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TwinsArmChairGM_Jon
03-18-2013, 05:38 PM
Over at SB Nation's Baseball Nation blog, Rob Neyer asks the question today, who is the player you associate with each franchise? For the Twins, he says (http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/3/18/4118050/baseball-nicknames-misters)...


Mr. Minnesota, of course, would be Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, who traveled with the franchise from Washington, D.C. to Minneapolis (well, actually Bloomington) and wound up hitting 475 home runs while a Twin. It's true that Killebrew already has a nickname, but "Killer" never really seemed to fit such a sweet man.

Now, clearly you can't go horribly wrong with Killebrew. He had probably the greatest individual career in franchise history and set the power standard that all other Twins' hitters have and continue to chase. He also stayed involved with the team as an ambassador and was absolutely recognizable to fans like me who were born too late to watch him play.

The only other option, in my opinion, would be Kirby Puckett, of course. Winning two world series, the second in epic fashion, he was the face of the Twins basically since day-one of his career. Despite an injury shortened career, he was the most beloved Minnesota athlete of his time, possibly all time.

I certainly have more fond memories of Puckett, but that's because I didn't get to watch Killebrew play, unfortunately. I think they are both deserving, and and there's probably no wrong answer here. Do you feel strongly about one or the other? Or someone else?

diehardtwinsfan
03-18-2013, 06:13 PM
All time, probably Puckett. I could see Mauer towards the end of his career if he continues to play at an HOF level.

mudcat14
03-18-2013, 06:17 PM
I named my son Harmon. 'Nuf said.

Thrylos
03-18-2013, 06:21 PM
Kirby. 2 World Series. 'nough said.

Mr. Brooks
03-18-2013, 06:51 PM
For me, its Kirby Puckett and its not close.
But, I'm only 30 years old.
From everything I've heard about Killabrew I can easily see how it would be him for the older Twins fans.

Oxtung
03-18-2013, 09:00 PM
I think a case could be made for Joe Mauer being Mr. Twin right now. Obviously he has the physical skills needed but he also has all the intangibles that embody what the Minnesota Twins try to portray themselves as. You name a Twins cliche and Mauer fits the mold. Do things "the right way". Check. Pitch to contact? Sure seems like he leads the charge on the field. All American, wholesome image? Yup. Great hair...whoops wrong brand, but I think you get the picture. It also helps that he is the hometown hero and the face of the franchise (and will be for many more years barring injury). Every way I can think of, except for a World Championship, he fits the idea of Mr. Twin.

Longdistancetwins
03-18-2013, 09:01 PM
Remembered them both and loved 'em both, but it was Kirby who was the catalyst for two amazing World Series championships, and Kirby who really changed the way Twins fans related to the team.

Mr. Brooks
03-18-2013, 09:11 PM
I think a case could be made for Joe Mauer being Mr. Twin right now. Obviously he has the physical skills needed but he also has all the intangibles that embody what the Minnesota Twins try to portray themselves as. You name a Twins cliche and Mauer fits the mold. Do things "the right way". Check. Pitch to contact? Sure seems like he leads the charge on the field. All American, wholesome image? Yup. Great hair...whoops wrong brand, but I think you get the picture. It also helps that he is the hometown hero and the face of the franchise (and will be for many more years barring injury). Every way I can think of, except for a World Championship, he fits the idea of Mr. Twin.

No way. Mauer will have to wait until those of us that watched Kirby have grown old and a new crowd of fans grow up.
Kirby was pretty much universally loved around here (at least DURING his playing career).
As great as Joe is, the same cannot be said for him. There is a divide among those who love him and those who rip him. He's not universally loved like Kirby is, and Kirby's postseason heroics are a huge factor. Its going to be tough for Mauer to top that, regardless of what he does in the regular season.

Note: I'm not saying its Joe's fault they havent had postseason success, just saying it is what it is.

spideyo
03-18-2013, 09:15 PM
Joe Mauer is Mr. Twin because he fits exactly what the Twins want their brand to be. He is quiet, keeps his head down and goes to work every day. He leads by example, and has committed to being a Twin for a long time. Not only that, but he is quintessentially Minnesotan. He is polite, close to his family, married a girl he went to high school with. He's got a cabin up north and likes his mom. Heck, she actually answers all his fan mail for him.

biggentleben
03-18-2013, 09:23 PM
Has to be Kirby. I love Killer, but Kirby was the absolute face of not just the Twins, but baseball at times in his career. Baseball's first $3M man, and he played for Minnesota, go figure. On top of that, you put together the most iconic moments in Twins history, and Kirby's all over them. Killer's easily the best player that ever played for the team, but Kirby's the face.

mudcat14
03-18-2013, 10:24 PM
I named my son Harmon. 'Nuf said.

I didn't post this with the intention of suggesting anyone that opts for Kirby, Mauer, Oliva, Hrbek, Carew or someone else was wrong. I merely meant that for myself, Harmon was the reason I became a Twins fan and have remained loyal for nearly 50 years. I loved Kirby as well, but the'Killer' will always be #1 in my book.

Pius Jefferson
03-18-2013, 11:12 PM
Did Kirby Puckett even have a relationship with the organization when he died?

spideyo
03-19-2013, 07:34 AM
Did Kirby Puckett even have a relationship with the organization when he died?

I think after all the court cases he basically withdrew from everybody and holed up in Arizona until he died

ChiTownTwinsFan
03-19-2013, 07:52 AM
Why does there have to be just one? Killebrew, Puckett, Mauer ... three different generations, three different Mr. Twins.

Gernzy
03-19-2013, 08:01 AM
You guys have all missed the obvious answer...Nick Punto!

Seriously I'd have to go with Harmon. He's done so much for the organization besides just play baseball.

crarko
03-19-2013, 08:52 AM
No doubt the three mentioned cover the three main eras of Twins (post-Senators) history, and are true faces of the Twins.

But I can also think of a couple of other faces that span all three eras quite nicely: Tony O. and Bert.

Halsey Hall
03-19-2013, 02:24 PM
Without question, Harmon. It's too bad the younger posters couldn't see him play. Kirby is a few steps behind, but I understand the younger one's choice there.

If one takes into mind the off field character of these two, Harmon would be miles ahead of Kirby, as would some other players. I've seen Kirby make many peoples day thru the years, and the most somber day at spring training was the day he was, and did die. But he had another side too.

USAFChief
03-19-2013, 02:28 PM
Harmon Killebrew. I'm astounded anyone would posit another answer. I must admit, though, that my beautiful golden retriever is named Kirby.

Jim Crikket
03-19-2013, 02:49 PM
I understand there being a generational divide on this question, but for me it is Killebrew and not even close to a contest. Without Killebrew and Oliva, the Twins may have been calling another city home by the time Puckett arrived. Killebrew was the Minnesota Twins. He made the franchise relevant. He also had few peers when it came to epitomizing class and character on and off the field, while continuing to step up and give back to the Twins and baseball fans almost literally up until the day he passed.

Jerr
03-19-2013, 05:35 PM
Why does there have to be just one? Killebrew, Puckett, Mauer ... three different generations, three different Mr. Twins.

Nice diplomatic take! Since I'm an old guy and got to see him play, I got to give it to Killebrew, if I have to pick one.

ashburyjohn
03-19-2013, 07:20 PM
No doubt the three mentioned cover the three main eras of Twins (post-Senators) history, and are true faces of the Twins.

But I can also think of a couple of other faces that span all three eras quite nicely: Tony O. and Bert.

Was planning to mention these two as I worked my way down the thread, and would like to throw Hrbek in as another guy who seemed to exemplify the team and continues to be in the public eye after retirement, which I think is part of being Mr. [YourTeamHere]. I give these three Honorable Mention as being worthy of being "in" the discussion, even though I'd go Harmon/Kirby/Joe more or less for my actual vote.

gil4
03-19-2013, 07:47 PM
Oliva was the first one that came to mind for me. Carew was my favorite growing up - I remember painting the number 29 on the back of my plastic Twins helmet, back when those were popular - but Carew left and Oliva stuck around. I'm not sure why I wasn't more of a Killebrew fan, but it might be because he was washed up and in a Royals uniform in my earlier memories. Oliva was mostly done, too, but he kind of became part of the Oliva-Carew batting title continuum that was part of the Twins' identity back then.

Longdistancetwins
03-19-2013, 08:49 PM
Was planning to mention these two as I worked my way down the thread, and would like to throw Hrbek in as another guy who seemed to exemplify the team and continues to be in the public eye after retirement, which I think is part of being Mr. [YourTeamHere].

Thanks for mentioning Herbie. I could never get over that the guy was from Bloomington and had that kind of a dramatic career, literally from his first game to his last.

ChiTownTwinsFan
03-19-2013, 09:08 PM
Nice diplomatic take! Since I'm an old guy and got to see him play, I got to give it to Killebrew, if I have to pick one.

Yeah ... if 'forced' to pick one, I'd pick Killebrew, too. He was my favorite growing up. (Yeah, am an oldie, but goodie, too.) Just is interesting to see the 'generational' sidings on this informal 'poll.'

Linus
03-19-2013, 09:46 PM
It has to be Harmon. I loved Kirby as well but Harmon was that kind of iconic figure for a very long time. I'm 52 and cried when I heard the news of his passing. Tony was great also and a true ambassador for the franchise for all of his adult life.

D. Hocking
03-19-2013, 10:34 PM
None of the players mentioned would be bad choices. I would probably lean towards Harmon. He was basically one of the founding fathers and was a great senior statesman and was involved with the organization for decades (obviously that factor was out of Kirby's control, and he is definitely right up there). Mauer will hopefully have a good 6 to ten years left to add to his resume which could/should involve another chance at the play-offs. I suspect he will also actively involved with the Twins post-retirement even as his grandkids are dominating the sports at Cretin. (I also have some sentimentality towards Kent on this issue.)

Pius Jefferson
03-20-2013, 02:06 AM
I think after all the court cases he basically withdrew from everybody and holed up in Arizona until he died

That's what I thought and his problems in my opinion would have kept him from ever being Mr. Twin. He did some really horrible things that are hard to ignore.

h2oface
03-20-2013, 03:10 AM
I really don't care about Kirby's butt pinching fetish after he was done playing ........... and I respect and honor what he did for the Twins and the only 2 World Series championships. My pick is "The Killer", and I love that nickname. I saw them all play, and even was lucky enough to get a foul ball he hit deep deep in the left field stands where I was cruising in a 1/3 full stadium with my glove as a 10 year old in 1965 at the Met. History doesn't disappear just because someone wasn't born yet. Joe isn't done yet, so the pick could change, maybe, even hopefully.......... bring on the championships....... but Harmon gets my vote for "Mr. Twin".

Longdistancetwins
03-20-2013, 08:17 AM
I saw them all play, and even was lucky enough to get a foul ball he hit deep deep in the left field stands where I was cruising in a 1/3 full stadium with my glove as a 10 year old in 1965 at the Met. History doesn't disappear just because someone wasn't born yet. Joe isn't done yet, so the pick could change, maybe, even hopefully.......... bring on the championships....... but Harmon gets my vote for "Mr. Twin".

Hey that's really super about the foul ball, in 1965, no less! Even though I'd vote for Kirby, I'm heartened by how Twins fans have now embraced their early history. From my far-off perspective, I had the feeling that local fans had pushed that in the background for many years. I thought the 50th anniversary of the franchise and the way Target Field was dedicated brought that heritage back in a healthy way. I know I started to cry when I watched Jim Perry raise a pennant, on my crummy computer screen here in New York.

UCLA_YANKEE_COLA
03-20-2013, 10:31 AM
I was 11 & 15 when the Twins won their 2 World Series. My childhood bedroom walls were dedicated to Kirby. I chose his 1984 Fleer Update rookie card over the original Nintendo for my 12th birthday. But I would still vote Killebrew. He made Minnesotans fall in love with the Twins and he was the best player to ever wear the uniform.

70charger
03-20-2013, 12:30 PM
I'm pretty much in the exact position as OP. My initial thought was "Kirby, of course. ...what about Harmon, though?"

I'm just too young to have seen him play, so my earliest memories of the team are full of Kirby Puckett. But you have to think that Killebrew's playing career was at least as good as Kirby's (probably better, despite no titles), and Killebrew was one hell of a fine human being.

This is a question that's hard to get wrong.

CDog
03-21-2013, 10:41 AM
I think there are two reasons Killebrew doesn't lap the field or immediately come to my mind. The first is I didn't get to see him play. The other is that even when I do think of him, it's almost like he's bigger than the Twins. If the question was who is Mr. Baseball, I think he'd come more to my thoughts than for Mr. Twin. If that makes sense.

I predict if this is asked in 2033, the answer will be Mauer. And for me that's true right now, even if I know Killebrew is a "better" answer.

Mr. Brooks
03-28-2013, 09:03 PM
Baseball Video Highlights & Clips | BB Moments: '91 WS, Gm 6: Kirby's HR Forces Game 7 - Video | MLB.com: Multimedia (http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=3251263)