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What Player Made You Fall in Love With the Twins?


Andrew Mahlke
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Everyone has a player or a team that sparked their love for Twins baseball. For my dad's generation, it was Kirby Puckett. A player who played with passion and delivered many clutch moments to bring the Twins two championships.

For me, it was Joe Mauer. As a kid who loved everything to do with baseball growing up in the suburbs of the Twin Cities, I looked up to Mauer in just about every way. I saw a homegrown kid who was the star player on the team that I loved. My first year getting into the Twins was 2008, when I was six years old. My dad started taking me to Twins games and would always put them on the TV in hopes that I would share his love for baseball. It worked. Soon, I was watching every game and my favorite player was the AL Batting Champ, Joe Mauer. The next year, Mauer won MVP and I loved it. I was hooked.

On a great site like Twins Daily, there are people of all ages. So I am interested to hear: who was the player that sparked your love for the Twins?

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Loved hearing about Harmon and Tony, they first peaked my interest in the Minnesota Twins.  Rod Carew cemented them as my team.  I told Mr. Carew at Twinsfest one year that he was one of the players that made the Twins my favorite team and that I used to try and copy his batting stance.   He smiled and asked me if it helped?  I responded that while I may have had a batting stance that looked like him, no one could hit like Rod Carew.  He laughed and then said thanks.   Throughout the years my favorite Twins have changed, from a brief Bombo Rivera phase, Tom Brunansky, Kirby Puckett, Chuck Knoblauch, Torii Hunter, to most recently Eddie Rosario (which my friends say is a border-line obsession.)    While the player names may change, my favorite team holds steady and true.  The Minnesota Twins.

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One of my earlier memories is going to Met Stadium with my Dad and sitting in the grandstand behind home plate. We almost never went to games, so I have a very clear memory of this one. It was all so exotic. Dad seldom listened to games, but when I was a kid I had a portable radio so I would sit in the backyard and listen to the day games. It might have been Herb Carneal that made me fall in love. What a guy, what a voice.

Hello again everyone, and a pleasant good afternoon to you!

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Tony-O.  That's why I'll finally see the Baseball Hall of Fame when my wife and I travel to Cooperstown this coming July.  Many Twins have been favorites since:  Tovar, Bostock, Puckett (and even though Tony-O was my FIRST favorite player, in anything, Killebrew and Carew were treasured Twins as well).  I liked Gagne and then there were the pitchers:  Dave Boswell, Blyleven, Jim Kaat, Jim Perry and later, Johann Santana and Joe Nathan.  I also love their 1960's pinstripe uniforms with the blue numbers and "Twins" script. (with no player name on the back) Wish they'd bring them back.

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58 minutes ago, TopGunn#22 said:

Tony-O.  That's why I'll finally see the Baseball Hall of Fame when my wife and I travel to Cooperstown this coming July.  Many Twins have been favorites since:  Tovar, Bostock, Puckett (and even though Tony-O was my FIRST favorite player, in anything, Killebrew and Carew were treasured Twins as well).  I liked Gagne and then there were the pitchers:  Dave Boswell, Blyleven, Jim Kaat, Jim Perry and later, Johann Santana and Joe Nathan.  I also love their 1960's pinstripe uniforms with the blue numbers and "Twins" script. (with no player name on the back) Wish they'd bring them back.

I'm with you TopGun, wish they'd bring back those pinstripes along with those winning ways.

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Ken Griffey Jr. was the player that made me love baseball in the first place. The early 2000s Twins teams got me to love following them. Cristian Guzman sticks out because of his beard, and flying around the bases for a triple. 

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Harmon Killebrew! Herb Carneal used to call him the husky first baseman which I loved as I was husky as a kid. He was my hero. That man could hit the ball & he was the spokesman for Kemps Ice Cream. Went to my first Twins game in 1963 with my grandparents. Through thick and thin the Twins have always been my team. 

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I grew up in the Killebrew-era. Listening on the radio. Then saw Dean Chance pitch in person. Al Worthington came to a church Father/Son gathering. I was lucky to go to the Welcome Home banquests every year from 1964-1969 and, as one of the few kids there, go down the table and get my single Topps card from the previous year, or a 3x5, signed by a Twin happily. (The banquets were mostly big business men in those days). I loved Cesar Tovar playing all 9 positions. Of course, WCCO the good-neighbor was the key to bringing baseball into my life!

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19 hours ago, solomon1930 said:

I've followed the Twins since the early 70's but it was Kirby that made me passionate about being a Twins fan.

I don’t think you are alone: I believe Kirby really changed the way the people of the Upper Midwest related to their team (I’m far away, but the change was obvious from my vantage point).  

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I moved to the Twin Cities late in the season, August 1978, so Rod Carew didn't really get a chance to register profoundly.  He made his mark for me more from the trade, and I tried desperately hard to root for Dave Engle, Paul Hartzell, Brad Havens and Ken Landreaux that next season but it didn't quite work out.  Bob Casey announcing BOM-bo Ri-VER-a was supposed to be a hint about whom to be excited about, but that didn't take for me, either.  It was great to have Koosman to root for - you almost felt like the Twins FO was trying - but fall in love, not quite.  It was a dreary era to have chosen to adopt the team.

The article asks about love.  Love is a tricky thing.  Sometimes it takes a lot time before you realize it.  The core that won it all in 1987 and 1991 began to appear on the roster in 1981-2.  The future Mrs Ash showed up in the Twin Cities around that same time, after much minor league seasoning in California, and we were married in 1983.  So that was when the relationships deepened., both with her and with the Twins.

The Twins were no love-at-first-sight situation for me.  Nothing like shallow infatuation.  It wasn't one player.  Hrbie.   Kirby.   Frankie.   Bruno.   The Rat.   Newmie.   Bert.   They all just kind of snuck up on me.  I can't possibly answer the question with one name.

 

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