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  • Twins Hall of Fame Ballot

    The Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame began in the year 2000 when they inducted former owner Calvin Griffith along with Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, and Kirby Puckett. Since then, one or two people (players or other Twins-related personnel) have been added each year. Last year, Camilo Pascual was named to the Twins Hall of Fame.

    Recently, the Minnesota Twins put their online ballot for the 2013 Twins Hall of Fame. The ballot includes 18 former Twins players. Ten hitters and eight pitchers comprise the ballot. Today, I’m going to post some numbers for the hitters and the pitchers before I rank the candidates, 1 through 18. In the comments, let us know which former players you would vote for, and why. Then, go to the Twins website and make your actual votes.

    Let’s take a look at the candidates.


    Pitcher W-L IP ERA (ERA+) WHIP BB/9 K/9 WAR
    Dave Boswell 67-64 1,036.1 3.49 (101) 1.24 4.0 7.5 9.5
    Dean Chance 41-34 664.0 2.67 (126) 1.07 2.3 6.8 12.0
    Dave Goltz 96-79 1,638.0 3.48 (112) 1.31 2.7 4.9 22.5
    Mudcat Grant 50-35 780.2 3.35 (107) 1.21 1.9 4.3 5.0
    Kevin Tapani 75-63 1,171.1 4.06 (108) 1.27 2.0 5.6 17.8


    Pitcher W-L-S IP ERA (ERA+) WHIP BB/9 K/9 WAR
    Eddie Guardado 37-48-116 704.2 4.53 (105) 1.34 3.4 7.8 8.6
    Jeff Reardon 15-16-104 226.1 3.70 (116) 1.15 2.2 7.4 4.0
    Al Worthington 51-31-88 473.1 2.62 (134) 1.19 3.5 7.6 9.4


    Tom Brunansky 829-3,313 .250/.330/.452 .782 (109) 154/13/163/469 14.5
    John Castino 646-2,320 .278/.329/.398 .727 (97) 86/34/41/249 14.2
    Dan Gladden 661-2,470 .268/.318/.382 .700 (95) 117/26/38/238 4.8
    Brian Harper 767-2,503 .306/.342/.431 .773 (110) 156/6/48/346 12.2
    Larry Hisle 697-2,437 .286/.354/.457 .799 (127) 109/23/87/409 15.8
    Chuck Knoblauch 1,197-3,939 .304/.391/.416 .807 (114) 210/51/43/391 36.3
    Corey Koskie 781-2,788 .280/.373/.463 .836 (116) 180/13/101/437 20.5
    Shane Mack 668-2,161 .309/.375/.479 .854 (130) 119/24/67/315 18.7
    Roy Smalley 1,046-3,997 .262/.350/.401 .750 (104) 184/21/110/485 19.1
    Cesar Tovar 1,164-4,142 .281/.337/.377 .714 (102) 193/45/38/319 24.0


    Let me again say that this ranking is mine. Each of you will likely switch some players around and although it could look similar, it could also look completely different.

    #18 – Dan Gladden – OF – 1987-1991

    Gladden came to the Twins before the 1987. He was the team’s leadoff hitter on the two Twins championship teams. He scored the World Series-winning run in the 10th inning of Game 7 of the 1991 World Series after his hustle double. He was a solid left-fielder, but he was a leadoff hitter with a .318 on-base percentage. Maybe he can make the Twins Hall of Fame several years down the line for his radio work.

    #17 – John Castino – IF – 1979-1984

    Castino was the co-AL Rookie of the Year in 1979 along with Alfredo Griffin. Unfortunately, his career was shortened by back injuries.

    #16 – Jeff Reardon – RH RP – 1987-1989

    Like Gladden, Reardon also came to the Twins before the 1987 season. Although he posted a 4.48 ERA that season, it was such an improvement from The Ron Davis days that people thought it was good. He was actually much better in 1988.

    #15 – Jim “Mudcat” Grant – RH SP – 1964-1967

    Grant has done quite well for himself after his playing days with a career in music. He was also very good on the mound. He was a huge part of that 1965 World Series team when he won 21 games. He struckout pretty much no one, and he walked no one. He was also a pretty good hitter.

    #14 – Brian Harper – C – 1988-1993

    Harper came to the Twins as a journeyman before the 1988 season. He established himself as a very good batting average-hitting catcher with some doubles power. Although he refused to walk, he put together solid at bats. He was a key to the 1991 World Series team.

    #13 – Dean Chance – RH SP – 1967-1969

    Chance could probably be higher on this list, but he played for the Twins for just three years. He had a no-hitter, and he won 20 games in 1967. He was worth 12 WAR in just three seasons.

    #12 – Eddie Guardado – LH RP – 1993-2003, 2008

    Guardado’s overall numbers certainly don’t look great. He was not good as a starter his first couple of seasons. Although he earned the “Every Day” nickname, his first several seasons in the Twins bullpen were not successful. However, from 2001-2003, Guardado did a tremendous job as the Twins closer. His ‘stuff’ was not all that impressive, but he was all guts.

    #11 – Larry Hisle – OF – 1973-1977

    Hisle is another guy who did not spend a lot of time with the Twins, likely because he played so well he priced himself out of Mr. Griffith’s comfort zone. He posted hi 15.8 WAR in just four seasons.

    #10 – Tom Brunansky – OF – 1982-1988

    “Bruno” came to the Twins from the Angels as a 21-year-old who had just made his big league debut. He joined the other young Twins who came up in 1982 and provided the nucleus for that 1987 team. He represented the Twins in the 1985 All Star game. He was quite durable in his time with the Twins, and although he didn’t hit for average, he averaged over 28 homers a season from 1983 through 1987. He is now the Twins hitting coach.

    #9 – Dave Boswell – RH SP – 1964-1970

    Boswell is best known for his 1969 fight in Detroit with manager Billy Martin, but he also won 20 games during that season and was a solid performer for the Twins. He actually threw hard and unlike most pitchers from that era, he wasn’t afraid to try to miss bats. Boswell passed away this past June.

    #8 – Al Worthington – RH RP – 1964-1969

    Worthington was the Twins’ closer during the pre-closer era. He actually came to the Twins in 1964 as a 35 year old reliever. He debuted with the New York Giants in 1953, and he was just a 5th or 6th starter and long reliever for parts of seven seasons. He was in the minor leagues in 1961 and 1962 before resurfacing. However, once he got to the Twins, he was a dominant reliever for five years. He didn’t post an ERA over 2.84 until his final (age 40) season.

    #7 – Roy Smalley – SS – 1976-1982, 1985-1987

    Back in the 1970s, shortstops were supposed to be just good glove little guys. Smalley was the Twins shortstop during his first stint in the organization and provided 25-30 doubles and 18-20 home run power. He came back to the Twins as a part-time player in 1985 and ended his career with the 1987 World Series champion team. He now is an analyst for the Twins on Fox Sports North.

    #6 – Kevin Tapani – RH SP – 1989-1995

    Tapani came to the Twins from the Mets in the Frank Viola trade. He put together several solid, innings-eating seasons. He was kind of Brad Radke before Radke as he walked hardly anyone. His career season was 1991 when he was 16-9 with a 2.99 ERA in 244 innings.

    #5 – Cesar Tovar – IF/OF – 1965-1972

    Tovar was a player who could do it all. He played everywhere during his time with the Twins, and not just in the 1968 game in which he played all nine positions. From 1968-1971, he was a well-above average player. He played every day (and even played 164 games in 1967). He led the lead with 204 hits in 1971. He led the league in 1970 with 36 doubles and 13 tripled. He stole 186 bases during his time with the Twins.

    #4 – Shane Mack – OF – 1990-1994

    As I wrote last week, the former Rule 5 pick is one of the most underrated players in Twins history. A bust with the Padres, Mack became one of the best outfielders in baseball during his first years with the Twins. His 130 OPS+ shows just how much better than league average he was for that entire time frame. He did it all. He hit for average, got on base, showed power, stole bases and played great defense.

    #3 – Corey Koskie – 3B – 1998-2004

    Speaking of underrated, the Manitoba native put up some very good numbers during his time with the Twins. He came up to the Twins as a project, a defensive liability at third base. Through hard work, he became one of the better defensive third basemen in the league. He had some power, and he took tremendous at bats.

    #2 – Dave Goltz – RH SP – 1972-1979

    The Minnesota native got to live a dream of playing for his home-state team. Goltz didn’t strike anyone out, certainly not unusual in that era, but he also had good control. He won 20 games in 1977 when he also threw 303 innings. From 1974-1978, he never posted an ERA over 3.67, and his best ERA was 2.49 in 1978. The innings caught up to him. After leaving the Twins, he fought arm problems and only had one more season in which he threw more than 90 innings.

    #1 – Chuck Knoblauch – 2B – 1991-1997

    By the numbers, Knoblauch is clearly the best player on this list. The 1989 first-round pick had an incredible debut in 1991. He was the AL MVP that season and was an ideal top-of-the-order hitter for the World Series championship team. He was a tremendous defensive second baseman who, if not for Roberto Alomar, would have won several gold glove awards. He became the team’s leadoff hitter and his .391 on base percentage. He stole 276 bases. He eventually added some doubles power. Things got a bit weird for Knoblauch and his career after he was traded to the Yankees, but Knoblauch is one of the greats in Twins history.

    So there you have my thoughts. I would probably cast a vote for my #1-5 choices, but it would be in this order. What do you think? Cast your vote in the Comments and then on the Twins site.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Hall of Fame Ballot started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. Ricola's Avatar
      Ricola -
      I voted Knoblauch. Yeah, there was the messy breakup with the Twins, but to be fair there were plenty of times in the nineties when I would have begged for a trade to New York or anywhere else if I thought anyone would listen.

      He was a huge part of that 91 turnaround season. I remember countless late inning rallies started by him and often finished by Puck.

      Besides, in my imagination, he probably had to put up with years of TK calling him "Charles"

      I know he probably wouldn't even show up for his own induction ceremony, but he's the right choice. Maybe if we promise not to hold the induction on Dollar Dog Day.
    1. Steve_h's Avatar
      Steve_h -
      Great topic. It strikes me that this ballot has some very interesting players. Great contributors, those who are known for only one or two games or seasons but a great group. Knoblauch is my automatic on this list. His life-after Twins was certainly unlike many other former Twins. I'd be interested to hear his induction speech. I'll vote for Goltz too. He was a mainstay to the late-70s rotations before leaving for big money with the Dodgers.
    1. NealcpLA's Avatar
      NealcpLA -
      I totally concur on Knoblauch...He was the BEST player during some of the WORST times. What I respected about him was, as good as his rookie year was, he came back the next year with an even better game (admittedly could have been PEDs assisted)...he could be a little prick but he was a player. With as ****ty as his life has become since his retirement, I think it would be the coolest ass thing for him to be voted in and return to Target Field to a standing O!...be very moving...and deserved. Even if you didn't like him, he was 'the gift that kept on giving', i.e., landed Eric Milton, Christian Guzman and Brian Buchanan. Milton, after a couple very good seasons went to the Phillies for Carlos Silva and Nick Punto. Of course Buchanan netted Jason Bartlett from the Padres who, along with Matt Garza netted Delmon...uh, OK, it does STOP giving at some point, but you get the point...
    1. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
      Fire Dan Gladden -
      Brunansky and Smalley need to be ranked higher on the list. Brunansky was a tremendous defensive outfielder to go with his power (he was something like 11th in homers hit for the decade of the 80's). Smalley was a view of changes to come for the SS position, bigger, more power, decent defender. Mack, as good as he was, was only good for a short time for the Twins. He should be moved down the list. Tapani was also good for bad teams. Guardado was effective, though we still don't know why.

      I like how the Twins Hall of Fame is turning into the "Hall of Pretty Good". I realize that there are only so many players in the teams history, but it seems to me we are approaching the line of players that probably shouldn't be in at all.

      If Gladden does somehow make it in, there will be no credibility in the process whatsoever.
    1. bteichr's Avatar
      bteichr -
      I know it's just a typo, but Knoblauch was not AL MVP in 1991. He was the ROY.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      I'm voting Knoblauch. But what are the chances he shows up for his ceremony?
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Anyone other than Knobby & its a scam.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fire Dan Gladden View Post
      I like how the Twins Hall of Fame is turning into the "Hall of Pretty Good".
      Depends on what you think a team HOF should be. If it's just a regular HOF plus a couple of guys you want to gripe about not getting into the regular HOF, that's one approach. Most times, it's a good deal more inclusive, and I'm fine with that.

      To me, an HOF should be approximately "guys who were in the discussion for who are the best few, for a considerable portion of their careers". For the regular HOF that means in baseball as a whole; for a team HOF it means guys who were arguably the best player on that team for a while. Then among those candidates, vote for who you liked best or whatever.
    1. ssp833's Avatar
      ssp833 -
      I believe that longevity needs to play into this decision which is why I was happy to see Dave Goltz so high on your list. Knoblauch, Tapani, and Brunansky because of their World Series wins connected with the numbers, and Dave Boswell for his success in that era. Let's have a big class.
    1. Ben B's Avatar
      Ben B -
      Another vote for Knoblauch here. He was a great player for us, and regardless of what happened afterwards he didn't/doesn't deserve the kind of treatment he gets from some Minnesota fans. I was at the game when they honored the All-Metrodome team, and even though Knoblauch didn't show up, he was loudly booed just when they announced his name.
    1. SydneyTwinsFan's Avatar
      SydneyTwinsFan -
      Knoblauch and Koskie for me. I always thought Koskie was a bit underrated, especially defensively. I'd love to drop him into this current Twins line up.
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      My only problem with Shane Mack is he spent such a short time with the team (in the context of a team HoF). Loved him as a player, but it's hard for me to look at a guy with only 5 years with the team as a top contender. But 4 terrific years and one mediocre. I'm hoping Aaron Hicks turns out to be Shane Mack v2
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      I'm sorry. Worthington. Then Shane Mack. Dave Goltz is deserving, too. Cesar Tovar is the forgotten gem. I would reward Knoblauch, but he won't come. If it would truly get him out of his funk, I would say "Yes." AL WORTHINGTON was a gem!
    1. Pius Jefferson's Avatar
      Pius Jefferson -
      First choice for me would be Al Worthington. A deserving candidate and he's getting up their in age. He'll be 84 at the time of the ceremony and it would be nice if he got enjoy the honor.
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