Minnesota Twins Mount Rushmore
Deciding the "Mount Rushmore" of any sports franchise can be hard to do. Most franchises have many great players who are deserving. Here are the four who make up my Minnesota Twins Mount Rushmore.
- Harmon Killebrew
Killebrew played for the Twins from 1954-1974. He was a 13-time All-Star, won the American League MVP award in 1969, and finished his career with 573 home runs. He currently sits at 12th in all-time home runs. With the Twins, Killebrew hit .256/.376/.509 with 559 home runs, 1559 RBI, and 1843 walks. He also won six American League home run titles and led the MLB in RBI three times. Killebrew finished his baseball career with the Kansas City Royals in 1975. When his career wrapped up, Killebrew finished 1st in Twins RBI, WAR+ and home runs. Killebrew was inducted as a member into the Hall of Fame in 1984. When Killebrew retired, he was one of the most feared hitters ever and one of the greatest sluggers in baseball history. All of these accolades earn Killebrew a spot on the Twins Mount Rushmore.
- Kirby Puckett
Kirby Puckett, in addition to being a fan favorite was a great player. Puckett batted .318 in his career, which is the highest in Twins history. Puckett won the AL batting title in 1989 with a .339 average, and he finished in the top ten in batting average eight times in his career. Puckett had 2,304 hits in his career, which is the second-most in Twins history. Puckett was a 10-time All-Star, which is tied for the most ever in Twins history. Puckett was a key part of the Twins' two World Series championship teams in 1987 and 1991. In the 1991 World Series, he hit .429 with two home runs and six RBI in the series. His most famous moment as a Twin was his walk-off homer in game 6 in 1991. Puckett won many awards during his career. These included six Gold Gloves, the 1989 AL batting title, and the 1991 AL Comeback Player of the Year award. Unfortunately Puckett's career was cut short due to retina damage in his right eye following the 1995 season. Puckett was named to the MLB Hall of Fame in 2001. Overall Puckett's combination of hitting, defense, and postseason success make him one of the greatest players in Twins history and earns him a spot on the Twins Mount Rushmore.
- Rod Carew
Rod Carew was one of the best Minnesota Twins players of all time because of his performance both at the plate and in the field. During his 12-year career with the Twins (1967-1978), Carew hit for a .334 batting average, which is the highest in Twins history. He took home the American League batting title in seven of those 12 seasons with the Twins, including four consecutive titles from 1972 to 1975. In 1977, he hit .388, the highest batting average by any American League player since 1941. Carew was an All-Star in all 12 seasons with the Twins. Carew was the AL MVP in 1977. Carew was also a really good fielder. He won a Gold Glove in each of his last five seasons with the Twins. Carew was named to the MLB Hall of Fame in 1991. Rod Carew's greatness as a hitter, combined with his exceptional fielding ability, makes him one of the greatest players in Minnesota Twins history and puts him on Mount Rushmore.
- Joe Mauer
Joe Mauer wraps up this list. In his time with the Twins, Mauer played 15 seasons with the Twins (2004-2018). In that time he hit over .300 in nine seasons and finished his career with a .306 batting average. Mauer's defense was incredible, he was a Gold Glove-winning catcher 3 times during his career and was widely regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in the game during his prime. Mauer won multiple awards throughout his career, including the American League MVP award in 2009. He also won three Gold Gloves, five Silver Slugger awards, and was selected to six All-Star teams. Mauer's stats were excellent; he had 2,123 hits, 143 home runs, 923 RBI, and 1,018 runs scored. He also drew 939 walks and struck out only 877 times in 7,708 plate appearances. Mauer's career on-base percentage was .388, which is among the highest in Twins franchise history. Overall, Joe Mauer was a fantastic player who excelled on both sides of the field. His awards and stats all contribute to his legacy as one of the best players in Twin's history and earn him a spot on the Twins Mount Rushmore.
With players such as Johan Santana, Tony Oliva, Bert Blyleven and Torii Hunter being left off this list there is plenty of room for debate on who deserves to be on the Twins Mount Rushmore.