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  1. 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? View full article
  2. 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?
  3. César Tovar is still not in the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame. One of the best table-setters in all of baseball from the late 60s through the early 70s, Tovar highlights an era of Twins baseball that's being overlooked by voters. In this video, I talk about why I think Tovar hasn't made it into the team's Hall of Fame yet and do my best to present an argument as to why he should be enshrined.
  4. César Tovar is still not in the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame. One of the best table-setters in all of baseball from the late 60s through the early 70s, Tovar highlights an era of Twins baseball that's being overlooked by voters. In this video, I talk about why I think Tovar hasn't made it into the team's Hall of Fame yet and do my best to present an argument as to why he should be enshrined. View full video
  5. When teasing this piece on Twitter recently I found myself inundated with names that all fill this bill. From Kevin Tapani to Jason Kubel, there were dozens of replies reflective of compelling cases. Many of them I found myself nodding in agreement. While this is obviously opinion, I tried to create some objective parameters. https://twitter.com/tlschwerz/status/1242221195770159112 To truly be underrated there was a need for a sustained level of greatness. No player below a career fWAR mark of 20.0 would be included. That’s a modest bar to clear for the established veteran, but one that generally comes with some substantial highlights along the way (for the sake of comparison, Justin Morneau produced exactly 20.0 fWAR as a Twin). That numerator was the only hard and fast rule. If I was going to blueprint another, it was that the player needed to be given a higher level of appreciation than I felt they’d been shown. There’s nothing more subjective than that, but again, opinion. Honorable Mention: Shane Mack 17.9 fWAR He doesn’t meet the numerical parameters and therefore could never have been fully under consideration. However, for a guy that played in just north of 600 games for the Twins after being out of the big leagues the year prior to joining the club, he made his presence felt. After two seasons with the Padres, Mack showed up and posted an .854 OPS across parts of five seasons. He batted .309, had some pop, and played all three outfield positions. A 130 OPS+ is nothing to make light of. 4. Cesar Tovar 21.6 fWAR Of all players in Minnesota history, Tovar owns the 13th highest fWAR. Despite playing in fewer games, he’s ahead of guys like Roy Smalley, Justin Morneau, and Greg Gagne. Often brought up during the yearly debate regarding the Twins Hall of Fame inductions, Tovar gave the Twins eight seasons of a good average and great plate discipline. He played all over the diamond and earned MVP votes in five straight seasons. Not often considered among the best in franchise history, this is a guy too often forgotten in those discussions. 3. Corey Koskie 23.2 fWAR Maybe the most impressive on this list given the games played, Koskie compiled the 10th best fWAR in franchise history despite playing in the 25th most games. He tallied better totals than both Torii Hunter and Brian Dozier, all while being a relative footnote on those early 2000’s teams. He earned MVP votes one time, but never drew any other accolades. His .836 OPS with the Twins matches Eddie Rosario’s best year, and is nearly 50 points above Rosario's career average. 2. Brad Radke 38.7 fWAR Arguably the most overlooked member on this list, Radke was the reliable anchor on some clubs that faced significant uphill battles. His contributions trump those of Frank Viola and Jim Perry while getting only a smaller amount of runway. An All- Star just once in his career, Radke earned a top-3 Cy Young finish in 1997, starting 35 games. He pitched 200 innings in nine of his twelve major league seasons, and it was because of his efforts that Tom Kelly and Ron Gardenhire had a go-to arm they could count on. Nothing was flashy about Brad, but he never was going to beat himself, and he gave Minnesota that luxury for 377 career starts. 1. Joe Mauer 52.5 fWAR We can argue all day long about whether Joe was better than Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew, or Harmon Killebrew but I don’t see any questions around which one struggles to get his due. Minnesota’s top trio are all enshrined in Cooperstown while the generational catcher is often questioned about his inclusion by a hometown fan base. One-third of Mauer’s career was dragged through a period in which injury altered his trajectory (though he became one of the best defensive first basemen in the game). Poor press releases and an out-of-position contract further complicated his narrative. There’s no reason for a future Hall of Fame catcher to have a questioned legacy. Because of the subjective nature here, let’s see your list. Who do you agree with and what would you change? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  6. May 20, 1970 Carew Hits for First Cycle in Twins History Rod Carew hit for the first cycle in Twins history in a 10-5 win in Kansas City. He completed the cycle with an eighth-inning triple, driving in Cesar Tovar. Carew was 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored on the day. After Carew’s triple, St. Cloud Cathedral High School graduate and future-Twin Tom Burgmeier came in to finish the game for KC. Ten Twins have hit for the cycle: Carew (1970), Cesar Tovar (‘72), Larry Hisle (‘76), Lyman Bostock (‘76), Mike Cubbage (‘78), Gary Ward (‘80), Kirby Puckett (‘86), Carlos Gomez (‘08), Jason Kubel (‘09) and Michael Cuddyer (‘09). May 20, 1984 Clemens Earns First Win In his second major league start, Roger Clemens earned the first of his 354 career victories, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk over seven innings in a 5-4 Red Sox win at the Metrodome. With two out in the bottom of the sixth, Tom Brunansky hit the first of the 363 home runs that the Rocket would allow over his 24-year career. May 20, 1986 Keith Atherton Acquired from Oakland The Twins traded a player to be named later and cash to Oakland for pitcher Keith Atherton. The player to be named wound up being minor league pitcher Eric Broersma, who never made it to the majors. Atherton, on the other hand, pitched in 62 games for the 1987 Twins, including Games 1 and 5 of the World Series. May 20, 1989 Randy Bush Collects Twins Record 8 RBI Randy Bush drove in a eight runs in a 19-3 win in Texas, tying the Twins' single-game record set by Glenn Adams on June 26, 1977. Six of those RBI came in the final two innings of the game, as Bush hit three-run home runs in the eighth and ninth. He was 3-for-4 with a walk, eight RBI (one on a sac fly) and two runs scored on the day. Leadoff hitter Dan Gladden tied a major league record with seven plate appearances in the game, going 1-for-7 with an RBI and run scored. Two players have driven in 12 runs in a game, both playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. Hall of Fame first baseman Jim Bottomley did so versus the Dodgers at Ebbets Field in 1924. And, in 1993, Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten drove in 12 of the Cardinals’ 15 runs with four home runs, including a first-inning grand slam, versus the Cincinnati Reds. May 20, 1994 16 Bat in 11-Run Inning Already beating Boston 10-1 at the Metrodome going into the bottom of the fifth, the Twins sent 16 men to the plate, tying a team record established in the tenth inning on June 21, 1969. Alex Cole, the seventh Twin to the plate, made both the first and last outs of the inning. The Twins tied team records for runs in an inning (11), hits (10) and consecutive hits (8). Kirby Puckett had a huge day, going 3-for-3 with a HR in the fifth, seven RBI and a run scored. DH Dave Winfield was only Twins starter without a hit. The Twins won 21-2, improving to 21-19 on the season. May 20, 1995 Marty Cordova Homers in Fifth Consecutive Game Marty Cordova tied a Twins record, homering in his fifth consecutive game as Scott Erickson and the Twins fell to Lou Piniella’s Seattle Mariners 10-6 at the Metrodome. Cordova would hit a career-high 24 home runs in 1995 en route to being voted the American League’s Rookie of the Year. Harmon Killebrew homered in five consecutive games on two separate occasions during the Twins’ 1970 Division Championship season. Twenty players have homered in at least six consecutive games. Barry Bonds is the only player with two such streaks, homering in six straight in 2001 and seven straight in ‘04. Jim Thome homered in seven straight for Cleveland in 2002. The major league record for consecutive games with a home run is eight. Pittsburgh’s Dale Long did so in 1956, followed by Don Mattingly in 1987, and Ken Griffey Jr. in 1993. May 20, 2005 Silva Throws 74-Pitch Complete Game Carlos Silva allowed just one run on five hits, no walks and three strikeouts in a complete game 7-1 Twins win over Milwaukee at the Metrodome. Silva needed only 74 pitches to complete the game, an average of 8.2 per inning. Second baseman Nick Punto wwent 4-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. The Twins had 16 hits as a team. The only Twin without a hit was Torii Hunter, though he did drive in Punto with a sac fly. May 20, 2011 Twins Attend Funeral of Harmon Killebrew Putting a silver lining around an otherwise sad situation, the Twins were in town to play the Arizona Diamondbacks and able to attend the funeral of Harmon Killebrew, who had passed away three days earlier. Bert Blyleven spoke at the funeral, while Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Frank Quilici, Joe Nathan, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Ron Gardenhire and Paul Molitor served as pallbearers. May 20, 2012 Drew Butera Pitches a Scoreless Inning Trailing 16-4 in Milwaukee, Ron Gardenhire called on Drew Butera to pitch the bottom of the eighth. Butera pitched a scoreless, hitless frame, walking one and striking out Carlos Gomez. Drew threw several pitches in the 90s, topping out at 94 on the radar gun. While playing with the Dodgers in 2014, Butera pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning versus the Miami Marlins. He pitched again for Los Angeles just three days later, this time giving up a two-run HR to Paul Goldschmidt as he recorded the final two outs of the game. Drew’s dad, fellow catcher Sal Butera, did not allow a hit in his two major league pitching appearances. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning in his big league pitching debut for Montreal in 1985. In 1986 he pitched a scoreless ninth for the Cincinnati Reds, walking one and striking out one. May 21 Happy 57th Birthday, Kent Hrbek! It's the birthday of 1978 Bloomington Kennedy graduate Kent Hrbek, born in Minneapolis in 1960. The Twins drafted Hrbie in the 17th round out of high school. Only Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett have played more games in a Twins uniform. The big 6'4" first baseman made his major league debut on August 24, 1981 at Yankee Stadium, hitting a game-winning home run off of George Frazier leading off the twelfth. Hrbek made his only All-Star team in 1982, and finished second to Cal Ripken, Jr. for American League Rookie of the Year. Hrbek drove in 107 runs in 1984 and finished second to Tigers pitcher Willie Hernandez for American League MVP. He hit three grand slams in 1985, tying Bob Allison, Rod Carew, Kirby Puckett, and Torii Hunter for the Twins' single season record. The 34 home runs Hrbek hit in 1987 are the most ever by a Twins lefty. His grand slam in Game 6 of the 1987 World Series is an iconic moment in Twins history. His reaction after catching Gary Gaetti's throw for the final out of Game 7 is immortalized in bronze outside Gate 14 at Target Field. Hrbek retired following the strike-shortened '94 season. His 239 HRs and 1,086 RBI are second in Twins history to only Harmon Killebrew. His 1,749 hits rank sixth behind Kirby Puckett, Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, and Joe Mauer. The Twins retired Hrbek's #14 on August 13, 1995. May 21, 1967 First 4-Extra-Base Hit Game in Twins History Cesar Tovar had the Twins' first four-extra-base hit game in a 12-3 win versus the Angels in California. Tovar, the Twins' leadoff hitter, hit two doubles and two HRs. He went 4-for-6 on the day, improving his batting average to .323. Tony Oliva went 3-for-4 with two doubles. Oliva would lead the American League with 34 doubles, with Tovar coming in second with 32. Kirby Puckett (1987 and '89), Rich Becker (1996), Corey Koskie (2001) and Michael Cuddyer (2005) have since tied Tovar's record of four extra-base hits in a single game. Eight players in major league history have hit five extra-base hits in a game. May 21, 1981 Viola Wins Greatest College Game Ever After Yale's Ron Darling pitched 11 no-hit innings, Frank Viola and St. John's University win it in the twelfth. May 21, 2009 Twins Snap Losing Streak with Blowout Win The Twins snapped a six-game losing streak, beating the White Sox 20-1 in the series finale in Chicago. The Twins collected 20 hits and five walks in the game. Bartolo Colon took the loss, giving up eight runs on seven hits and two walks in just two innings. Michael Cuddyer went 4-for-6. Designated Hitter Joe Mauer hit a grand slam in the Twins' six-run sixth inning. It was already his eighth home run of the season. He would go on to hit 28 in 2009 en route to being voted the American League's Most Valuable Player. Keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  7. May 15 Happy 36th Birthday, Justin Morneau! It’s the birthday of 2006 American League Most Valuable Player Justin Morneau, born in New Westminster, British Columbia in 1981. The Twins drafted the 6’4” Canadian in the 3rd round in 1999, behind B.J. Garbe and Rob Bowen, neither of whom made it to the majors. Morneau hit cleanup in his MLB debut on June 10, 2003, hitting a two-strike line drive single to center in his first at-bat, and going 2-for-4 on the day. He hit 19 home runs in just 74 major league games in 2004, and another 22 with Rochester. In 2006, just his second full season in the majors, Morneau hit .321 with 34 HRs and 130 RBI en route to being voted the American League’s Most Valuable Player. Morneau was hitting .345 midway through 2010 when he suffered a season-ending concussion sliding into second. Though Twins fans saw glimpses over the next three seasons, Morneau never fully returned to All-Star form before being traded to the pennant-chasing Pirates in August, 2013. May 15, 1960 Moryn Secures Cardwell's No-Hitter 1944 St. Paul Harding High School graduate and Cubs left fielder Walt Moryn made a great shoestring catch for the final out of Don Cardwell’s no-hitter. May 15, 1969 Cesar Tovar Breaks Up No-Hitter With one out in the bottom of the ninth and Baltimore’s Dave McNally pitching a no-hitter, Cesar Tovar singled to left-center. Rod Carew then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play as McNally completed the one-hit shutout for a 5-0 Orioles win. This was the first of two times that Tovar would break up a no-hitter in the ninth inning during the 1969 season. Tovar is tied with Eddie Milner for the major league record of breaking up five no-hitters in his career. Tovar broke up four no-hitters as a Twin, and another as a Ranger when he broke up Catfish Hunter’s no-hit bid in 1975. May 15, 1991 Paul Molitor Hits for the Cycle vs. the Twins 1974 Cretin High School graduate Paul Molitor tripled on Kevin Tapani's first pitch of the game at the Metrodome. He promptly put the Brewers up 1-0 on a Jim Gantner groundout. Molitor singled in the third, doubled in the fifth, and, leading off the seventh, homered off of Tapani to complete the cycle. Reliever Steve Bedrosian finally retired Molitor in the ninth. The Brewers won the ballgame 4-2. The Twins, meanwhile, would manage to salvage the season. Keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  8. The Twins drafted the 6’4” Canadian in the third round in 1999, behind B.J. Garbe and Rob Bowen, neither of whom made it to the majors. Morneau hit cleanup in his major league debut in June, 2010, hitting a two-strike line drive single to center in his first at-bat and going 2-for-4 on the day. He hit 19 home runs in just 74 major league games in 2004, and another 22 with Rochester. In 2006, just his second full season in the majors, Morneau hit .321 with 34 HRs and 130 RBI en route to being voted the American League’s Most Valuable Player. Morneau was hitting .345 midway through 2010 when he suffered a season-ending concussion sliding into second. Though Twins fans saw glimpses over the next three seasons, Morneau never fully returned to all-star form before being traded in August 2013 to Pittsburgh, in the heat of a pennant race. Prior to the 2014 season, Morneau signed with the Colorado Rockies, where he won the National League batting championship with a .319 average. Former Twins teammate, Michael Cuddyer, had won the NL batting crown with the Rockies the previous season, hitting .331. Morneau, currently a free agent, will be out until at least midseason 2016 as he recovers from elbow surgery. May 15, 1969 Cesar Tovar Breaks Up No-Hitter With one out in the bottom of the ninth and Baltimore’s Dave McNally pitching a no-hitter, Cesar Tovar singled to left-center. Rod Carew then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play as McNally completed the one-hit shutout for a 5-0 Orioles win. This was the first of two times that Tovar would break up a no-hitter in the ninth inning in 1969. Tovar is tied with Eddie Milner for the major league record of breaking up five no-hitters in his career. Tovar broke up four no-hitters as a Twin, and another as a Ranger when he broke up Catfish Hunter’s no-hit bid in 1975. May 15, 1991 Paul Molitor Hits for the Cycle vs. the Twins Paul Molitor led off the game at the Metrodome with a triple on Kevin Tapani’s first pitch. He promptly put the Brewers up 1-0 on a Jim Gantner groundout. Molitor singled in the third, doubled in the fifth, and, leading off the seventh, homered off of Tapani to complete the cycle. Reliever Steve Bedrosian finally retired Molitor in the ninth. He went 4-for-5 in the Brewers’ 4-2 win. The Twins went on to have a good season. May 16 It’s the Birthday of Billy Martin Twins player, coach and manager, Billy Martin, was born on this date in 1928 in Berkeley, California. Martin, who won four World Championships as a member of the 1950s New York Yankees, was traded by the Milwaukee Braves to Minnesota on June 1st, 1961, where he played out his final major league season. Martin served as a Twins scout from 1962-’64, and rejoined the major eague team as third base coach in 1965. He was sent down to Triple-A Denver midway through the 1968 season, where he served as manager. He succeeded Cal Ermer as manager of the Twins in 1969, winning the American League West in his only season as manager. Martin was hugely popular as a Twins coach and manager, and instrumental in the development of Cesar Tovar, and, to a less extent, Rod Carew. Martin went on to manage 16 major league seasons, including five stints with the Yankees, who he led to a World Series championship in 1977. Martin passed away in 1989 at the age of 61. May 16 Happy Birthday, Jack Morris It’s the birthday of Jack Morris, born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1951. Morris attended Highland Park High School in St. Paul and Brigham Young University, and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 5th round in 1976. The Tigers had drafted Alan Trammell in the second round, and Lou Whitaker in the fifth round a year earlier. All three would make their major league debuts in 1977, with Trammell and Whitaker debuting in the same game. Morris was the Tigers’ opening day starter in 1980, beginning a major league record streak of 14 consecutive opening day starts (1980-1993). Morris won his first of four World Series in 1984 as the Tigers beat the Padres in five games. Morris pitched complete game victories in Games 1 and 4. Morris won more games in the 1980s (162) than any other pitcher. On February 5th, 1991, Jack Morris signed a one-year, $3.7 million contract with the Twins, making him the highest paid pitcher in the American League, a distinction which he previously held and 1987 and ‘88, and would hold again in 1993. Morris won 18 games during the regular season and another four in the postseason, including the legendary 10-inning shutout of the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the World Series. 1991 would be Morris’s only season with the Minnesota Twins. On December 18, 1991, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, against whom he had just won two games in the American League Championship Series. Morris led the league with 21 wins in 1992 and the Blue Jays went on to win the World Series, beating the Braves in six games. The Blue Jays won the Series again in 1993, though Morris pitched poorly, accumulating a 7-12 record with a 6.19 ERA before he season was cut a month short by injury. Fellow St. Paul-native, Paul Molitor, was be the 1993 World Series MVP. Morris pitched for Cleveland in 1994 but was released in August just prior to the strike. The following spring he unsuccessfully attempted a comeback with Cincinnati. In 1996, the 41-year-old Morris went 5-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 10 starts with the St. Paul Saints before retiring for good. May 16, 2010 Jason Kubel Hits Grand Slam Off Mariano Rivera The Twins had not beat the Yankees since August 13, 2008. They had been swept by the Yankees in both the 2009 regular and postseason. Now, trailing 3-1 in the third game of a series at Yankee Stadium, the Twins loaded the bases against Joba Chamberlain in the eighth. With two out and the bases full of Twins, manager Joe Girardi brought in Mariano Rivera to face Jim Thome. Rivera had converted his last 51 home save opportunities, tying the Dodgers’ Eric Gagne’s all-time record. Rivera walked Thome, forcing in Orlando Hudson. Trailing now by just 1 run, Jason Kubel hit Rivera’s 1-0 pitch into the right field seats for a grand slam. The Twins went on to an improbable 6-3 victory, with Jon Rauch converting his 10th save of the season. May 17, 1963 Bob Allison Hits 3 Home Runs Bob Allison became the first Minnesota Twin to hit three home runs in a game in an 11-4 Twins win in Cleveland. He was 3-for-5 on the day with 6 RBI. His batting average at the end of the day was .330. He finished his all-star ‘63 season with a .271 average, 35 HRs and 91 RBI. Harmon Killebrew and Zoilo Versalles also hit home runs in the game. Pitcher Jim Perry, who had played for Cleveland the previous season, was 2-for-3 with a walk and scored on Allison’s first home run. May 17, 1998 David Wells Pitches a Perfect Game 50,000 fans, including Billy Crystal, came out to Yankee Stadium for Beanie Baby Day, and what turned out to be the fifteenth perfect game in major league history. David Wells threw 120 pitches, striking out 11. The last perfect game at Yankee Stadium was pitched in game 5 of the 1956 World Series by Don Larsen, who attended the same high school as Wells, Point Loma High in San Diego. Don Larsen actually threw out the first pitch before baseball’s next perfect game, pitched by David Cone in 1999 on Yogi Berra Day at Yankee Stadium. Cone threw only 88 pitches in his perfect game. The major leagues’ first two perfect games were pitched in 1880, just five days apart. The next perfect game wasn’t pitched until 1904 by the Boston Americans’ Cy Young. The most recent perfect game was pitched by the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez on August 15th, 2012. May 17, 2011 Harmon Killebrew Passes Away On May 17th, 2011, the greatest Minnesota Twin passed away at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 74. May 18, 1969 Rod Carew Steals Second, Third and Home With the Billy Martin-managed Twins trailing 2-0 in Detroit, Cesar Tovar led off the bottom of third with a single off of Mickey Lolich. Then, with Rod Carew at the plate, Tovar was balked to second and stole third. Perhaps distracted by Tovar, Lolich walked Carew. Then, with Harmon Killebrew at the plate, the Twins executed a double steal, with Carew swiping second as Tovar stole home. With Killebrew still at bat, Carew stole third and home to tie the game. Killebrew ultimately struck out, and the Twins went on to lose the game 8-2. They would, however, go on to win the division but were beat in the League Championship Series by Baltimore. Forty players have stolen second, third and home consecutively a total of 50 times in MLB history, 11 since 1940. The feet was accomplished four times in the '80s, twice in the '90s, once in the '00s, and, most recently, by Dee Gordon in 2011. Paul Molitor pulled it off in the first inning versus Oakland on July 26, 1987. May 19, 1990 Tom Brunansky’s Big Day The Twins had an ugly day at Fenway. The Red Sox’s Tom Brunansky drew first blood, driving in Wade Boggs with a one-out double in the first. The Red Sox went on to score five runs on five hits in the first off of Twins starter, Allan Anderson, who only lasted ⅔ of an inning. Brunansky went 5-for-5 with 2 HRs, 7 RBI and 3 runs scored as the Red Sox pummeled the Twins 13-1. Tom Kelly called upon outfielder John Moses to pitch the bottom of the eighth. He gave up just one run on two hits in his second pitching appearance for the Twins. His previous appearance had also come at Fenway, in 1989, as he pitched a scoreless eighth inning, not allowing a hit but walking one. He would pitch a third time for the Twins in July, 1990. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac by following @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  9. May 15th Happy Birthday, Justin Morneau It’s the birthday of 2006 American League MVP, Justin Morneau, born on this day in 1981 in New Westminster, British Columbia.The Twins drafted the 6’4” Canadian in the third round in 1999, behind B.J. Garbe and Rob Bowen, neither of whom made it to the majors. Morneau hit cleanup in his major league debut in June, 2010, hitting a two-strike line drive single to center in his first at-bat and going 2-for-4 on the day. He hit 19 home runs in just 74 major league games in 2004, and another 22 with Rochester. In 2006, just his second full season in the majors, Morneau hit .321 with 34 HRs and 130 RBI en route to being voted the American League’s Most Valuable Player. Morneau was hitting .345 midway through 2010 when he suffered a season-ending concussion sliding into second. Though Twins fans saw glimpses over the next three seasons, Morneau never fully returned to all-star form before being traded in August 2013 to Pittsburgh, in the heat of a pennant race. Prior to the 2014 season, Morneau signed with the Colorado Rockies, where he won the National League batting championship with a .319 average. Former Twins teammate, Michael Cuddyer, had won the NL batting crown with the Rockies the previous season, hitting .331. Morneau, currently a free agent, will be out until at least midseason 2016 as he recovers from elbow surgery. May 15, 1969 Cesar Tovar Breaks Up No-Hitter With one out in the bottom of the ninth and Baltimore’s Dave McNally pitching a no-hitter, Cesar Tovar singled to left-center. Rod Carew then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play as McNally completed the one-hit shutout for a 5-0 Orioles win. This was the first of two times that Tovar would break up a no-hitter in the ninth inning in 1969. Tovar is tied with Eddie Milner for the major league record of breaking up five no-hitters in his career. Tovar broke up four no-hitters as a Twin, and another as a Ranger when he broke up Catfish Hunter’s no-hit bid in 1975. May 15, 1991 Paul Molitor Hits for the Cycle vs. the Twins Paul Molitor led off the game at the Metrodome with a triple on Kevin Tapani’s first pitch. He promptly put the Brewers up 1-0 on a Jim Gantner groundout. Molitor singled in the third, doubled in the fifth, and, leading off the seventh, homered off of Tapani to complete the cycle. Reliever Steve Bedrosian finally retired Molitor in the ninth. He went 4-for-5 in the Brewers’ 4-2 win. The Twins went on to have a good season. May 16 It’s the Birthday of Billy Martin Twins player, coach and manager, Billy Martin, was born on this date in 1928 in Berkeley, California. Martin, who won four World Championships as a member of the 1950s New York Yankees, was traded by the Milwaukee Braves to Minnesota on June 1st, 1961, where he played out his final major league season. Martin served as a Twins scout from 1962-’64, and rejoined the major eague team as third base coach in 1965. He was sent down to Triple-A Denver midway through the 1968 season, where he served as manager. He succeeded Cal Ermer as manager of the Twins in 1969, winning the American League West in his only season as manager. Martin was hugely popular as a Twins coach and manager, and instrumental in the development of Cesar Tovar, and, to a less extent, Rod Carew. Martin went on to manage 16 major league seasons, including five stints with the Yankees, who he led to a World Series championship in 1977. Martin passed away in 1989 at the age of 61. May 16 Happy Birthday, Jack Morris It’s the birthday of Jack Morris, born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1951. Morris attended Highland Park High School in St. Paul and Brigham Young University, and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 5th round in 1976. The Tigers had drafted Alan Trammell in the second round, and Lou Whitaker in the fifth round a year earlier. All three would make their major league debuts in 1977, with Trammell and Whitaker debuting in the same game. Morris was the Tigers’ opening day starter in 1980, beginning a major league record streak of 14 consecutive opening day starts (1980-1993). Morris won his first of four World Series in 1984 as the Tigers beat the Padres in five games. Morris pitched complete game victories in Games 1 and 4. Morris won more games in the 1980s (162) than any other pitcher. On February 5th, 1991, Jack Morris signed a one-year, $3.7 million contract with the Twins, making him the highest paid pitcher in the American League, a distinction which he previously held and 1987 and ‘88, and would hold again in 1993. Morris won 18 games during the regular season and another four in the postseason, including the legendary 10-inning shutout of the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the World Series. 1991 would be Morris’s only season with the Minnesota Twins. On December 18, 1991, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, against whom he had just won two games in the American League Championship Series. Morris led the league with 21 wins in 1992 and the Blue Jays went on to win the World Series, beating the Braves in six games. The Blue Jays won the Series again in 1993, though Morris pitched poorly, accumulating a 7-12 record with a 6.19 ERA before he season was cut a month short by injury. Fellow St. Paul-native, Paul Molitor, was be the 1993 World Series MVP. Morris pitched for Cleveland in 1994 but was released in August just prior to the strike. The following spring he unsuccessfully attempted a comeback with Cincinnati. In 1996, the 41-year-old Morris went 5-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 10 starts with the St. Paul Saints before retiring for good. May 16, 2010 Jason Kubel Hits Grand Slam Off Mariano Rivera The Twins had not beat the Yankees since August 13, 2008. They had been swept by the Yankees in both the 2009 regular and postseason. Now, trailing 3-1 in the third game of a series at Yankee Stadium, the Twins loaded the bases against Joba Chamberlain in the eighth. With two out and the bases full of Twins, manager Joe Girardi brought in Mariano Rivera to face Jim Thome. Rivera had converted his last 51 home save opportunities, tying the Dodgers’ Eric Gagne’s all-time record. Rivera walked Thome, forcing in Orlando Hudson. Trailing now by just 1 run, Jason Kubel hit Rivera’s 1-0 pitch into the right field seats for a grand slam. The Twins went on to an improbable 6-3 victory, with Jon Rauch converting his 10th save of the season. May 17, 1963 Bob Allison Hits 3 Home Runs Bob Allison became the first Minnesota Twin to hit three home runs in a game in an 11-4 Twins win in Cleveland. He was 3-for-5 on the day with 6 RBI. His batting average at the end of the day was .330. He finished his all-star ‘63 season with a .271 average, 35 HRs and 91 RBI. Harmon Killebrew and Zoilo Versalles also hit home runs in the game. Pitcher Jim Perry, who had played for Cleveland the previous season, was 2-for-3 with a walk and scored on Allison’s first home run. May 17, 1998 David Wells Pitches a Perfect Game 50,000 fans, including Billy Crystal, came out to Yankee Stadium for Beanie Baby Day, and what turned out to be the fifteenth perfect game in major league history. David Wells threw 120 pitches, striking out 11. The last perfect game at Yankee Stadium was pitched in game 5 of the 1956 World Series by Don Larsen, who attended the same high school as Wells, Point Loma High in San Diego. Don Larsen actually threw out the first pitch before baseball’s next perfect game, pitched by David Cone in 1999 on Yogi Berra Day at Yankee Stadium. Cone threw only 88 pitches in his perfect game. The major leagues’ first two perfect games were pitched in 1880, just five days apart. The next perfect game wasn’t pitched until 1904 by the Boston Americans’ Cy Young. The most recent perfect game was pitched by the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez on August 15th, 2012. May 17, 2011 Harmon Killebrew Passes Away On May 17th, 2011, the greatest Minnesota Twin passed away at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 74. May 18, 1969 Rod Carew Steals Second, Third and Home With the Billy Martin-managed Twins trailing 2-0 in Detroit, Cesar Tovar led off the bottom of third with a single off of Mickey Lolich. Then, with Rod Carew at the plate, Tovar was balked to second and stole third. Perhaps distracted by Tovar, Lolich walked Carew. Then, with Harmon Killebrew at the plate, the Twins executed a double steal, with Carew swiping second as Tovar stole home. With Killebrew still at bat, Carew stole third and home to tie the game. Killebrew ultimately struck out, and the Twins went on to lose the game 8-2. They would, however, go on to win the division but were beat in the League Championship Series by Baltimore. Forty players have stolen second, third and home consecutively a total of 50 times in MLB history, 11 since 1940. The feet was accomplished four times in the '80s, twice in the '90s, once in the '00s, and, most recently, by Dee Gordon in 2011. Paul Molitor pulled it off in the first inning versus Oakland on July 26, 1987. May 19, 1990 Tom Brunansky’s Big Day The Twins had an ugly day at Fenway. The Red Sox’s Tom Brunansky drew first blood, driving in Wade Boggs with a one-out double in the first. The Red Sox went on to score five runs on five hits in the first off of Twins starter, Allan Anderson, who only lasted ⅔ of an inning. Brunansky went 5-for-5 with 2 HRs, 7 RBI and 3 runs scored as the Red Sox pummeled the Twins 13-1. Tom Kelly called upon outfielder John Moses to pitch the bottom of the eighth. He gave up just one run on two hits in his second pitching appearance for the Twins. His previous appearance had also come at Fenway, in 1989, as he pitched a scoreless eighth inning, not allowing a hit but walking one. He would pitch a third time for the Twins in July, 1990. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac by following @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter. Click here to view the article
  10. A case could be made that Tovar is the most underrated player in Minnesota Twins history, something this announcement confirms, at least in my mind. Always referred to as a utility player, Tovar played in 1,090 games for the Minnesota Twins between 1965 and 1972. Though he did play all over the field, literally every position in one game in 1968, he was an everyday player for much of his career. In fact, in 1967, he led the league by playing in 164 games. He had over 4,000 at-bats in a Twins uniform and hit a combined .281/.337/.377 (.714). He hit 193 doubles, 45 triples and 38 home runs. He also stole 186 bases. He received MVP votes each year from 1967 through 1971, including a top 10 finish in 1967 when he received one first-place vote, from a Minneapolis writer, of course. I would argue that his best season in a Twins uniform came in 1970 when he hit .300/.356/.442 (.798) with 36 doubles, 13 triples, 10 home runs and 54 RBI. He also stole 30 bases. The native of Caracas, Venezuela, signed with the Cincinnati Reds in 1959. He never reached the big leagues with the Reds. In December of 1964, the Twins acquired him in a trade for Gerry Arrigo. Tovar remained with the organization until after the 1972 season when he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for three players. He spent time with the Rangers, A’s and Yankees before retiring following the 1976 season. He actually continued to play (and coach some) in the Venezuelan Winter League until 1985 at the age of 45. He passed away in 1994 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 54. His overall stats don’t jump out, but his role on some great Twins teams (’65, ’67, ’69, ’70) cannot be disputed. He was highly respected in his time. Honestly,it is time for the Twins to honor him with induction into their Hall of Fame. Dan Gladden and Mudcat Grant were also said to be close, but Tovar needs to be next.
  11. On Friday, Twins President Dave St. Peter announced that no players will be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame in 2015. It is the first time since they started doing this in 2000. He said that no player reached 60% of the vote. Though he was said to be close, Cesar Tovar was again snubbed.A case could be made that Tovar is the most underrated player in Minnesota Twins history, something this announcement confirms, at least in my mind. Always referred to as a utility player, Tovar played in 1,090 games for the Minnesota Twins between 1965 and 1972. Though he did play all over the field, literally every position in one game in 1968, he was an everyday player for much of his career. In fact, in 1967, he led the league by playing in 164 games. He had over 4,000 at-bats in a Twins uniform and hit a combined .281/.337/.377 (.714). He hit 193 doubles, 45 triples and 38 home runs. He also stole 186 bases. He received MVP votes each year from 1967 through 1971, including a top 10 finish in 1967 when he received one first-place vote, from a Minneapolis writer, of course. I would argue that his best season in a Twins uniform came in 1970 when he hit .300/.356/.442 (.798) with 36 doubles, 13 triples, 10 home runs and 54 RBI. He also stole 30 bases. The native of Caracas, Venezuela, signed with the Cincinnati Reds in 1959. He never reached the big leagues with the Reds. In December of 1964, the Twins acquired him in a trade for Gerry Arrigo. Tovar remained with the organization until after the 1972 season when he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for three players. He spent time with the Rangers, A’s and Yankees before retiring following the 1976 season. He actually continued to play (and coach some) in the Venezuelan Winter League until 1985 at the age of 45. He passed away in 1994 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 54. His overall stats don’t jump out, but his role on some great Twins teams (’65, ’67, ’69, ’70) cannot be disputed. He was highly respected in his time. Honestly,it is time for the Twins to honor him with induction into their Hall of Fame. Dan Gladden and Mudcat Grant were also said to be close, but Tovar needs to be next. Click here to view the article
  12. “It excites me a lot. Look at that line. Those guys have all been mentored by the guy in front of them. Me being mentored by Denard Span means I'm the next one in line. I've still got to get to the big leagues, still have to earn my place as a big league center fielder.”[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK] Those were the words of Aaron Hicks at Twins Fest when asked what it meant to follow in the Minnesota Twins centerfield lineage of Kirby Puckett to Torii Hunter to Denard Span. As Hicks looks to be the Twins next great, long-term centerfielder, I thought it would be fun to look back and the others, the other guys who got a chance to play some centerfield for the Twins and, for whatever reason, were not able to make their name for themselves. Assuming Aaron Hicks takes over the centerfield job, he will be the one to follow Denard Span. That said, it is important to note that Ben Revere, who was the Twins first-round draft choice in 2007, a year before Hicks was the Twins first round pick, did play a lot of centerfield the last two seasons as well. And also, don’t forget that the centerfielder who was the Opening Day centerfielder immediately following the departure of Torii Hunter was Carlos Gomez. So many think that Kirby Puckett passed the centerfield torch to Torii Hunter, but that is not technically the case. Hunter was the Twins first round pick in 1993. That was the last year in which Puckett was the Twins primary centerfielder. However, Puckett did still mentor the very young Hunter on and off the field. In 1994, Kirby Puckett moved to right field and the be-goggled Alex Cole was the primarily Twins centerfielder. Late in that 1994 season, Rich Becker took over as the team’s centerfielder, a position he would man through the end of the 1997 season. In 1998, the Twins brought in Otis Nixon and he played 108 games in center field. Torii Hunter took over the centerfield position in 1999, although he had his stint in Rochester in 2000. Matt Lawton and Jacque Jones each got some time at the position as well, but it was basically Hunter’s job until he left for the Angels following the 2007 season. Kirby Puckett debuted with the Twins on May 8, 1984, against the Angels. He was the Twins centerfielder for the better part of a decade. However, the position has been played by many over the previous decade, for various reasons. For some, it was poor play. For others, they left for greener pastures when the Calvin Griffith regime deemed them too expensive to keep. Let’s go back to 1961, when the Twins came to Minnesota. Their centerfielder was Lenny Green. He had come with the team from Washington where he had taken over the position in 1960. He was there into the 1964 season. However, in 1963, Jimmie Hall became the primary centerfielder. He finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting in a year in which he hit 21 doubles and 33 home runs. He remained the starter through 1965. He lost playing time in the World Series because he hit left handed and the Dodgers had Sandy Koufax in their rotation. In 1966, Ted Uhlaender took over for Hall, who played other positions more often and then was traded to the Angels following the season. Uhlaender was the centerfielder through the 1969 season. Cesar Tovar played all over the diamond during his years with the Twins. In 1969 and 1970, he was the primary centerfielder. Jim Holt played a lot of centerfield in 1970 and 1971. In the 1970s, the Twins had some pretty good performers in centerfield, but they seemed to take turns a lot. Steve Brye played a lot of centerfield from 1972 through 1976. Larry Hisle played the position frequently from 1973 through 1977. Dan Ford was the team’s primary centerfielder in 1975 and again in 1978. He moved to the corner outfield in 1976 and 1977 because of the emergence of Lyman Bostock. For a couple of years in the ‘70s, the Twins would have had an outfield of Dan Ford, Lyman Bostock and Larry Hisle. That’s a pretty strong outfield. The Twins and the Angels certainly seemed to enjoy trading with each other. The Angels also signed many free agents from the Twins during these years. Following the 1978 season, the Twins traded Rod Carew to the Angels in exchange a package of players that included Ken Landreaux, who was the team’s centerfielder in 1979 and 1980. He hit .294 with 50 doubles, 16 triples and 22 home runs in those two season and was an All Star in 1980. Following 1980, he was traded to the other Los Angeles team, the Dodgers, for a package that included Mickey Hatcher. Hatcher was in the Twins outfield for several years, primarily in left field. However, in the 1981 season, he played primarily in centerfield. Before the 1982 season, the Twins made another trade with the Dodgers to acquire Bobby Mitchell. He had 13 plate appearances in 19 games for the Dodgers in the two previous seasons combined. HE came to the Twins and was the primary centerfielder in 1982 and played some there in 1983. In 1983, Darrell Brown took over in centerfield. The Twins had acquired him as a free agent in December of 1982. He hit .272/.297/.304 (.601) with six doubles and two triples. He got another month in 1984 before the team called up Kirby Puckett, a singles hitting, speedy outfielder who would go on to become one of the greatest players in team history and a first-ballot Hall of Famer. We read so much about the Twins line of centerfielders from Puckett to Hunter to Span. And now that will be handed over to Aaron Hicks and he is not taking that lightly. There is a good chance that, once he establishes himself, he will start mentoring Byron Buxton to take his position and run with it. Hopefully this review of the Twins centerfield position has been a fun look at the history of the Minnesota Twins. I always enjoy being reminded of names that I haven’t read or heard about in a long time. Those of you who have been fans of the Twins since the early years should really enjoy telling the rest of us stories you recall about some of these players. I hope you’ll use the comments to do just that.
  13. “It excites me a lot. Look at that line. Those guys have all been mentored by the guy in front of them. Me being mentored by Denard Span means I'm the next one in line. I've still got to get to the big leagues, still have to earn my place as a big league center fielder.”[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK] Those were the words of Aaron Hicks at Twins Fest when asked what it meant to follow in the Minnesota Twins centerfield lineage of Kirby Puckett to Torii Hunter to Denard Span. As Hicks looks to be the Twins next great, long-term centerfielder, I thought it would be fun to look back and the others, the other guys who got a chance to play some centerfield for the Twins and, for whatever reason, were not able to make their name for themselves. Assuming Aaron Hicks takes over the centerfield job, he will be the one to follow Denard Span. That said, it is important to note that Ben Revere, who was the Twins first-round draft choice in 2007, a year before Hicks was the Twins first round pick, did play a lot of centerfield the last two seasons as well. And also, don’t forget that the centerfielder who was the Opening Day centerfielder immediately following the departure of Torii Hunter was Carlos Gomez. So many think that Kirby Puckett passed the centerfield torch to Torii Hunter, but that is not technically the case. Hunter was the Twins first round pick in 1993. That was the last year in which Puckett was the Twins primary centerfielder. However, Puckett did still mentor the very young Hunter on and off the field. In 1994, Kirby Puckett moved to right field and the be-goggled Alex Cole was the primarily Twins centerfielder. Late in that 1994 season, Rich Becker took over as the team’s centerfielder, a position he would man through the end of the 1997 season. In 1998, the Twins brought in Otis Nixon and he played 108 games in center field. Torii Hunter took over the centerfield position in 1999, although he had his stint in Rochester in 2000. Matt Lawton and Jacque Jones each got some time at the position as well, but it was basically Hunter’s job until he left for the Angels following the 2007 season. Kirby Puckett debuted with the Twins on May 8, 1984, against the Angels. He was the Twins centerfielder for the better part of a decade. However, the position has been played by many over the previous decade, for various reasons. For some, it was poor play. For others, they left for greener pastures when the Calvin Griffith regime deemed them too expensive to keep. Let’s go back to 1961, when the Twins came to Minnesota. Their centerfielder was Lenny Green. He had come with the team from Washington where he had taken over the position in 1960. He was there into the 1964 season. However, in 1963, Jimmie Hall became the primary centerfielder. He finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting in a year in which he hit 21 doubles and 33 home runs. He remained the starter through 1965. He lost playing time in the World Series because he hit left handed and the Dodgers had Sandy Koufax in their rotation. In 1966, Ted Uhlaender took over for Hall, who played other positions more often and then was traded to the Angels following the season. Uhlaender was the centerfielder through the 1969 season. Cesar Tovar played all over the diamond during his years with the Twins. In 1969 and 1970, he was the primary centerfielder. Jim Holt played a lot of centerfield in 1970 and 1971. In the 1970s, the Twins had some pretty good performers in centerfield, but they seemed to take turns a lot. Steve Brye played a lot of centerfield from 1972 through 1976. Larry Hisle played the position frequently from 1973 through 1977. Dan Ford was the team’s primary centerfielder in 1975 and again in 1978. He moved to the corner outfield in 1976 and 1977 because of the emergence of Lyman Bostock. For a couple of years in the ‘70s, the Twins would have had an outfield of Dan Ford, Lyman Bostock and Larry Hisle. That’s a pretty strong outfield. The Twins and the Angels certainly seemed to enjoy trading with each other. The Angels also signed many free agents from the Twins during these years. Following the 1978 season, the Twins traded Rod Carew to the Angels in exchange a package of players that included Ken Landreaux, who was the team’s centerfielder in 1979 and 1980. He hit .294 with 50 doubles, 16 triples and 22 home runs in those two season and was an All Star in 1980. Following 1980, he was traded to the other Los Angeles team, the Dodgers, for a package that included Mickey Hatcher. Hatcher was in the Twins outfield for several years, primarily in left field. However, in the 1981 season, he played primarily in centerfield. Before the 1982 season, the Twins made another trade with the Dodgers to acquire Bobby Mitchell. He had 13 plate appearances in 19 games for the Dodgers in the two previous seasons combined. HE came to the Twins and was the primary centerfielder in 1982 and played some there in 1983. In 1983, Darrell Brown took over in centerfield. The Twins had acquired him as a free agent in December of 1982. He hit .272/.297/.304 (.601) with six doubles and two triples. He got another month in 1984 before the team called up Kirby Puckett, a singles hitting, speedy outfielder who would go on to become one of the greatest players in team history and a first-ballot Hall of Famer. We read so much about the Twins line of centerfielders from Puckett to Hunter to Span. And now that will be handed over to Aaron Hicks and he is not taking that lightly. There is a good chance that, once he establishes himself, he will start mentoring Byron Buxton to take his position and run with it. Hopefully this review of the Twins centerfield position has been a fun look at the history of the Minnesota Twins. I always enjoy being reminded of names that I haven’t read or heard about in a long time. Those of you who have been fans of the Twins since the early years should really enjoy telling the rest of us stories you recall about some of these players. I hope you’ll use the comments to do just that. View full article
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