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Article: Each Minnesota Team’s Greatest Finish

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#1 Cody Christie

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 08:30 PM

If you’re like a lot of Minnesota sports fans, your adrenaline might still be pumping from the Vikings’ thrilling last second win on Sunday. Fans of the purple and gold have been tormented by heartbreak throughout the franchise’s history. The “Minneapolis Miracle” might be the first stop as the team tries to break what some have called a “curse.”

There have certainly been some other dramatic moments in Minnesota sports history. For some of the franchises, it was tough to narrow down the list. Here are the moments I picked out. Feel free to disagree in the comments section below.Vikings Moment: Stefon Diggs’ Catch
Blair Walsh’s shanked field goal. Brett Farve’s interception. Gary Anderson’s missed field goal. It looked like Sunday would be another addition to the Vikings run of poor postseason luck. With one tremendous catch and scamper into the end zone, Diggs might have rewritten Vikings lore. There are still multiple games left before the organization can fully reverse the curse but this was certainly the first step in the right direction.

Twins Moment: Kirby Puckett’s Home Run
There have certainly been some dramatic moments throughout Twins history: Jack Morris tossing 10 shutout innings in Game 7 of 1991, the up-and-down moments of Game 163 in 2009, and the last out of Minnesota’s first World Series in 1987. All of those moments are great but Puckett’s walk-off home run was certainly the franchise’s greatest finish. It was an iconic moment that allowed Morris to have his magical Game 7.

Timberwolves Moment: Webber’s Missed Three-Pointer
The Timberwolves’ playoff history has been almost non-existent. However, the 2004 season saw the club go on a run all the way to the Western Conference Finals. Minnesota matched up with Sacramento in the semifinals and the series went to Game 7. Chris Webber had a shot to break hearts throughout the upper Midwest but the shot rimmed out. Kevin Garnett and the rest of the T-Puppies were headed where no Timberwolves team had been before and where no team has since returned.

Wild Moment: Brunette’s Game 7 Overtime Winner
Much like the Timberwolves, there hasn’t been much playoff success in Wild history. The 2002-2003 club went on a run all the way to the Western Conference Finals before falling to the Ducks. The Wild went to the brink of elimination in both the quarterfinals and semifinals. Andrew Brunette ended the Hall of Fame career of goalie Patrick Roy with one flick of the wrist. Without this goal, Minnesota might never have made it out of the first round.

Lynx Moment: Moore’s Game 3 Buzzer Beater
While the Wild and Timberwolves have struggled to find playoff success, the Lynx have been dominant in postseason play. Minnesota has won the WBNA title in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. They’ve also lost two finals during that same stretch. Maya Moore hit one of the more dramatic shots in team history when she knocked down a game winning three-pointer as time expired. The Lynx would need five games to finish off the Indiana Fever but it was still a shot that will go down in Minnesota sports history.

How would you rank these moments? Did I miss any along the way? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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#2 Pardon My Dinger

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 09:16 PM

Two professional chamionships in MN (lakers excluded). wow.

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#3 Nine of twelve

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 10:07 PM

 

 Did I miss any along the way? 

 

Yes. The North Stars were in two Stanley Cup finals. I followed the 1991 team fairly closely but I don't remember a particular moment about the final series that year. I didn't follow 1981 as closely. Maybe someone else can chime in on those.

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#4 olivia11

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:18 AM

 

Two professional chamionships in MN (lakers excluded). wow.

 

What about the Lynx and their 4 championships?The Lynx have easily been the best professional team in the Twin Cities over the last decade. 

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#5 mikelink45

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 09:12 AM

The Lynx and the Twins are the TC champions.Love for the Vikings has still not seen them make the big one.Lynx and Twins have the hardware, the Vikings have our hearts.The winter teams have left me cold since the original Lakers - I am old enough to see Elgin Baylor playing for the Lakers in the old armory - and the original North Stars - both teams ripped away from us - the ultimate tragedy.They made the finals twice!And I remember the arena going crazy in 1991 when the Stars had a losing record, but then eliminated both Chicago and St Louis before reality came to town with Wayne Gretzky and the Oilers. 

 

Then again we had the Kicks (I went to many of their games at Met Stadium) who won all four of their division championships before moving indoors and then gone.I know we have the United (too new) and the 

 

The Muskies and Pipers.At least we had the ABA headquarters in Minneapolis and George Mikan was commissioner.Mel Daniels was the Muskie star and the team did make it to the finals and lost to Connie Hawkins Pittsburgh Pipers.   

 

Or we can go back to the Duluth Eskimos of the old Leather helmet days (I wore one as a freshman!) with Ernie Nevers, born in Willow River, MN and in both college and professional hall of fames. We had the Minneapolis Marines?Red Jackets but their history is less colorful. 

 

 

The Minneapolis Millers had such a grand history - Hall Of Famers Roger Bresnahan, Jimmy Collins, Urban 'Red' Faber, Bill McKechnie, George Kelly, Billy Herman, Ted Williams, Ray 'Dandy' Dandridge, Willie Mays, Zack Wheat, Rube Waddell, Hoyt Wilhelm, Monte Irvin, Orlando Cepeda and Carl Yastrzemski? 

 

AND WHERE ARE THE SAINTS - the leaders in the Northland league and then the American Association.Popular enough to get their own new stadium - ten miles from the Twins stadium.  

 

In their original minor league period we had Roy Campanella, Sandy Amoros (1951), Chuck Dressen (1921-1924), Leo Durocher (1927), Lefty Gomez (1930), Mark Koenig (1921-1922, 1924-1925), Clem Labine (1949-1952), Chief Meyers (1908), 
Duke Snider (1947), played for us and Charles Comiskey and Walter Alston manage!And the 1920 team is considered the #6 alltime minor league team - http://www.milb.com/...p100.jsp?idx=6

 

 

At all levels we have a rich professional sports history.  Thanks for triggering my sports history bug.  


#6 gil4

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:13 AM

The Vikings' runner-up was pretty awesome, too.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=9-qan3ZFKY4

 


#7 gil4

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:20 AM

 

AND WHERE ARE THE SAINTS - the leaders in the Northland league and then the American Association.Popular enough to get their own new stadium - ten miles from the Twins stadium.  

 

I was asking the same question, but different Saints. The WHA Fighting Saints were pretty entertaining. The only great moments that come to mind were anytime they made payroll and the brawl with the Whalers.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=U1z2Zwh9RC4

 

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#8 Dantes929

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:47 AM

 

The Lynx and the Twins are the TC champions.Love for the Vikings has still not seen them make the big one.Lynx and Twins have the hardware, the Vikings have our hearts.The winter teams have left me cold since the original Lakers - I am old enough to see Elgin Baylor playing for the Lakers in the old armory - and the original North Stars - both teams ripped away from us - the ultimate tragedy.They made the finals twice!And I remember the arena going crazy in 1991 when the Stars had a losing record, but then eliminated both Chicago and St Louis before reality came to town with Wayne Gretzky and the Oilers. 

 

Then again we had the Kicks (I went to many of their games at Met Stadium) who won all four of their division championships before moving indoors and then gone.I know we have the United (too new) and the 

 

The Muskies and Pipers.At least we had the ABA headquarters in Minneapolis and George Mikan was commissioner.Mel Daniels was the Muskie star and the team did make it to the finals and lost to Connie Hawkins Pittsburgh Pipers.   

 

Or we can go back to the Duluth Eskimos of the old Leather helmet days (I wore one as a freshman!) with Ernie Nevers, born in Willow River, MN and in both college and professional hall of fames. We had the Minneapolis Marines?Red Jackets but their history is less colorful. 

 

 

The Minneapolis Millers had such a grand history - Hall Of Famers Roger Bresnahan, Jimmy Collins, Urban 'Red' Faber, Bill McKechnie, George Kelly, Billy Herman, Ted Williams, Ray 'Dandy' Dandridge, Willie Mays, Zack Wheat, Rube Waddell, Hoyt Wilhelm, Monte Irvin, Orlando Cepeda and Carl Yastrzemski? 

 

AND WHERE ARE THE SAINTS - the leaders in the Northland league and then the American Association.Popular enough to get their own new stadium - ten miles from the Twins stadium.  

 

In their original minor league period we had Roy Campanella, Sandy Amoros (1951), Chuck Dressen (1921-1924), Leo Durocher (1927), Lefty Gomez (1930), Mark Koenig (1921-1922, 1924-1925), Clem Labine (1949-1952), Chief Meyers (1908), 
Duke Snider (1947), played for us and Charles Comiskey and Walter Alston manage!And the 1920 team is considered the #6 alltime minor league team - http://www.milb.com/...p100.jsp?idx=6

 

 

At all levels we have a rich professional sports history.  Thanks for triggering my sports history bug.  

The Rox had Lou Brock and Gaylord Perry playing for them also.

I think the catch Sunday maybe trumps Puckett because Puckett's homer didn't really surprise me.We had better than a 50/50 chance of winning at the time he hit it.Probably at least 70/30.It was a bigger moment but not a better finish in my book.

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#9 ashburyjohn

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:55 AM

The Vikings' runner-up was pretty awesome, too.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=9-qan3ZFKY4

That comeback required two improbable plays both coming out the right way. If "greatest finish" isn't limited to the final play, I'm not even sure it's the runner-up.

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#10 Tommygun921

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:57 AM

The 6 run come back against the White Sox was another big one. I think it may have been 2008. But can't remember was towards the end of the year. Was the game Span had the triple that Scotty Ulger basically held him on the bag. Lol

#11 Doomtints

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 11:59 AM

The Vikings are still lacking a "great finish."

 

Let's see how they play against Philly. I think they can handle whoever the AFC team ends up being, esp. at home.

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#12 Doomtints

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 12:02 PM

It would have been fun to see some "great finishes" from past MN teams when they were in MN.The Lakers had 5 championships in MN. The North Stars never won a championship but they had a very interesting (and brutal) history. And of course the Kicks were dominant for that one year or two before the league split up the season in a weird way and caused the league's demise (rule #1, don't confuse your fans).......

Edited by Doomtints, 16 January 2018 - 12:07 PM.


#13 SF Twins Fan

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 02:18 PM

I'd add two plays to the Wild's section. Both happened in Round 1 of the 2014 playoffs against Colorado with them being the number 1 seed and the Wild being the 8th. 

 

1. With the Wild down 2 - 0 in the series Granlund diving across the crease to score in overtime to give the Wild a 1 - 0 win.

 

2. With the series tied at 3 Niederreiter scoring on a 2 vs 1 in overtime to win the series.

Edited by SF Twins Fan, 16 January 2018 - 02:19 PM.


#14 VATwinsFan

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 02:36 PM

KIllebrew winning HR in bottom of the 9th against the Yankees in last game before 1965 All-Star game. Yankees had won 2 of first 3 games of series and were still in contention. That HR all but finished them off. We were in a boat on Lake Minnetonka listening to the game and almost flipped it over when Killebrew hit the HR.
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#15 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 03:23 PM

 

The Vikings' runner-up was pretty awesome, too.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=9-qan3ZFKY4

 

This is awesome!


#16 strumdatjaguar

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 04:32 PM

AWA's Greatest Moment.Greg Gagne puts Bobby Heenan to sleep, and Bobby Heenan wakes up in the infamous "weasel suit." 


#17 strumdatjaguar

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 04:53 PM

My favorite unconventional Twins moments when I was in attendance - ranked #5 thru #1:

5.On Teen Challenge Day at the Metrodome, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by two young people who were successfully in the process of overcoming significant chemical dependency issues.After the pitch, the P.A., System blasted Roxy Music's "Love is the Drug".

4.At Metrodome with my young kids, who were always taught never to leave a game early. Down 9-1 in the bottom of the 9th, the Twins scored 7 runs to bring the score to 9-8, with a man on second and the winning run at the plate.The few remaining fans rocked the joint right up till the last out which lost the game.

3.At Spring Training, there was some bragging about the tough/rowdy crowds by Philly fans sitting next to me (even though Twins took on the Marlins that day). I recited my story of the toughest crowd I ever saw, at the Chicago Stadium for a North Stars/Black Hawks Stanley Cup Game. After the Stars went down 4-1, the rowdy crowd became conciliatory to me in my Minnesota Regalia.Then it was 4-2, then 4-3 then 4-4 and ultimately our squad won 5-4. I started singing "Go For A Goal North Stars" at the top of my lungs. I am lucky to be alive. After finishing the story, the Twins fan in the floppy hat in front of me turned around and said, "I was there, Lou Nanne". and we shook hands.

2.Watching the Dave Kingman pop-up that got stuck in the Metrodome roof, and my friend obliviously shouting through the shocked crowd silence, "Somebody call for it.!"

1. I was sitting four rows behind the plate at the Metrodome in a well-lubicated group of four friends, when the batter attempted a bunt.  The catcher ran forward to field the bunt as the batter ran to First. But the bunt was fouled downward into the dirt and bounced directly up into the umpire's crotch. The umpire dropped to the ground in obvious discomfort.Others near us stared with great disapproval as the four of us laughed uncontrollably.The more we tried to stop laughing, the more it made us laugh and made the concerned onlookers more disgusted with us.

 

Honorable mention: anything involving interaction with the beer vendor at the old Met who wore the umbrella hat!!!

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#18 Thrylos

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:25 PM

The Twins' two greatest finishes were:

 

a. Reardon's last pitch in '87

b. Morris's last pitch in '91

 

(chronological order)

Those 2 events made them World Champions.Cannot have a better finish than that.

 

The Vikings had a great finish the other day, but still 2 more games.

 

I don't follow the lesser ( ;) ) of Minnesota sports, so have no opinion on those...

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#19 Thrylos

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:28 PM

 

 

The Vikings are still lacking a "great finish."

 

Let's see how they play against Philly. I think they can handle whoever the AFC team ends up being, esp. at home.

 

 

Agree on the first part.

 

Disagree on the second. I am just hoping that Jacksonville beats the Patriots.The Patriots have ways to get their way. They are the Packers of the AFC. People in the Philadelphia area are really scared of the Vikings, and with Foles as their QB, I concur.

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#20 Tuba

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:50 PM

Not franchise related but the Miracle on Ice in my opinion essentially counts as a great Minnesota sports moment. 

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