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2020 MLB (non-Twins) Postseason Discussion Thread

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Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Hitters)

Over the coming weeks at Twins Daily, I will be digging into the history of the Minnesota Twins and presenting for you Twins teams of the decades. Tonight, we will start with my choices for the Hitters of the 1960s Twins. Tomorrow, I'll post the pitchers of that decade (five starters, five relievers).Finally, on Thursday night, I'll post a fun interview/podcast with someone who is very familiar with the Twins of the 1960s. Hopefully you are as interested in the Twins 60-year history and will discuss the players and the list.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily
As you know, the Twins came to Minnesota from Washington DC where they were known as the Senators. In 1961, they won just 70 games. Then they won 91 games each of the next two seasons. 1964 was disappointing as the team finished just below .500. In 1965, the Twins made it all the way to the World Series where they lost in seven games to the Dodgers. They won at least 89 games the next two seasons but then fell below .500 again in 1968. In 1969, under Billy Martin, they won 97 games.

The 1960s was the Twins first decade in Minnesota. As you look through the top hitters below, you might want to ask yourself if the 1960s Twins All-Decade team might just be the best of the six decades.

Share your thoughts. Who did I miss? Who would you name the player of the decade?

THE HITTERS

C - Earl Battey (1961-1967)
853 games, .278/.356/.409 (.765) with 115 doubles, 76 homers, 350 RBI.

Battey spent parts of five seasons with the White Sox but came to the Senators in 1960. That season, he won his first Gold Glove Award. In his seven seasons in a Twins uniform, he was an All-Star in four seasons. He won two more Gold Gloves. He finished in the top ten in MVP voting twice.

1B - Harmon Killebrew - 1961-1969
1,305 games, .266/.388/.547 (.935) with 164 doubles, 362 homers, 933 RBI.

When the Twins came to Minnesota, he had already spent parts of seven seasons with the Senators.In the ‘60s, he was an All-Star all but one year. His 362 homers were best in the organization by over 150 homers. He hit 39 or more homers in seven of the seasons and led the American League five times. He won the 1969 MVP award and finished in the Top 5 in MVP voting five times.

2B - Rod Carew - 1967-1969
387 games, .299/.346/.408 (.754) with 79 doubles, 17 homers, 149 RBI.

Carew didn’t debut until 1967, but he made an immediate impact. He played in all three All-Star games. He was the 1967 AL Rookie of the Year. He led the league with a .332 batting average in 1969. It was just the beginning for the future Hall of Famer whom the American League batting championship is now named after.

3B - Rich Rollins - 1961-1968
888 games, .272/.333/.398 (.727) with 117 doubles, 71 homers, 369 RBI.

Rollins was an All-Star (twice). He finished eighth in MVP voting. He had at least 40 extra-base hits each year from 1962 through 1964. As the decade advanced, he became more of a part-time, platoon player.

SS - Zoilo Versalles - 1961-1967
1,065 games, .252/.299/.387 (.686) with 188 doubles, 86 homers, 401 RBI.

Versalles had played parts of two seasons with the Senators. He became a regular in 1961. He was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner in 1963. In 1965, he was an All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, and the American League MVP. That season, he led the league in doubles (45) and triples (12). It was the third straight year he led the league in triples.

LF - Bob Allison - 1961-1969
1,189 games, .255/.361/.482 (.843) with 162 doubles, 210 homers, 635 RBI.

Allison debuted with the Senators in 1958 and was an All-Star and the AL Rookie of the Year in 1959. He was a starter throughout the 1960s. He was an All-Star in 1963 and 1964, his two best seasons. He hit over 30 homers twice and over 20 homers seven seasons in the decade. His .911 OPS led the American League. He was a leader of the 1965 World Series team and his catch is still one of the great highlights in World Series history.



CF - Jimmie Hall - 1963-1966
573 games, .269/.334/.481 (.815) with 73 doubles, 98 homers, 288 RBI.

Hall debuted as a 25 year old in 1963 and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. He hit .260 with a career-high 33 homers. He was an All-Star in 1964 and 1965. A left-handed hitter, he started just two of the seven World Series games in 1965 because he didn’t play in the games started by Sandy Koufax or Claude Osteen. He hit 20 or more homers in all four of his Twins seasons before he was traded to California after the 1966 season.

RF - Tony Oliva - 1962-1969
912 games, .308/.359/.500 (.859) with 213 doubles, 132 homers, 535 RBI.

Oliva played in 16 games between 1962 and 1963. In 1964, he hit .323 and was the AL Rookie of the Year. He won batting titles his first two seasons. He was an All-Star in 1964 and for each season through the rest of the decade. He twice finished runner up in AL MVP voting, including to Versalles in 1965. He led the league in Hits four times during the decade and in Doubles four times. His 213 doubles was tops in the organization.

DH - Cesar Tovar - 1965-1969
631 games, .271/.329/.371 (.700) with 108 doubles, 25 homers, 189 RBI.

Obviously there wasn’t a designated hitter in the 1960s, but we are going to have one… because, well, why not? With the hitters in this lineup, Tovar likely wouldn’t be the regular DH in actual games. He would play all over the diamond with different guys DHing each game. Tovar debuted in 1965. In 1966, he became a regular. In 1967, he led the league with 164 games played (and plate appearances and at-bats). He received MVP votes each season from 1967 through 1971.


What an impressive group of players, led by several Hall of Famers, Twins Hall of Famers and Baseball Hall of Famers.

Check back tomorrow for the Twins Pitchers of the Decade of the 1960s.

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15 Comments

I would move Rollins out of that lineup.He was not a good player.

 

Instead, I would put Don Mincher.  

 

Move Harmon to 3B, he actually played more OF/3B than first base in the 60s.He played 550 games at first base, 312 games at 2B, and 463 games in the OF.

    • mikelink45 and jkcarew like this

 

I would move Rollins out of that lineup.He was not a good player.

 

Instead, I would put Don Mincher.  

 

Move Harmon to 3B, he actually played more OF/3B than first base in the 60s.He played 550 games at first base, 312 games at 2B, and 463 games in the OF.

 

Then what? Put Don Mincher at first base? Vic Power? 

 

I'll stick with Rich Rollins based on what he did in 1962-64... But admittedly, I'd probably bat him ninth in this lineup.

 

Which, by the way, what would this lineup look like?? I might try:

 

Carew 2B

Allison LF

Oliva RF

Killebrew 1B

Hall CF

Tovar "DH"

Battey C

Versalles SS

Rollins 3B

 

Something like that? 

 

 

 

    • mikelink45 and AceWrigley like this

Bench:

Don Mincher 1B/PH

Bernie Allen 2B/3B

Jackie Hernandez SS/PR

Lenny Green OF

Jerry Zimmerman C

Interesting to look back - Jimmie Hall had three good seasons and then he was essentially done.Tovar had four seasons in the 60s - all good.  

 

I am partial to Vic Power at 1B and Killebrew at 3B.Vic was terrific.If Tovar and Hall share CF - they essentially did when Hall was done Tovar took over, then Mincher would be DH.  

Thanks for doing this.I love the idea and look forward to your next posts.  

    • Seth Stohs likes this

Got me thinking about my team in the '60's, Seth.Would put Aaron and Matthews up against the Twins top two.Crandall, Logan and Covington were also very good.But after the top two, the Twins depth throughout the lineup would give them the nod.

 

But then my team up and left for Atlanta in 1966, so many of us don't really want to think about baseball and the 60's.

    • Cornholio likes this

Nice job Seth, I'm good with it. Hate leaving Mincher off because of his bat but there are only so many spots. I think people over look the job Rollins did although his career was not that long.

 

Got me thinking about my team in the '60's, Seth.Would put Aaron and Matthews up against the Twins top two.Crandall, Logan and Covington were also very good.But after the top two, the Twins depth throughout the lineup would give them the nod.

 

But then my team up and left for Atlanta in 1966, so many of us don't really want to think about baseball and the 60's.

 

I would probably put Aaron and Matthews over Killebrew and Carew. I think most would. But yes, I love this "lineup" depth. Some of the greats in the organization's history. 

 

Nice job Seth, I'm good with it. Hate leaving Mincher off because of his bat but there are only so many spots. I think people over look the job Rollins did although his career was not that long.

 

I really think people will enjoy the podcast I have coming on Thursday night. It's over an hour or talk about the Twins of the '60s. But we talked a bit about Rollins. he was with the team most of the decade, but he was really good for about 3 years and then more of a platoon regular after that. Mincher was one that we talked about maybe being the next guy, though there were several considered. 

Just a thought, but since we are including DH, (rightfully so), perhaps also include a utility player? Almost every team of every decade has that one guy who plays a ton off the bench.

Tovar could have been that guy here with Mincher as the DH maybe.

 

I would probably put Aaron and Matthews over Killebrew and Carew. I think most would. But yes, I love this "lineup" depth. Some of the greats in the organization's history. 

But, if we're talking the 60's only...the comparison would/should be Aaron/Mathews vs Killebrew/Oliva. Oliva did more in the 60's than Carew did. Then it becomes Aaron vs Killebrew and Mathews vs Oliva. And for the 60's (but only for the 60's), that comparison actually could go the Twins way.

 

I'll but Mincher at 1B

Killebrew at 3B

 

Or...you could put Rollins at 3B, Mincher at 1B, Killebrew at DH, Tovar in CF.

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

Got me thinking about my team in the '60's, Seth.Would put Aaron and Matthews up against the Twins top two.Crandall, Logan and Covington were also very good.But after the top two, the Twins depth throughout the lineup would give them the nod.

 

But then my team up and left for Atlanta in 1966, so many of us don't really want to think about baseball and the 60's.

I too was devastated because annually my dad and mom took me to see the Braves play the Dodgers.So great.Mathews and Aaron make it on any team.Billy Bruton would have won out for CF.Schoendeinst would have beat out all second basemen but Carew.Adcock was underrated.Logan would be the SS and Crandall was a great catcher who would be even more appreciated today.Wait until the Pitchers - Spahn, Burdette, and Buhl versus the Twins!

 

 

I too was devastated because annually my dad and mom took me to see the Braves play the Dodgers.So great.Mathews and Aaron make it on any team.Billy Bruton would have won out for CF.Schoendeinst would have beat out all second basemen but Carew.Adcock was underrated.Logan would be the SS and Crandall was a great catcher who would be even more appreciated today.Wait until the Pitchers - Spahn, Burdette, and Buhl versus the Twins!

Burdette was an interesting starter.If memory serves, he always gave up lots of runners, just not a lot of runs.But Spahn was special, probably as good as any lefty to ever play the game.The most wins of any lefty ever, and he missed three of the best years of his career while serving in the Army during WWII.Unlike so many athletes of the recent past, Spahn was a combat engineer who was in the Battle of the Bulge.He was awarded a purple heart.  

 

He was an old guy when I met him, but just loved the crusty old Oklahoman.  

    • DocBauer likes this

 

Burdette was an interesting starter.If memory serves, he always gave up lots of runners, just not a lot of runs.But Spahn was special, probably as good as any lefty to ever play the game.The most wins of any lefty ever, and he missed three of the best years of his career while serving in the Army during WWII.Unlike so many athletes of the recent past, Spahn was a combat engineer who was in the Battle of the Bulge.He was awarded a purple heart.  

 

He was an old guy when I met him, but just loved the crusty old Oklahoman.  

Based on his 13 years of 20 wins it is not hard to believe that Spahn would have amassed over 400 wins without his service time.Many service guys did light duty, but as you mention - not Spahn.  http://baseballegg.c...n-world-war-ii/

 

Burdette was under rated in history https://sabr.org/bio...person/bc3fde89 his record In an 18-year career, Burdette posted a 203–144 record with 1074 strikeouts and a 3.66 ERA in 3067.1 innings, compiling 158 complete games and 33 shutouts is better than some HOF pitchers.  https://sabr.org/bio...person/bc3fde89

 

Burdette is best known for winning the 13 inning game against Pittsburgh when Harvey Haddix pitched 12 innings of a perfect game only to lose in 13.Burdette was known for giving up lots of hits, but few runs and he told his clubhouse - ""He's not going to beat me. Get a run or else we're going to be here all night!"After Adcock hit a Home Run (and only got credit for a double) the game ended and Burdette called Haddix in the locker room,"You deserved to win," Burdette said, "but I scattered all my hits, and you bunched your one." Haddix hung up on him.https://vault.si.com...me-ever-pitched

 

Imagine the duo - Burdette with 203 wins and Spahn with 363!And, by the way, Buhl had 166 wins.

    • jjswol, DocBauer and rdehring like this

 

Based on his 13 years of 20 wins it is not hard to believe that Spahn would have amassed over 400 wins without his service time.Many service guys did light duty, but as you mention - not Spahn.  http://baseballegg.c...n-world-war-ii/

 

Burdette was under rated in history https://sabr.org/bio...person/bc3fde89 his record In an 18-year career, Burdette posted a 203–144 record with 1074 strikeouts and a 3.66 ERA in 3067.1 innings, compiling 158 complete games and 33 shutouts is better than some HOF pitchers.  https://sabr.org/bio...person/bc3fde89

 

Burdette is best known for winning the 13 inning game against Pittsburgh when Harvey Haddix pitched 12 innings of a perfect game only to lose in 13.Burdette was known for giving up lots of hits, but few runs and he told his clubhouse - ""He's not going to beat me. Get a run or else we're going to be here all night!"After Adcock hit a Home Run (and only got credit for a double) the game ended and Burdette called Haddix in the locker room,"You deserved to win," Burdette said, "but I scattered all my hits, and you bunched your one." Haddix hung up on him.https://vault.si.com...me-ever-pitched

 

Imagine the duo - Burdette with 203 wins and Spahn with 363!And, by the way, Buhl had 166 wins.

Thanks for the added info on Spahn, Burdette and Buhl.When I commented above, I recalled that game vs. Haddix.Didn't remember who Burdette faced, but recall that he won that long game which I listened to part of.  

    • mikelink45 likes this
Photo
Buddy Holly
Apr 09 2020 09:29 AM

Watching and listening to these players was great. It's to bad that Tony O never had the medical advancements of today. He was the most complete player of the decade. He could hit, hit for power and field. Teams feared him more than Harmon. The other player that could have been better was Jimmie Hall. He was never the same after he got beaned.The racial tension on this team during the decade also effected them as a team. This will always be my greatest decade to watch Twins baseball. 

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