Chuck Knoblauch Elected to Twins Hall of Fame
The Twins announced today at their media luncheon that former second baseman Chuck Knoblauch has been elected to the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame.
Knoblauch, the 1991 American League Rookie of the Year, and was instrumental in the team's World Series run that season.
Over his Twins career he hit .304/.391/.416 in 1,013 games and represented the team four times in the All-Star game (1992, 1994, 1996 and 1997). In 1994 he led the league in doubles (45), triples in 1996 (14) and his 140 runs scored in 1996 was the highest ever in a single-season by a Twins player. With the glove, he played outstanding defense, leading the league in Total Zone Runs in 1992 (8) and 1997 (17) and winning one Gold Glove.
His 1996 season in which he posted 8.6 wins above replacement (via baseball-reference.com) still stands as the Twins' second best season as measured by that statistic (Rod Carew's 1977 season was the highest). His .391 on-base percentage is the fifth highest in the franchise history and third highest since the move to Minnesota.
Of course, his public demands for a trade soured the fans on his overall talent and the eventual move to the New York Yankees further widened that chasm. The trade netted the Twins Eric Milton, Cristian Guzman and Brian Buchanan and Danny Mota but the likes of Ricky Ladee and Ramiro Mendoza were discussed prior to that.
While in New York, Knoblauch was a part of three championship teams (1998, 1999 and 2000) but throwing issues from second necessitated a move to DH before relocating to third base. When he came back to the Metrodome he was booed loudly. In an infamous event, fans started throwing Dome Dogs and batteries while he was in left field. As you recall, Tom Kelly walked out to left field and scolded the Twins fans.
After playing with the Yankees and the Royals, Knoblauch fell on some hard times after the game abandoned him. Regardless of his personal traits, Knoblauch's contributions to the game on the field make him deserving of the team's highest honor.
(Seth Stohs contributed to this article)