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Creating the All-Time Twins All-Star Team

Twins Daily Contributor

The Twins have had some great players throughout their franchise history, including multiple Hall of Famers. So, which players would make up the All-Time Twins All-Star Team?

Every year around the Mid-Summer Classic, it can be fun to scroll through the list of former All-Stars for your favorite franchise. There are all-time great players, but there are also some less familiar names like John Roseboro, Ken Landreaux, and Dave Engle. It can be an entertaining review of team history to look back at All-Stars from yesteryear.

I created an entire team roster in the roster below, but there were a few stipulations. Some players on the roster played multiple positions in their careers, but they had to be placed in the position from their All-Star season. Also, a player couldn’t be on the list multiple times. For instance, Johan Santana was great in the 2000s, but he only gets to be in the rotation once. Without further ado, here is the All-Time Twins All-Star Roster.

Catcher: Joe Mauer (2009)
Joe Mauer’s MVP season is one of the best overall seasons in franchise history. In franchise history, there have been seven other All-Star catchers, but none of them compare to Mauer. 

1B: Rod Carew (1977)
Rod Carew’s MVP season in 1977 is hard to top, even with other All-Star sluggers like Justin Morneau, Kent Hrbek, and Bob Allison. Luis Arraez made the 2022 All-Star team at first base, but Carew still gets the nod. 

2B: Chuck Knoblauch (1996)
Minnesota has only had three All-Stars at second base, including Carew, Knoblauch, and Brian Dozier. Fans may forget, but Knoblauch was one of baseball’s best players in the mid-90s as he was elected to the Mid-Summer Classic in four different years. 

3B: Harmon Killebrew (1969)
Harmon Killebrew made the All-Star team at three different positions, but third base was his best spot to crack this roster. During the 1969 season, he won his only MVP and led baseball in home runs (49) and RBI (140). 

SS: Zoilo Versalles (1965)
The 1965 Twins were the first in franchise history to make the World Series, and Versalles can get forgotten among some of the other greats on that squad. He was awarded the AL MVP for his 1965 season, and he’s the only Twins shortstop to make multiple All-Star appearances.

OF: Kirby Puckett (1988), Tony Oliva (1970), Byron Buxton (2022)
For Twins fans, this might be a dream outfield. Kirby Puckett was a 10-time All-Star, and Baseball-Reference pegs his 1988 season as his most valuable (7.8 WAR). Tony Oliva made eight-straight All-Star appearances from 1964-1971, and he compiled a 7.0 WAR in 1970. Byron Buxton is on pace for his best season, and MLB awarded him with his first All-Star start. Other Twins outfielders in the conversation include Torii Hunter and Bob Allison. 

DH: Nelson Cruz (2021)
Nelson Cruz is the only player in Twins history to be selected to the All-Star Game as a designated hitter. He combined for a 129 OPS+ and 32 home runs during the 2021 season. 

Rotation: Johan Santana (2004), Francisco Liriano (2006), Jack Morris (1991), Bert Blyleven (1973), Frank Viola (1988)
It doesn’t get much more exciting than this starting rotation. Johan Santana was arguably the best pitcher on the planet in 2004. By 2006, Francisco Liriano joined Santana and was at the top of the baseball pitching world before his elbow gave out. Frank Viola won the World Series MVP in 1987 and was even better in 1988 by winning the AL Cy Young. Plus, there are two other Hall of Fame pitchers to add to the mix, including Jack Morris from his memorable World Series run and a young Bert Blyleven. Overall, this rotation is stacked. 

Bullpen: Rick Aguilera (1991), Joe Nathan (2004), Jeff Reardon (1988), Glen Perkins (2013), Eddie Guardado (2002)
Minnesota has been lucky to be home to some of baseball’s best closers. Except for Reardon, all these relievers were selected for multiple All-Star Games. It’s hard to imagine the starters listed above needing much help from the bullpen, but this group was dominant in late-inning situations. 

Here is the updated list of the team’s All-Stars directly from the Twins. What changes would you make to this All-Star roster? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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Buxton is still a potentially great player - Torii Hunter did it in centerfield for a long time (and his catch of Barry Bonds' near homer in the 2002 All Star Game is highlight reel stuff).

Jim Kaat's 25-13 1966 is at least as good as Liriano's (arguably) one good season with the Twins. 

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I'm a little shocked to see he was never selected for the All Star game while with the Twins, but Mike Marshall was an extraordinary reliever for them in the late 70's.  His '79 numbers are unthinkable today:  90 games, 142 innings, 32 saves, 10 wins, 2.65 ERA.  Finished 5th in Cy Young and 11th in the MVP.   Likely need a 6th reliever anyway...although maybe not if Marshall is there to suck up the innings.

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Jim Kaat 1966 100% over Liriano 2006.  How about Jim Perry 1969 or 1970 over one year of Morris as well.  Perry 1969 20-6  2.82 ERA.   1970 24-12  3.03 ERA.  In 1970 Perry was the American League CY Young winner.  

I agree with Carew at 2B (1973 ? or still 1977--he played a couple games at 2B) to have Morneau 2006, 2009 at 1B over Knoblauch.

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In '62, All-star Camilo Pascual led the Al with 206 K's, 18 complete games and 5 shutouts, while going 20-11. He was also 15th in league MVP voting. And he led the AL in SO/walk ratio, at 3.49.

Morris's game 7 is world series legend, but his '91 season trails Pascual in most categories, and the only thing he leads the AL in is starts and ... wild pitches. He walked a lot, too, with a K/BB ratio of 1.77.

What's Camilo got to do to get a little love? That hook was amazing, and when the franchise first arrived in the landa lakes, he was one of our first real stars. 


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Morris was only the 3rd best pitcher on the team in his only season in a Twins uniform (1991). Tapani and Erickson were both better than Morris that year so I don't think I'd give Morris the nod here.

I'd definitely take 2010 Jim Thome over Nelson Cruz as well.

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6 hours ago, Blyleven2011 said:

Don't forget mudcat grant  ...

Not even an honorable mention  ...

I liked Morris in 1991 but one season on the team , with accolades of a game 7 win in world series , he was a bulldog ...


Mudcat Grant was pretty good in his short stint as a Twins pitcher, but hardly great.

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You can't short the early years.

Al Worthington was a bullpen stud.

Camilo Pascual and Jim Kaat. But also remember Dave Goltz. If Morrisd gets in, then you also have to consider Mudcat Grant or Dean Chance.

Earl Battey was wonderful behind-the-plate. A.J. did his job.

Dougie Mientkiewicz was a hitter.


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11 hours ago, Otaknam said:

Morneau first base, Carew second base

Morneau over Knoblauch every day! Carew played first as his career was winding down.

Carew was in his age 30 season in '76 when he became a full time first baseman. He had his amazing "Time cover" MVP season the following year. His 9,7 WAR more than doubled what Morneau put up in his best All-Star season. Knoblauch posted an 8.7 WAR in '96, 3rd best in the league. WAR isn't the be-all-end-all stat, but a 9.7 or 8.7 best compared to a 4.7 best says it all.

For Twins careers, I agree with you on Morneau and Carew, but this article is based on best single All-Star seasons.  

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