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WAR on Twins Hall of Fame

Posted by sethmoko , 19 January 2018 · 510 views

hall of fame
WAR on Twins Hall of Fame The announcement of Johan Santana's well-deserved selection to the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame as well as the round-and-round Twitter and blog conversation about MLB Hall of Fame selections got me thinking: Who is in the Twins Hall of Fame that might surprise and who are other deserving candidates.

I'm going to begin with a couple of caveats. First, I'll only be talking here about players in the Twins Hall of Fame. Front-office personnel and managers (well, manager) are wonderful and important parts of the Hall - just outside the scope of the following exercise. Second, my own generation and experience of being a Twins fan colors my perceptions as they do for all of us. So, I was 11 and 15 for the two World Series runs. Puckett, Hrbek, Gagne - they were my guys. The older generation - Killebrew, Oliva, Carew, etc. I saw some of but mostly know the history. AND I haven't lived in Minnesota since 1993. Nowadays that's no big deal. MLB.tv allows me to feel like I see and know all the Twins. But there was a hole in the 1990s and early 2000s where I only saw Twins games when they visited where I was living or happened to be on ESPN (not often). So there are some, not holes exactly, but weaker spots in my own visceral Twins fandom. See: Brad Radke.

The following chart shows the playing members of the Twins Hall of Fame:
Name Tenure Career WAR Twins WAR Twins Pennants/ Rings MVP/Cy
Name	         Tenure	 Career WAR  Twins WAR	
Harmon Killebrew1961–74	   60.4	      60.5	
Rod Carew	1967–78	   81.1	      63.7	
Tony Oliva	1962–76	   43	      43		
Kent Hrbek	1981–94	   38.4	      38.4		
Kirby Puckett	1984–95	   50.9	      50.9		
Jim Kaat	1961–73	   45.3	      30.5		
Bert Blyleven	1970–76	   96.5	      49.3		
Bob Allison	1961–70	   33.9	      33.9		
Earl Battey	1961–67	   18.7	      17.5		
Frank Viola	1982–89	   47.4	      27.2	
Zoilo Versalles	1961–67	   12.5	      14.6	
Gary Gaetti	1981–90	   42	      27.1		
Rick Aguilera	1989–99	   20.7	      15.5					
Brad Radke	1995–2006  45.6	      45.6		
Greg Gagne	1983–92	   26.3	      17.9		
Jim Perry	1963–72	   38.7	      26.2	
Camilo Pascual	1961–66	   37.8	      33.5		
Eddie Guardado	93–03, 08  13.3	      9.5		
Torii Hunter	97–07, 15  50	      26.2		
Michael Cuddyer	2001–11	   16.6	      12.4		
Johan Santana	2000-2007  50.7	      35.5		
		using BREF WAR, including WAS as MIN			
We all know there are factors other than WAR, such as World Series banners and Cy Young Awards or MVPs. Incidentally, the only Twins with 2 of those latter awards are Harmon with 2 MVP awards and the latest addition, Johan, with 2 Cy Young awards.

As I said above, this look at Brad Radke was a bit of a surprise for me. If you had asked me to name the top 10 Twins in career WAR, I don't think I would have named Brad Radke. But here he is in 5th place. For me I think that has a lot to do with the timing of my own Twins watching as I said above. For most of Radke's career, I did not watch many Twins games. I knew he was very good. But I think he was under-appreciated, at least by me. What about you?

Which brings me to my question. I will be writing a few follow-ups to this post and wonder what you think about these questions:
  • Who is missing here? Who should next be added?
  • If the Twins were to embrace the entire history of the Washington Senators franchise as part of their own history, who else might be added to a Hall of Fame?

  • If we take retired numbers to be a sort of "inner circle," who will next be added to that group? Those with retired numbers are printed in red above.
What do you think about future members of the Twins Hall of Fame? I'll let you know what I think in a few days.

Jan 20 2018 01:12 AM
Jack Morris and Chuck Knoblauch need to be added to the Twins Hall of Fame. The only Washington Senator I know is Walter Johnson and obviously if the Twins were to recognize Senator great then Walter should be in the Twins Hall of Fame. I like how the Twins do it now - they don't deny the history with the Senators yet do not take accomplishments by the Senators franchise and openly promote them as their own. I would add Frank Viola and Johan Santana as retired Twins numbers. Future Twins Hall of Famers - Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier. There are many others playing in 2018 that are early in their careers and would just be speculation at this point (Sano, Kepler, Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Berrios)
The Wise One
Jan 20 2018 08:29 AM

There should be a special wing for Ron Davis, Denny Hocking and Terry Felton

The Wise One
Jan 20 2018 08:30 AM

Forgot to add Dave Engle, All Star catcher.

I would love to see us recognize the Senators history, but not in the Twins HOF.We need to use the concourses and other available areas to put up Walter Johnson, Heinie Manush, Sam Rice, Joe Cronin, Bucky Harris, Goose Goslin, Rick Ferrell, Muddy Ruel, Joe Judge, and others that most Twins Fans have no knowledge of.  


The Twins HOF would be better if we did an every other year ballot.This needs to remain a list with lots of class and I do not see us retiring a HOF player every year.  

Great ideas all. I like the idea of a somehow “separate” Senators area. No mention of Morneau as a future member? In addition to those mentioned, he’s one I’d look at

Shane Mack.Only 5 years or rather 4.5 since his monster 94 season was cut exactly in half by the players strike.However, he averaged 4 WAR per season and had an OPS that was exceeded by only a couple on the list above. Had the highest OPS on the 91 team.7 more WAR than Cuddyer in half the seasons.Two more than Gagne in half the seasons.

    • Shane Wahl likes this


Shane Mack.Only 5 years or rather 4.5 since his monster 94 season was cut exactly in half by the players strike.However, he averaged 4 WAR per season and had an OPS that was exceeded by only a couple on the list above. Had the highest OPS on the 91 team.7 more WAR than Cuddyer in half the seasons.Two more than Gagne in half the seasons.

YES. I agree wholeheartedly.

There are about 7 Hall of Famers in this organization that are not known by the majority of Twins fans. Like everyone has stated it is a shame and a bit of an injustice to those historical figures from baseball's past. They are part of this franchise and shouldn't be forgotten due to a move half way across the country by our Hall of Fame owner. I do believe Walter Johnson was voted the greatest pitcher of all time by the Sporting News in 1998's top 100 (Senators/Indians/White Sox Early Wynn starts the list at #100). Fans would like to know these names.