the Senators' president and de facto general manager.

In October 1955, Clark Griffith died at age 85, leaving his 52 percent majority interest in the Senators evenly split between Calvin and Thelma.[4] She served as treasurer and executive vice president of the Twins and, with her brother, ensured that the Griffith-Robertson family would control the operation of the team until it was purchased on August 15, 1984, by Carl Pohlad; the family's share of the Twins reportedly was sold for $32 million.[5]

Thelma wed a former Washington pitcher, Joe Haynes of the Chicago White Sox, in 1941.[3] Joe would later return to the Senators/Twins as a player, coach and front office executive until his death in January 1967. Their son, Bruce Haynes, also was an executive with the Twins' franchise. The family also included brother-in-law Joe Cronin, like Clark Griffith a Baseball Hall of Fame player (and later a manager, general manager and American League president), brother Sherry Robertson, who played, coached and served as farm system director for the Senators and Twins, and two other brothers, Jimmy and Billy Robertson, who were also team executives.

Thelma Griffith Haynes relocated from Minnesota to Florida in 1982 and died at 82[4] on October 15, 1995 in Orlando, the team's longtime spring training home, after suffering a stroke.[6]


  1. ^ Florida Death Index, 1877-1998
  2. ^ 1921 Census of Canada
  3. ^ a b Hennessey, Kevin. "Calvin Griffith: The Ups and Downs of Baseball's Only Family-Owned Team". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Thelma Griffith Haynes, 82, Baseball Owner (Obituary)". The New York Times. October 17, 1995. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  5. ^ The Associated Press (August 15, 2014). "Owners Approve Sale of the Twins". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  6. ^ The Associated Press, October 17, 1995