3 Nominations for the 2021 Twins Hall of Fame Class
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY SportsWith the news that former Twins great Justin Morneau will be the lone member of the 2020 Twins Hall of Fame class, this piece will look at three other candidates for 2021. Being that it’s just a matter of time, this piece will not look at Joe Mauer, but will look for other less obvious candidates.
Was it surprising to anyone else that Mauer was not named as an inductee with Morneau? It seems super fitting for Mauer and Morneau to enter the Twins Hall of Fame as the M&M boys of the mid-2000/early-2010 Twins. Regardless, Mauer will not be an inductee this year but will undoubtedly be sometime in the near future. Per the Twins website, “the Twins Hall of Fame [was established in 2000 and] annually recognizes uniform personnel who have made significant contributions to the franchise and game of baseball across the Upper Midwest”. Here are three other Twins who are potential candidates for the 2021 class.
For the better part of nine seasons, Roy Smalley was the starting shortstop for the Minnesota Twins, including his lone All-Star season in 1979. He is the best Twins shortstop of all-time and helped the team win its first World Series title in 1987. He’s already been inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame and the College Baseball Hall of Fame. In his post playing career Smalley has spent 17 seasons in some role on the Twins broadcast team. Per the Twins website, “[Smalley] serves as President on the Board of Directors for the nonprofit organization Pitch In For Baseball and is an advocate for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities”.
If you only consider his playing career then it becomes a much more arguable case, but when you look at the whole picture I think Smalley is deserving of being inducted in 2021. He’s been contributing to the franchise in one form or another for about 45-percent of its time in Minnesota.
His career with the Twins was short lived with only six plus seasons as their anchor at third base and his entire career was cut short due to concussions. Arguably, he is the greatest third basemen the Twins have ever had (for now) even garnering an MVP vote after his 2001 campaign. He’s even a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame which Morneau currently cannot say. In his post playing career, he is giving back to the baseball community through coaching right here in the Twin Cities area and has also started a podcast called “How I Got Here with Corey Koskie” where he interviews athletes on the path they took to get where they are in their careers.
This is another case where the whole picture makes Koskie a deserving candidate in my eyes. Yes, he was only here for six years, but as a player he was a key cog in the team going from contraction to three consecutive division championships. Furthermore, his continued work in the local community shouldn’t go unnoticed.
“Gardy” is the second winningest manager of all-time and led his teams to more playoff appearances than any other manager of the franchise. Most importantly, he was another person who led the team from contraction to six division titles in nine seasons. His community outreach isn’t readily available in a google search but his down to earth personality and humility during his time as manager would lead one to assume he’s a very giving person.
His tenure with the Twins was overshadowed by his lack of postseason success, but the bigger picture cannot be missed here. I’m not sure when people become eligible but I’d think Gardy is near a lock when he is first put on the ballow.
Who are some names I missed? Are there others you’d consider?
MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
- mikelink45 and nclahammer like this