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Gardenhire, Gladden, and Tovar to Twins Hall of Fame


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We may be deprived of current player baseball news due to the lockout, but the Minnesota Twins provided an update on their team Hall of Fame Thursday when it was announced Ron Gardenhire, Dan Gladden, and Cesar Tovar would join the ranks.

The trio will become the 35th, 36th, and 37th members of the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame. The organization began the Hall of Fame with its inaugural class back in 2000. In the 22 years since, we’ve seen names like Bert Blyleven, Torii Hunter, Zoilo Versailles, and Justin Morneau added to the ranks. The lone player to be elected but not inducted was Chuck Knoblauch back in 2014.

Ron Gardenhire served the Twins as a manager for 13 seasons. He posted a .507 winning percentage owning a final record of 1,068-1,039. His wins trail only Tom Kelly for most all-time in team history. During six of Gardy’s 13 seasons as manager, the Twins won the American League Central Division. Gardenhire’s high win total came in 2006 when Minnesota recorded 96 wins. The team was strapped in the postseason, having recently lost starting lefty, Francisco Liriano. He went on to win the American League Manager of the Year award in 2010 when the Twins ripped off 94 victories. Ron Gardenhire will always be synonymous with the strong divisional Twins clubs of the 2000s.

Dan Gladden may now be most known for his work with Twins Radio but has been a member of the organization for 28 years. Winning two World Series rings in Minnesota, Gladden operated as the leadoff hitter and owns the club record for postseason runs scored and stolen bases. Gladden crossing home plate in the bottom of the 10th inning during Game 7 of the 1991 World Series gave the Twins their second World Series. A staple on Twins Radio, Gladden is coming up on an opportunity to land himself as the fourth-longest tenured broadcaster in club history.

Cesar Tovar has long been advocated for enshrinement by fans and now will finally get his due. Playing eight seasons for the Twins, Tovar racked up MVP votes in five consecutive years from 1967-1971. A speed threat, Tovar is third all-time in stolen bases for the Twins and ranks seventh in triples. While position players pitching may have become a thing now, Tovar became the second player in American or National League history to play all nine positions in a single game on September 22, 1968. 
 
The Minnesota Twins announced that on-field ceremonies would take place pre-game on August 20 and 21st at Target Field before Minnesota’s tilts with the Texas Rangers.
 
What are your favorite memories of Gardy, Gladden, and Tovar? Who would you like to see inducted next season?


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I object to Gardenhire, other than his long time in the organization I have long not liked Gardenhire when he managed.  I cannot deny the team did overall well while he was manager, but he was about as plug and play manager there was.  He did have a short time where he thought outside the box when he had Jones be lead-off but other than that he hated trying new things that could have helped team actually win the playoffs. 

I always felt he was very overrated as a manager.  I would totally watch the induction if Joe West could show up just to eject him though.  I do not think a single series that Joe West did with Gardy did Gardy not get ejected at least one of the games. 

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I am delighted, all three really deserve to be in.  Tovar was one of my favorite players in an era that was rich with good players.  He was the first of the ultimate utility men who played all over and did well at every position.  He was a favorite of Billy Martin and an excellent base runner.  It is about time!

Gardy was the face of the Twins for a long time, a great personality and longevity as well as a winning record makes him a good choice.

Gladden will now be introduced as Twins Hall of Famer on the radio broadcasts which is where most of his recognition is now, but he had a really fun career with two Twins championships and a Japanese championship too.  I loved his hustle.  He and Tovar make a good pair. 

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I'm surprised they took all 3 in one year rather than spreading them out over the next 3 seasons. They don't produce 3 new "Twins Hall of Fame" players a year.

Next? My vote is nobody until Buxton or Berrios retires. If they can't wait that long, then Dave Goltz or Brian Dozier I suppose.

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2 hours ago, Trov said:

I object to Gardenhire, other than his long time in the organization I have long not liked Gardenhire when he managed.  I cannot deny the team did overall well while he was manager, but he was about as plug and play manager there was.  He did have a short time where he thought outside the box when he had Jones be lead-off but other than that he hated trying new things that could have helped team actually win the playoffs. 

I always felt he was very overrated as a manager.  I would totally watch the induction if Joe West could show up just to eject him though.  I do not think a single series that Joe West did with Gardy did Gardy not get ejected at least one of the games. 

Agree on all points, and I would pay top dollar to see Joe West throw Burl Ives out of his own Twins HOF induction.

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Gladden was good defensively.  He caught a fly ball that was over the fence and turned it into a triple play once against the Indians.  I would love to see that replay again.  

Who are all of the members of the Twins Hall of Fame? 

Is Brian Harper in?  it seems like he would be deserving as a top offensive C who played on the 91 team.  

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4 hours ago, DJL44 said:

I'm surprised they took all 3 in one year rather than spreading them out over the next 3 seasons. They don't produce 3 new "Twins Hall of Fame" players a year.

I know I voted for Tovar and Gladden; can’t remember about Gardenhire.  It’s pretty rare for me to “win” in elections.  This has made my day!

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Gladden (and possibly Tovar) is an example of the slippery slope of Halls of Fame and why I don't put a lot of value in them. If player A has a good run as a Twin and gets in, then player B should get in too. Same for player C, and D, and E. Etc, etc, etc. Now that Gladden is in, then what about Larry Hisle? Lyman Bostock? Jimmie Hall? Tom Brunansky? Randy Bush? Gene Larkin? Gary Ward? Shane Mack? Ron Coomer? Lenny Green? Roy Smalley?

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I'm happy with all 3 choices and think all are very deserving.

Gladden, IMO, brought more to the team than defense and some solid but not incredible numbers. He brought hustle, spirit, and a bit of an edge that I think really helped propel both WS teams. (Personally, I like him as the color guy on the radio even if his play by play  is a little rough.)

I know some are a little down on Gardy and I'm not going to belabor any of the points I've heard before. While he was in charge of some bad teams, I'm not sure how some of those poor teams are his fault. Further, he was the man in charge of some very good, winning, playoff teams. He never got us to the WS, and a few injuries didn't help. The FO might have made a difference if they had added even a couple more depth pieces as well. But I can't deny the success so many of his teams had. I didn't always like everything he said or did, but I can't argue with those good seasons. He was still the man in charge for those good years.

Tovar probably should have been in already.

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All three are long overdue. Tovar set the table for three HOF's behind him in the batting order. Gladden was the gutsy player with determination just like he expounds as a broadcaster. Gardy was the face of this organization, did way more for it than he'll ever get credit for. You gotta love all three of them!

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18 hours ago, DJL44 said:

I'm surprised they took all 3 in one year rather than spreading them out over the next 3 seasons. They don't produce 3 new "Twins Hall of Fame" players a year.

Next? My vote is nobody until Buxton or Berrios retires. If they can't wait that long, then Dave Goltz or Brian Dozier I suppose.

Radke or Allison maybe

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11 hours ago, DocBauer said:

I'm happy with all 3 choices and think all are very deserving.

Gladden, IMO, brought more to the team than defense and some solid but not incredible numbers. He brought hustle, spirit, and a bit of an edge that I think really helped propel both WS teams. (Personally, I like him as the color guy on the radio even if his play by play  is a little rough.)

I know some are a little down on Gardy and I'm not going to belabor any of the points I've heard before. While he was in charge of some bad teams, I'm not sure how some of those poor teams are his fault. Further, he was the man in charge of some very good, winning, playoff teams. He never got us to the WS, and a few injuries didn't help. The FO might have made a difference if they had added even a couple more depth pieces as well. But I can't deny the success so many of his teams had. I didn't always like everything he said or did, but I can't argue with those good seasons. He was still the man in charge for those good years.

Tovar probably should have been in already.

Gardy was a throwback guy. Play fundamentally sound and you have a chance. And I always found his interviews entertaining. 

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15 hours ago, Brandon said:

Gladden was good defensively.  He caught a fly ball that was over the fence and turned it into a triple play once against the Indians.  I would love to see that replay again.  

Who are all of the members of the Twins Hall of Fame? 

Is Brian Harper in?  it seems like he would be deserving as a top offensive C who played on the 91 team.  

https://www.mlb.com/twins/history/twins-hall-of-famers

 

 

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13 hours ago, Nine of twelve said:

Gladden (and possibly Tovar) is an example of the slippery slope of Halls of Fame and why I don't put a lot of value in them. If player A has a good run as a Twin and gets in, then player B should get in too. Same for player C, and D, and E. Etc, etc, etc. Now that Gladden is in, then what about Larry Hisle? Lyman Bostock? Jimmie Hall? Tom Brunansky? Randy Bush? Gene Larkin? Gary Ward? Shane Mack? Ron Coomer? Lenny Green? Roy Smalley?

Also when a team wants to induct people each year for the promotional weekend, eventually, you get very slim pickings.  I am not saying it needs to be as hard to get in as baseball HOF, but there is not a need to induct at least 1 each year.  

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22 hours ago, DJL44 said:

Next? My vote is nobody until Buxton or Berrios retires. If they can't wait that long, then Dave Goltz or Brian Dozier I suppose.

I am guessing Mauer once he is eligible (is it five years off of the team?).   

I don't have an issue with any of the inductees, but they are going to run into some dry years, and as someone mentioned above, I wonder if they should have spread them out over three years..  

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4 minutes ago, D. Hocking said:

I am guessing Mauer once he is eligible (is it five years off of the team?).   

I forgot about Mauer, assumed he was already inducted. They retired his number so that's a no-brainer.

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By my rankings, Tovar makes sense, he was next man up.  That makes my top23 all named to the HOF except Mauer who I assume is coming soon.  I think Cuddyer (28), Guardado (34), and Gagne (35) were reaches.  Gladden is a big leap (I have him at 47) but I can see him getting a boost from his off the field work for the Twins in the booth which I don't give any bonus points in my rankings for.

 

https://wgom.org/2021/10/25/top-300-minnesota-twins-of-all-time-updated-through-2021/

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To be frank, I consider the Twins Hall of Fame to be pretty embarrassing. It shows how pathetic the ownership of this franchise has been. Basically anybody with more than 3 years on the team is a shoe-in. The number of truly great Twins players is pretty short.

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2 hours ago, bean5302 said:

To be frank, I consider the Twins Hall of Fame to be pretty embarrassing. It shows how pathetic the ownership of this franchise has been. Basically anybody with more than 3 years on the team is a shoe-in. The number of truly great Twins players is pretty short.

Totally agree. Hall of Fame should be for the elite few, not the pretty damn good, or worse. All three of these guys just water it down. I like Gladden and Tovar, but not HOF, not even close in my book. And Gardenhire? He couldn't even take the 2006 team to a WS, or win in the post season. He was more of a detriment to the fine teams, than an asset. The Twins HOF seems more of a marketing ploy, than a legit HOF.

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7 hours ago, Nate Tubbs Rules said:

Gladden is a big leap (I have him at 47) but I can see him getting a boost from his off the field work for the Twins in the booth which I don't give any bonus points in my rankings for.

My opinion about Gladden's work in the booth is that it makes him LESS deserving of HOF honors.

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I feel that Tovar clearly deserves this, and I suspect that some younger fans are not aware of his greatness..  Tovar batted .281 in 8 years for the Twins and as stated in the article he got MVP votes 5 years in row.   His overall stats seem impressive to me.  https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/tovarce01.shtm

I remember the game where he played all 9 positions.  Here is a link to a wonderful recap of such game.  https://www.johnpielli.com/bases-empty-blog/the-day-cesar-tovar-played-all-9-positions  As you can see, he struck out Reggie Jackson that day and did not allow a run.

It also appears that Tovar is the all-time MLB leader in breaking up no hitters.

Here is an excerpt from his Wikipedia page, which is worth reading in its entirety.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/César_Tovar

"As he improved at the plate, Tovar also moved less around the diamond – playing primarily center field in 1970, left field in 1971, and right field in 1972. He improved his hitting through 1971, when he hit for a .311 batting average and led the league with 204 hits.[16] In 1971, SPORT magazine polled major league players to identify the game's most competitive player. Pete Rose won; the runners-up were Frank Robinson, Bob Gibson, and César Tovar. On September 19, 1972, Tovar belted a walk-off home run to hit for the cycle.[17] Only four other players in major league baseball history have completed a cycle with a game-ending homer: Ken Boyer (1961),[18] George Brett (1979),[19] Dwight Evans (1984)[20] and Carlos González (2010).[21]"

Tovar was a great utility player with a positive attitude and one of my favorite players of all time.  He was taken from this world far too soon and may he rest in peace.

 

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22 hours ago, Nine of twelve said:

My opinion about Gladden's work in the booth is that it makes him LESS deserving of HOF honors.

Don't know how you feel about Dick Bremer but he fits the type of people who have been previously inducted.

So out of the possibles we have

Players: Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Dave Goltz?, Roy Smalley? Corey Koskie? Slim pickings here.

Non-players: Dick Bremer, Terry Ryan, Dave St. Peter, Mike Radcliff

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