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  1. Author Thom Henninger, editor of Baseball Digest magazine, has penned previous books about the Twins in this era. Back in 2015, he wrote the book Tony Oliva: The Life and Times of a Minnesota Twins Legend. Now, Henninger has gone back to the 1960s to look even closer at those turbulent times and Minnesota’s first truly great baseball seasons in The Pride of Minnesota: The Twins in the Turbulent 1960’s. Many current fans will recognize a familiar theme facing the Twins in the mid-1960s, “How do you dethrone the mighty Yankees?” New York was the dominant team of the era with names like Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. In fact, the Yankees had won the American League 18 times in the 24 seasons from 1941-1964. However, change was in the air as age started impact New York and Minnesota was ready to pounce. Minnesota already had a strong core of players, but many players were able to have career years as the Twins fought their way to the 1965 World Series. Mudcat Grant became the first African American pitcher to win at least twenty games in the American League. Tony Oliva built off his tremendous rookie season and won his second straight AL batting title, even though it looked like a long shot. Those weren’t the only key figures during this era. Entering the 1965 season, Billy Martin was hired as third base coach, and this turned out to be a move that would impact the team for the rest of the decade. Zoilo Versalles won MVP in 1965 and Martin’s aggressive baserunning mentality helped Versalles to lead the AL in runs scored and total bases. Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers took the Series in seven games, but the Twins weren’t done making noise in the AL. Rod Carew joined the team in 1967 and lit the American League on fire. He’d win the AL Rookie of the Year award and he helped the Twins fight the Red Sox for the pennant, but Minnesota ultimately fell short. Minnesota was back in 1969 and 1970 as the club won back-to-back division titles before being eliminated both years by the powerful Baltimore Orioles. As the decade came to a close, the Twins had put themselves on the map as a powerhouse team in the American League. Henninger takes fans through all the ups and downs from each of these dramatic pennant races while also chronicling state and world events. In The Pride of Minnesota, Thom Henninger brings fans back to a by-gone era that has many connections to present day. For fans, like me, that are too young to remember, this book paints a picture of what this important era meant to the Twins and to the country as a whole. Others who lived through the era will enjoy reminiscing about the pennant races and players that helped them to fall in love with baseball. Minnesota only won one pennant during this stretch, but these memorable seasons are etched into team lore. What are your memories of the Twins from that era? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  2. As a quick preface, each of these cards won’t make fans rich and they can all be attained fairly easily on the secondary market. This makes it even more fun for those getting into the hobby for the first time. 1985 Topps Kirby Puckett Rookie Card MLB.com named the Puckett rookie as the most iconic card in team history for a variety of reasons. First, he is quite possibly the most popular player in franchise history. It also helps that his playing career corresponds with a trading card boom unlike any other. Puckett was the face of the franchise as the team ran to two World Series titles. Kids across the upper Midwest idolized the team’s star player and his rookie card made fans feel like they were even more invested in his career. Recently, this card has sold for under $5 if fans are fine with it having some imperfections. 1993 Topps Kirby Puckett Big Bat Card I loved this card as a kid growing up in the late 80’s and early 90s. Puckett’s personality was larger than life and that is depicted on this card with the giant bat. The same photo graced the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine in April 1992. The Twins were coming off a dramatic World Series win, and Puckett was the face of the franchise. This card can be acquired for $2 or less, because of how many were produced at the time. 2002 Topps Joe Mauer Draft Picks Card He was the first overall pick, and he was drafted by his hometown team, so the story doesn’t get much better than that. Now, he seems destined for Cooperstown to join other St. Paul legends like Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield, and Jack Morris. Over the last couple years, the card collecting hobby has really picked up and so has the value of Mauer’s first Topps card. For those interested, the time might be right to invest now before Cooperstown comes calling. https://twitter.com/NoDakTwinsFan/status/1380163376056258561?s=20 1968 Topps Rod Carew All-Star Rookie Card Carew’s actually rookie card was in the Topps 1967 series, but he was featured along with fellow rookie, Hank Allen of the Washington Senators. His 1968 card is his first card where he is featured solo, and it is just a beautiful looking piece of cardboard. The All-Star Rookie trophy on the front helps to accentuate the look of the entire card. Depending on the condition, fans can pick one up for under $20. 1986 Fleer Mickey Hatcher Big Glove Card Hatcher isn’t exactly a Twins’ legend, but this card certainly is one that fans remember across the collecting world. In the card, Hatcher was caught wearing a very oversized glove that looks like it was used either by a team’s mascot or for some type of fan contest between innings. Either way, collectors can get this card for a couple dollars. What’s your favorite card in Twins’ history? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. Seventy five for a seventy five year old Okay, it is my birthday and I love life and all my ex-students, friends, participants in the guided tours, neighbors and family. So I am reflective and that means I have to think of 75 memories – there are many more. But here are 75 Twin memories. 1. Ushering during season one 2. Mudcat Grant – you want colorful – this is it. 3. Vic Power taking over first base in a way I have never seen anywhere else. 4. Jim Kaat just delivering and delivering and delivering. 5. Harmon Killebrew with a swing that seemed to cut the night air into pieces. 6. Rod Carew just toying with the fielders. 7. Sandy Koufax showing us what HOF means – despite out loss it was great. 8. Tony Oliva doing everything and then those knees just radiated pain. 9. Joe Mauer being so Minnesota that everyone in MN complained he was too plain. 10. Tovar playing everywhere and playing so good. 11. Everyday Eddie coming in day after day and giving us ulcers everytime. 12. Calvin Griffith reminding us that owning a team did not make a man into a good man. 13. Sid Hartman telling us everything MN was great even when it wasn’t. 14. Metropolitan Stadium, a dream for all of us with erector sets. 15. The dome collapsing like a big pimple. 16. 1987 Twins being champions when they looked like a below average team 17. 1965 Twins being the best team in our history, but losing to a historic event 18. Hrbek doing his wrestling move on first base – I am still laughing 19. Sitting in the upper upper deck of the metrodome at game 7 1991 20. Jack Morris refusing to quit – HOF for no other reason 21. Kirby Puckett showing that determination can change an outcome 22. Dan Gladden a non-star who gave us grit 23. Herb Carneal giving us a transistor seat at all the games 24. Halsey Hall so outrageous that we loved him even if we did not know what he was talking about 25. Cool nights with a breeze from right field in the sixties 26. Lousy hot dogs that still were satisfying in the early decades 27. Bob Allison looking so fit and intimidating 28. Nelson Cruz reminding us old guys that old does not mean feeble 29. Kirby Puckett taking over game six 30. Hrbek’s WS grand slam 31. Knoblauch at second base 32. Knoblauch returning to a shower of boos and hotdogs 33. Jim Perry 1970 Cy Young 34. Tom Kelly blowing it with Ortiz 35. Zoilo Versalles 1965 MVP 36. Byron Buxton in Centerfield 37. Torii Hunter robs Barry Bonds in All Star game 38. Frank Viola Cy Young 1988 39. Harmon Killebrew MVP 1969 40. Billy Martin and the marshmallow salesman 41. Johann Santana Cy Young award 2004 42. John Castino – rookie of the year 1979 43. Seeing Carew leave 44. Johann Santana Cy Young 2006 45. Paul Molitor at DH 1996 46. Dean Chance No-hitter 47. Joe Mauer 2009 – major league player of the year 48. Camilo Pascual’s curveball 49. The collapse of the Metrodome 50. Marty Cordova Rookie of the year 1995 (or last rookie of the year) 51. Justin Morneau MVP 2006 52. Mitch Garver in 2019 53. The Turtle running the bases 54. Bob Allison’s sliding catch 55. Randy Bush pinch hitter with 13 hits in one year 56. Gene Larkin’s walk off pinch hit 57. Puckett to the HOF 58. Harmon Killebrew’s 520-foot Home Run June 1967 59. The last playoff game won by the Twins 2004 60. 18 game post season losing streak 2020 61. 1984 Dave Kingman hits a 208 foot double – straight up and into the metrodome roof 62. Tony Oliva wins batting title in 1964 and 1965 63. 1971 Rod Carew Rookie of the Year 64. Lyman Bostock and Larry Hisle came together for one great year 65. 1977 Rod Carew batted 388 66. 1969 Harmon Killebrew hit 49 HRs 67. Billy Martin gets in fight with his own 20 game winner – Dave Boswell 68. 2016 Twins lose record 103 games 69. 1987 home team wins all the games in WS and we have four home games 70. Watching the famous Hrbek game in Sierra Vista AZ bar as the only Twins fan in the place 71. Killebrew in the HOF 72. Rod Carew in the HOF 73. 2002 Pohlads agree to contraction – we almost lost the team 74. 2006, the year of the Piranhas 75. Bert Blyleven in the HOF
  4. Now available for Name Your Own Price (including free, if you like)... The 2020 season marked the 60th season of the Twins in Minnesota. Now available is a new e-book of The Top 60 Twins Players in 60 Seasons in Minnesota. Order now for immediate download.How would you rank… these four Twins players? (1.) Dean Chance, 2.) Nelson Cruz, 3.) Greg Gagne, 4.) Eddie Guardado) We all like lists and rankings, right? On this site, our prospect rankings often are the most heavily-discussed articles that we put together. Everyone can have their varying opinions and none are completely wrong, well, some are just more debatable. But this new e-book, The Top 60 Twins in 60 Seasons in Minnesota, should hopefully create a lot of discussion for our readers, but also for fathers and sons, husbands and wives, grandparents and grandkids. And for just $7.99. Before last month, I had never talked to “Nate Tubbs Rules.” However, for the past decade, I have eagerly awaited his updated Top 300 Twins Player rankings. Shortly after each season, it was fun to see which current players jumped furthest up the rankings. Which players fell out of the Top 300. For his rankings, “NTR” considers several factors, and they are things that we all think about probably as we think about how we might rank the players. (No, most of us wouldn’t think to actually rank them to 60, much less 300!) As he explains, these are some of the factors that go into these rankings (and by the way, you should see all the Excel spreadsheets that go into this!). “Longevity” includes how many years the player was with the Twins as well as how many plate appearances or innings pitched that player had during those years.For “Peak Value”, I looked at their stats, honors, and awards in their best seasons, as well as how they compared to their teammates.Did they lead their team in OPS or home runs or ERA for starters or WPA? If so, that got some bonus points.Postseason Heroics,Awards (Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, MVPs, Cy Youngs),Statistical achievements (batting titles, home run leaders, ERA champs, etc),Honors (All Star appearances), andTeam Success. If you were the #1 starter on a division-winning champ, that gave you more “points” than the #1 starter on a cellar dweller.For each of us, we probably weigh each of those factors a little bit differently.In the handbook, you will find profiles for each of the Top 60 on his list, but you will also find the Top 300 rankings. At the very back of the book, I tried it myself. You can find my Top 60 Twins rankings there. So, let’s go back to that original question: How would you rank… these four Twins players? (1.) Dean Chance, 2.) Nelson Cruz, 3.) Greg Gagne, 4.) Eddie Guardado) Dean Chance was really good for about three seasons as a starter for the Twins. He was an All Star, threw a no-hitter, posted a 2.67 ERA over three years. Nelson Cruz has two Silver Sluggers at DH for the Twins in his two seasons, and the team won the division both years. Greg Gagne is a Twins Hall of Famer with two World Series rings. His offense wasn’t great, though most shortstops not named Ripken or Trammell did, but he was great defensively. And, he hit for some power at times. Eddie Guardado struggled as a starter and then became a solid, and frequently-used reliever before becoming an All Star closer. Leave your comments below for how you might rank those players, but as you can see, this is a fun exercise for Twins fans. And, it brings in all of the factors. Varying longevity in a Twins uniform. Varying levels of team success. Some won awards or were All Stars. Others were just really solid for several years. How do you compare starting pitchers to relievers, to power hitters and defensively-strong players? Those are the types of questions you will find yourself asking yourself and your friends over and over while reading through this book. For each of the Top 60, you will find a profile. I wrote the profiles, but “Nate Tubbs Rules” added his comments on why he ranked each player where he did. There are lists. There are rankings. And it’s just a lot of fun. We think that if you are a passionate Twins fan, you will really enjoy this book. We made it and it is only available as an e-book. We are asking for $7.99 per book. We were told we could charge more, and if you want to give more, you can, but we just want it to get in the hands of as many Twins fans as possible. The history of the organization is a lot of fun to read about and discuss. Oh, and then you can discuss who you would rank higher… Mudcat Grant or Jack Morris? Or which DH would you rank highest? Randy Bush, Nelson Cruz, Chili Davis, Jason Kubel or Paul Molitor? And why… We certainly hope that you will enjoy the book as much as Nate Tubbs Rules and I enjoyed researching and writing it! Tuesday night at 7 pm, "Nate Tubbs Rules" and I will be discussing the book and talking about the controversial rankings and answering any questions you would like to ask. Click here to view the article
  5. How would you rank… these four Twins players? (1.) Dean Chance, 2.) Nelson Cruz, 3.) Greg Gagne, 4.) Eddie Guardado) We all like lists and rankings, right? On this site, our prospect rankings often are the most heavily-discussed articles that we put together. Everyone can have their varying opinions and none are completely wrong, well, some are just more debatable. But this new e-book, The Top 60 Twins in 60 Seasons in Minnesota, should hopefully create a lot of discussion for our readers, but also for fathers and sons, husbands and wives, grandparents and grandkids. And for just $7.99. Before last month, I had never talked to “Nate Tubbs Rules.” However, for the past decade, I have eagerly awaited his updated Top 300 Twins Player rankings. Shortly after each season, it was fun to see which current players jumped furthest up the rankings. Which players fell out of the Top 300. For his rankings, “NTR” considers several factors, and they are things that we all think about probably as we think about how we might rank the players. (No, most of us wouldn’t think to actually rank them to 60, much less 300!) As he explains, these are some of the factors that go into these rankings (and by the way, you should see all the Excel spreadsheets that go into this!). “Longevity” includes how many years the player was with the Twins as well as how many plate appearances or innings pitched that player had during those years. For “Peak Value”, I looked at their stats, honors, and awards in their best seasons, as well as how they compared to their teammates. Did they lead their team in OPS or home runs or ERA for starters or WPA? If so, that got some bonus points. Postseason Heroics, Awards (Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, MVPs, Cy Youngs), Statistical achievements (batting titles, home run leaders, ERA champs, etc), Honors (All Star appearances), and Team Success. If you were the #1 starter on a division-winning champ, that gave you more “points” than the #1 starter on a cellar dweller. For each of us, we probably weigh each of those factors a little bit differently. In the handbook, you will find profiles for each of the Top 60 on his list, but you will also find the Top 300 rankings. At the very back of the book, I tried it myself. You can find my Top 60 Twins rankings there. So, let’s go back to that original question: How would you rank… these four Twins players? (1.) Dean Chance, 2.) Nelson Cruz, 3.) Greg Gagne, 4.) Eddie Guardado) Dean Chance was really good for about three seasons as a starter for the Twins. He was an All Star, threw a no-hitter, posted a 2.67 ERA over three years. Nelson Cruz has two Silver Sluggers at DH for the Twins in his two seasons, and the team won the division both years. Greg Gagne is a Twins Hall of Famer with two World Series rings. His offense wasn’t great, though most shortstops not named Ripken or Trammell did, but he was great defensively. And, he hit for some power at times. Eddie Guardado struggled as a starter and then became a solid, and frequently-used reliever before becoming an All Star closer. Leave your comments below for how you might rank those players, but as you can see, this is a fun exercise for Twins fans. And, it brings in all of the factors. Varying longevity in a Twins uniform. Varying levels of team success. Some won awards or were All Stars. Others were just really solid for several years. How do you compare starting pitchers to relievers, to power hitters and defensively-strong players? Those are the types of questions you will find yourself asking yourself and your friends over and over while reading through this book. For each of the Top 60, you will find a profile. I wrote the profiles, but “Nate Tubbs Rules” added his comments on why he ranked each player where he did. There are lists. There are rankings. And it’s just a lot of fun. We think that if you are a passionate Twins fan, you will really enjoy this book. We made it and it is only available as an e-book. We are asking for $7.99 per book. We were told we could charge more, and if you want to give more, you can, but we just want it to get in the hands of as many Twins fans as possible. The history of the organization is a lot of fun to read about and discuss. Oh, and then you can discuss who you would rank higher… Mudcat Grant or Jack Morris? Or which DH would you rank highest? Randy Bush, Nelson Cruz, Chili Davis, Jason Kubel or Paul Molitor? And why… We certainly hope that you will enjoy the book as much as Nate Tubbs Rules and I enjoyed researching and writing it! Tuesday night at 7 pm, "Nate Tubbs Rules" and I will be discussing the book and talking about the controversial rankings and answering any questions you would like to ask.
  6. Over the years I’ve come across some truly exceptional work. Target Field houses a minimalist display that remains a must see. S. Preston Designs, famously known as Poot Poot, put his stamp on the Twins new home prior to being welcomed into Cooperstown. Recently New York based artist Blake Jamieson set the baseball card world on fire creating unique renditions of famous cardboard offerings as part of Topps Project 2020. Among my new favorites is Lauren Taylor, an MLB Licensed artist that takes realism to a whole new level. I’ve sat on the sidelines and observed her work for some time. She’s created original pieces for plenty of athletes themselves, and her prints are truly jaw dropping. Now having gotten to know her a bit and seeing her story unfold, I found myself looking for a way to share. Twins Daily: Let’s start with this, why baseball? You obviously have artwork that covers multiple different subjects but being an MLB Licensed artist, you have to have somewhat of a sweet spot. What is it about the sport, and what about your background has drawn you to it? Lauren Taylor: I have loved baseball ever since I was a little kid. I grew up in the Seattle area during the 90’s and idolized Griffey. There were a lot of talented people that helped me fall in love with the game and I loved EVERYTHING about it. I collected cards, I watched it, I read about it and I certainly was constantly playing it. I played other sports, but I never felt the same love like I did when I played baseball (and then fastpitch softball). People call the game boring, but I started to understand how many things have to go right in your swing to make solid contact consistently and I loved the search for the next change that would grow my talent in the game. https://twitter.com/ltillustrations/status/1293730707999604736 This all brought me to art because I don’t fumble around for inspiration with that topic. I understand the game, and it don’t feel like I have to research and fake knowledge when trying to tell a story with a piece. It feels effortless thinking of which story I want to tell; the holdup is only the occasional struggle of executing it so its appealing to the consumer haha TD: There’s something for virtually every fan when taking a look at your work. What are some of your favorite pieces, and knowing you’ve met some athletes through them, how about interactions as well? LT: I have lots of different pieces for different reasons. I love the Kelly-green jerseys of the Oakland Athletics, and the baby blue alternate jerseys for several teams…sometimes it’s simple like that because working with colors that are beautiful will always make for more fun. Other pieces I like because I was able to execute what I was thinking and work it into the wrinkles of the jersey, the reflection in the shades and helmets…etc. Sometimes it fits perfectly the way I wanted. That’s the case for a lot of the vintage originals of players like Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente…etc. https://twitter.com/mikeyaz18/status/1296600714303565824 As for interactions, the ones that stick with me the most are the athletes that seem to really enjoy the art and take a moment to interact. Jackie Bradley, Mitch Haniger, Robinson Cano, Michael Chavis, Mike Yastrzemski, Tim Anderson, Dee Gordon, Tony Kemp, Charlie Culberson, Pete Alonso, Stanton, CC and Cole Hamels are a few that come to mind (and there are many I have missed as well) that were exceptionally kind which always makes the deliveries special. As for most memorable, easily Willie Mays and Rickey Henderson. TD: How would you describe your style, and what has your training in art been like. Do you feel like this has always been a calling and what stokes your creativity? LT: My style is all self-taught and I can’t really describe it in a way that defines it well, but I believe its mixed media in the art world. I actually know very little about art and the only C I received in college was in an art class haha. I always liked making things, but I definitely didn’t plan on this being a source of income and I would have never in a million years thought this would be my career. I feel so lucky but also know how many hours upon hours went in to making art people actually wanted. TD: Art speaks to us from a mental and emotional standpoint. You’re obviously going through your own challenges right now with health and medical issues. How has the baseball and art community impacted you? LT: Sports have always been a giant extended family for most my life but usually as a member of a roster. However, this current difficult time has proved that the sports family reaches far and wide and I have been overwhelmed with the amount of love and support people have shown me. Financial help aside, this has moved me in ways I won’t soon forget. I will forever do my best to pay it forward. I’m proud to be in the same realm as these artists because their talents are limitless, but more importantly, they have giant hearts, and this is the first industry I’ve worked in where I feel absolutely surrounded in it. TD: It’s pretty special what the impact of relative strangers can have on us. As you’ve set out on this #4LaurensNoggin campaign, what has been the most moving or impactful gestures to you? LT: No one is living the same life they were in 2019. Many are struggling, some are doing okay, but EVERYONE is impacted. When a group of artists and card collectors got together and started this whole campaign, I was in awe at the idea that every single person did something to help. Again…this isn’t exactly an easy time for most, and those issues were set aside to help me, who most have never met in person. That speaks volumes to me about how lucky I am to have found myself in this community and it has also reminded me that I can always do more for others. I’m grateful for the time, materials, money, personal memorabilia, kind words, and relentless sharing/retweeting…I will never forget, and I will spend a lifetime paying this all forward. It has inspired me to be more philanthropic. We can always do more, and if we don’t have money we can volunteer our time, and seeing that play out right in front of me as the sole beneficiary will forever be the nudge I need in the future when I see an opportunity to help. That #4LaurensNoggin campaign, and the hardships she’s currently enduring, are softball related. After taking a line drive to the face four years ago, she’s currently in the process of putting herself back together. Misdiagnosed injuries have taken their toll, and now surgeries to correct issues have gotten underway. It’s been through her art that she’s seen an outpouring of support. From big league players to those in the card community, Lauren Brem has felt the love from everywhere. Fellow artist Ken Karl, who focuses his work on sketch cards, has pitched in to make a mark. When I asked Ken what motived him to help and be involved he said, “I just wanted to help. Both the card and art community have been very kind to me. This was a chance to give something back. It was an opportunity to help someone in that circle who could use some help. After all, how hard is it to be nice?” As Lauren referenced the world is full of people struggling right now, and our society has seen people struggle to look out for one another. This type of display is as heartwarming as it gets in 2020. Art truly has a way of bringing people together, and that’s evidenced in both the way her art is appreciated, and the help received through her GoFundMe from what essentially amounts to complete strangers. Baseball is beautiful, but for many more reasons than the ones on the field. See more of Lauren’s work here. Support #4LaurensNoggin here. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. I am always curious about trades – do they work in the short run, long run or not at all? How do we judge the Twins trades? I am not interested in the end of the career moves of Killebrew and Thome, but rather the movement of players who will have a career that goes on for a few years after the trade. Most likely the balance between good and bad will even out after a number of years, although David Ortiz will always be a thorn in the Minnesota Twins field. But then Ortiz was not traded - we cut him (and you still think Kelly was a good manager?) and so we got nothing for him. Lucky Boston. So I will ignore that stupid move and look at real trades. And the Twins can always counter with - Liriano, Nathan and Bonser for Pierzynski. Joe Nathan is our greatest closer and he was with us for seven years accumulating 260 saves and 18.4 WAR. Liriano was also with us for seven years and was 50 – 52 with 4.33 ERA. For one year he was the best, but then injuries took him from HOF to great potential. He had 9 War for the seven years. Boof gave us our best name and played for us for three years. 18 – 25 with 5.12 era and -0.1 WAR. The three of them gave us 27.3 WAR. Pierzynski was with us 6 years and played 13 more after leaving us. He had 9.5 WAR with us and 14.3 after he left. I know we consider this a big Twins victory and it is, but maybe not as large as we like to claim. In 1989 we acquired Tapani and Aguilera for Viola. Tapani played seven terrific years for the Twins and was terrific. 75 – 63 with 4.06 ERA and 19.1 WAR. Aguilera was with us 11 years 40 – 47 and 254 saves with 3.50 ERA and 15.5 WAR – that is 34.6 total WAR. Frank Viola was a stud for us for 8 years, but his career was not long after leaving. A total of 15 years with 64 – 57 record in his years with the Mets, Red Sox, Reds, and Blue Jays. His WAR was 11.4 with us, 11.8 with the Red Sox and Mets and -1.1 his last two years. We won that trade for sure. Milton and Guzman and Buchanan for Knoblauch in 1998. Knoblauch was with us seven great years and is second to Carew in our 2B rankings. He accumulated 38 WAR in those year and then in 4 years with the Yankees he had 7.5 WAR until the yips ended his career. With the Yankees he also posted great post season numbers. Brian Buchanan was with us three years and had 0.3 WAR. Christian Guzman was with us 6 years and was one of the fastest and most exciting players we have had. He had 7.6 WAR before being traded. Eric Milton was with us six years and posted a record of 57 – 51 with 4.76 ERA. His WAR for us was -0.6. Put it all together and it is a wash, but NY was happy to have Knoblauch on their championship teams. 1976 Smalley, Singer, Gideon, and Cubbage for Blyleven Of course Bert would come back to the Twins and Smalley would go away and come back too. In all Smalley would play 10 years for us – seven after this trade and three more to end his career. He had 18.7 WAR in his seven years after this trade and 2.1 for his last stint with the team. Bill Singer was 9 – 9 in his one year with the team and had 0.4 WAR. Gideon did nothing for us or anyone else – he had one year in Texas. Mike Cubbage had five years with the Twins and 6.6 WAR. Blyleven had 11 years with the Twins out of 22 and seven came before the trade and 4 more in his last stint with us. He had 49.1 WAR with the Twins – 10.5 in his return so 38.6 before the trade. He had 47.1 WAR with other teams which would mean that we lost that trade! In 1979 thanks to Calvin Griffiths big mouth we had to trade Rod Carew for OF Ken Landreaux, C/OF Dave Engle, RHP Paul Hartzell, LHP Brad Havens. Rod had 63.8 WAR with the Twins when we traded him and 17.4 with the Angels afterward. Ken Landreaux was with the Twins for two years and had 1.8 WAR. Dave Engle played five years for us and had 3.9 WAR. Paul Hartzell was with us one year for 0.4 WAR. Brad Havens was with us three years for 0.3 WAR. We lost that one. In 1963 we pulled off one of our best trades – Jack Kralick for Jim Perry. Kralick pitched five years for Cleveland and had a 6.6. WAR. Jim Perry pitched for us for 10 years and won 128 games. He had a 26.3 WAR. That was a steal! In 2008 we got OF Carlos Gómez, RHP Deolis Guerra, RHP Philip Humber, RHP Kevin Mulvey for Johann Santana. Yes we lost this one. In the four years before his injuries ended a HOF career he had 15.3 WAR with the Mets. Gomez in his two years was exciting and posted 2.6 WAR. Guerra did not pitch for us. Philip Humber had no wins or losses in two years and a WAR of -0.1. Kevin Mulvey had -0.2 in his one year. Yes we lost that one. And if you are thinking – we traded Gomez for J J Hardy so we won, think again, we kept him one year and traded for Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson. If you are keeping track, we are 3 – 3 – 1 in the trades so far. 1969 we got RHP Luis Tiant, RHP Stan Williams for 3B Graig Nettles, RHP Dean Chance, RHP Bob Miller, CF Ted Uhlaender! Tiant had a 2.84 ERA in six seasons with Cleveland before the trade, and Williams was thought of as an ace reliever. Tiant, only threw 92 2/3 innings with the Twins because of a shoulder issue and was released after the season. Williams had a 1.99 ERA in 68 relief appearances in 1970 but was traded to the Cardinals the next year. Tiant then caught on with the Red Sox as one of their star starters and Nettles went on to play 19 years. Tiant had 1.2 WAR with the Twins out of 66.1 for his career and was 7 -3 before his injury and went on to win 229 games. We lost because we could not wait for his injury to heal. Stan Williams was 14 – 6 with 19 saves. He was a terrific relief pitcher but we only kept him 2 years and he had 2.3 WAR for us.Craig Nettles would play 22 years. He had 1.1 WAR in three years with the Twins, but as an excellent glove man and power hitter he would amass 68 WAR in his career. Chance was terrific for us with 13 WAR in three years but had a total of zero war his last three years. Ted Uhlander played only three more years for 1.1 WAR. Bob Miller pitched 17 years – nine after we traded him. He gained 5.7 WAR in that time, but served as a valuable relief pitcher. With Nettles alone we lost this one. And with our impatience for Tiant we doubly lost. 2007 OF Delmon Young, INF Brendan Harris, OF Jason Pridie for Matt Garza, Jason Barlett, and Eddie Morlan. Young was such a disappointment it would have been a good trade if we had given up only Eddie Morlan (who?). Delmon was here 4 years and teased us with his potential each year. His WAR for those years totaled – 1. He played 10 years total. Jason Barlett totaled 10.4 WAR for Tampa. Do I need to go on? Well we did get Brendan Harris and for three years he played for us and accumulated -0.6 WAR. For his career he ended with -0.3. Jason Pridie was with us 2 years and had -0.2 WAR. And then there was Matt Garza who won 93 games in 12 years and had 13.5 WAR after leaving us. WE DEFINITLY LOST THIS ONE. In 2010 there was the trade of Wilson Ramos to the Washington Nationals for Matt Capps and we also through in Joe Testa. I believe this was an unpopular trade! So far Ramos has 15.4 WAR. Matt was with us three years – I forgot that – and somehow got 1.9 WAR. So we lost that one too. THAT BRINGS THE RECORD TO 3 – 6 – 1 Now we come to the Centerfielder trades. Aaron Hicks for John Ryan Murphy – do I have to go into the details? We lost. Denard Span for Alex Meyer – okay, let’s move on – we lost that one too. Ben Revere for Vance Worley (not good) and Trevor May – great! We won. It just took a while. Recently Eduardo Escobar was traded for Jhoan Duran and outfielders Gabriel Maciel and Ernie De La Trinidad. Escobar has been a stud for AZ and the minor leaguers are not here yet. Duran looks like he could be special and is listed as our number 5 prospect by MLB.com. Maciel is listed at number 27 and Tinidad is not on the list. Too early to judge, but AZ is happy! What about relief pitchers. Ryan Pressly traded for Acala (25) and Celestino (15). Both great prospects, but I think we would have liked to have Pressly in the pen. He was a star for Houston. Still too early for a final judgment. Nick Anderson for Brian Schales – Tampa Bay would do this trade any day. Anderson had 1.4 WAR last year and 3.32 era for Tampa as a rookie. Liam Hendriks was not really a trade but we DFA’d him so we could sign Phil Hughes. I suspect we would like him back too since he is now one of the best of all RPs. So I treat that as a default loss. The tally as I have it is 4 – 10 – 3. Maybe the desire to make trades is something we might want to think about.
  8. On Friday morning, the Minnesota Twins announced that they had removed the bronze statue of Calvin Griffith from outside Target Field.Last week, Nate Palmer wrote an article here at Twins Daily about the 1978 event in Waseca in which then owner Calvin Griffith, who brought the team to Minnesota from Washington DC in 1961, spoke to a group of citizens. In his discussion with the Waseca Lions, Griffth was quoted as saying, "“I’ll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when I found out you only had 15,000 blacks. Black people don’t go to ball games, but they’ll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it’ll scare you to death. It’s unbelievable. We came here because you’ve got good, hardworking, white people here." In addition, he chose to go after Hall of Famer Rod Carew, calling him a "fool" for taking the contract he did. Carew released a statement, which you can read by clicking Aaron's tweet below. It begins: "I understand and respect the Minnesota Twins decision to remove the Calvin Griffith statue outside Target Field. While I've always supported the Twins decision to honor Calvin with a statue, I also remember how inappropriate and hurtful his comments were on that fateful day in Waseca. The Twins did what they felt they needed to do for the organization and for our community. While we cannot change history, perhaps we can learn from it." The decision to remove the statue continues a trend of the Twins doing great things in the organization and in the community including: First team to announce they would not be releasing any minor leaguers and would continue to pay them through August.Pohlad Family Foundation donated $25 million commitment to racial justice.The Twins released the following statement in regard to their decision to remove the statue of Calvin Griffith. “When we opened Target Field in 2010 in conjunction with our 50th season in Minnesota, we were excited and proud to welcome fans to our ‘forever ballpark.’ As such, we wanted to pay permanent tribute to those figures and moments that helped shape the first half-century of Minnesota Twins baseball – including a statue of Calvin Griffith, our former owner and the man responsible for moving the franchise here in 1961. “While we acknowledge the prominent role Calvin Griffith played in our history, we cannot remain silent and continue ignoring the racist comments he made in Waseca in 1978. His disparaging words displayed a blatant intolerance and disregard for the Black community that are the antithesis of what the Minnesota Twins stand for and value. “Our decision to memorialize Calvin Griffith with a statue reflects an ignorance on our part of systemic racism present in 1978, 2010 and today. We apologize for our failure to adequately recognize how the statue was viewed and the pain it caused for many people – both inside the Twins organization and across Twins Territory. We cannot remove Calvin Griffith from the history of the Minnesota Twins, but we believe removal of this statue is an important and necessary step in our ongoing commitment to provide a Target Field experience where every fan and employee feels safe and welcome. “Past, present or future, there is no place for racism, inequality and injustice in Twins Territory.” Click here to view the article
  9. Last week, Nate Palmer wrote an article here at Twins Daily about the 1978 event in Waseca in which then owner Calvin Griffith, who brought the team to Minnesota from Washington DC in 1961, spoke to a group of citizens. In his discussion with the Waseca Lions, Griffth was quoted as saying, "“I’ll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when I found out you only had 15,000 blacks. Black people don’t go to ball games, but they’ll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it’ll scare you to death. It’s unbelievable. We came here because you’ve got good, hardworking, white people here." In addition, he chose to go after Hall of Famer Rod Carew, calling him a "fool" for taking the contract he did. Carew released a statement, which you can read by clicking Aaron's tweet below. It begins: "I understand and respect the Minnesota Twins decision to remove the Calvin Griffith statue outside Target Field. While I've always supported the Twins decision to honor Calvin with a statue, I also remember how inappropriate and hurtful his comments were on that fateful day in Waseca. The Twins did what they felt they needed to do for the organization and for our community. While we cannot change history, perhaps we can learn from it." https://twitter.com/AaronGleeman/status/1273971609125048321 The decision to remove the statue continues a trend of the Twins doing great things in the organization and in the community including: First team to announce they would not be releasing any minor leaguers and would continue to pay them through August. Pohlad Family Foundation donated $25 million commitment to racial justice. The Twins released the following statement in regard to their decision to remove the statue of Calvin Griffith. “When we opened Target Field in 2010 in conjunction with our 50th season in Minnesota, we were excited and proud to welcome fans to our ‘forever ballpark.’ As such, we wanted to pay permanent tribute to those figures and moments that helped shape the first half-century of Minnesota Twins baseball – including a statue of Calvin Griffith, our former owner and the man responsible for moving the franchise here in 1961. “While we acknowledge the prominent role Calvin Griffith played in our history, we cannot remain silent and continue ignoring the racist comments he made in Waseca in 1978. His disparaging words displayed a blatant intolerance and disregard for the Black community that are the antithesis of what the Minnesota Twins stand for and value. “Our decision to memorialize Calvin Griffith with a statue reflects an ignorance on our part of systemic racism present in 1978, 2010 and today. We apologize for our failure to adequately recognize how the statue was viewed and the pain it caused for many people – both inside the Twins organization and across Twins Territory. We cannot remove Calvin Griffith from the history of the Minnesota Twins, but we believe removal of this statue is an important and necessary step in our ongoing commitment to provide a Target Field experience where every fan and employee feels safe and welcome. “Past, present or future, there is no place for racism, inequality and injustice in Twins Territory.”
  10. The Twins had some solid-to-mediocre seasons in the 1970s, generally within a few games of .500 in either direction. However, there were several really great players, members of the Twins Hall of Fame and even members of baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. In addition, they had several players that had some really great seasons. You all know Patrick Reusse. His writing career began in the Twin Cities in 1968, covering the Twins starting in 1970, and he was a Twins beat reporter from 1974 to 1978. He became a columnist and has continued to cover the Twins ever since. He continues to be a columnist for the Star Tribune. He also is a key contributor at SKOR North where he has a weekly (Monday's) Reusse on Baseball podcast and also Reusse Unchained. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep16_Patrick_Reusse.mp3 Whether writing or talking, Reusse tells some great stories and fortunately, he was willing to spend an hour talking about those 1970s Minnesota Twins stories. Within the podcast, we hear his stories about Rod Carew, Gene Mauch, Lyman Bostock and many others from the decade. You won't want to miss his story on Bobby Darwin. For my money, there isn't a person around who is more knowledgeable on the Twins history (though you can probably make a strong case for Clyde Doepner, I'm sure). I enjoyed the conversation and all the stories, and I think you will as well. Please listen and let me know what you think. (Note - there are several places where the audio isn't real great. It's the beauty of recording with cell phones) http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep16_Patrick_Reusse.mp3 You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. Please leave ratings or feedback. And did you know that you can listen to the Get To Know 'Em podcast by asking Alexa to "Listen to the Get To Know 'Em Podcast." PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Episode 7: Get to know: Matt Wallner (and Ten Minutes with Tyler Wells) Episode 8: Get to know: Caleb Hamilton, Austin Schulfer, Nick Anderson Episode 9: Get to know: Andy Young, Billy Boyer (and Ten Minutes with Tyler) Episode 10: Get to know: Wesley Wright (Twins Pro Scout) Episode 11: Get to know: John Manuel (Twins Pro Scout) Episode 12: Get to know: Marshall Kelner (Mighty Mussels broadcaster) Episode 13: Get to know: Dick Bremer (Twins broadcaster, author) Episode 14: Get to know: Anthony Slama (former Twins pitcher, entrepreneur) Episode 15: Get to Know the 1960s Twins (with Dave Mona) Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.
  11. Last week, we focused on the 1960s Minnesota Twins. This week, I shared my choices for the Twins All-Decade Team of the 1970s. First, I wrote about the top hitters and then the pitchers yesterday. Today, I'm excited to share a fun conversation about the 1970s Twins with the one and only Patrick Reusse.The Twins had some solid-to-mediocre seasons in the 1970s, generally within a few games of .500 in either direction. However, there were several really great players, members of the Twins Hall of Fame and even members of baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. In addition, they had several players that had some really great seasons. You all know Patrick Reusse. His writing career began in the Twin Cities in 1968, covering the Twins starting in 1970, and he was a Twins beat reporter from 1974 to 1978. He became a columnist and has continued to cover the Twins ever since. He continues to be a columnist for the Star Tribune. He also is a key contributor at SKOR North where he has a weekly (Monday's) Reusse on Baseballpodcast and also Reusse Unchained. Whether writing or talking, Reusse tells some great stories and fortunately, he was willing to spend an hour talking about those 1970s Minnesota Twins stories. Within the podcast, we hear his stories about Rod Carew, Gene Mauch, Lyman Bostock and many others from the decade. You won't want to miss his story on Bobby Darwin. For my money, there isn't a person around who is more knowledgeable on the Twins history (though you can probably make a strong case for Clyde Doepner, I'm sure). I enjoyed the conversation and all the stories, and I think you will as well. Please listen and let me know what you think. (Note - there are several places where the audio isn't real great. It's the beauty of recording with cell phones) You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. Please leave ratings or feedback. And did you know that you can listen to the Get To Know 'Em podcast by asking Alexa to "Listen to the Get To Know 'Em Podcast." PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Episode 7: Get to know: Matt Wallner (and Ten Minutes with Tyler Wells) Episode 8: Get to know: Caleb Hamilton, Austin Schulfer, Nick Anderson Episode 9: Get to know: Andy Young, Billy Boyer (and Ten Minutes with Tyler) Episode 10: Get to know: Wesley Wright (Twins Pro Scout) Episode 11: Get to know: John Manuel(Twins Pro Scout) Episode 12: Get to know: Marshall Kelner(Mighty Mussels broadcaster) Episode 13: Get to know: Dick Bremer (Twins broadcaster, author) Episode 14: Get to know: Anthony Slama (former Twins pitcher, entrepreneur) Episode 15: Get to Know the 1960s Twins (with Dave Mona) Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to view the article
  12. Last week, I broke down my choices for a Minnesota Twins All-Decade Team of the 1960s in three parts (Hitters, Pitchers, Podcast). This week, we advance to the 1970s. Today, we will share the potential lineup for a Twins team of the '70s. Tomorrow we will be back with the pitching staff. On Thursday night, we'll share another fun, story-filled podcast with someone who covered the team during the decade.Twins fans fans may have been spoiled by the team in their first decade. The second decade started out strong with 98 wins and a playoff berth in 1970. That was their lone playoff appearance of the decade. In 1971, they finished in fifth place in the division. Each other season, they finished either third or fourth in the AL West. Some of the Twins stars of the 1960s were still around and contributing early in the 1970s, though generally just a shell of themselves after 1971. Rod Carew and Bert Blyleven certainly led the way during the decade, but there were other really solid players throughout the decade. The 1976 and 1977 Twins won 85 and 84 games. The 1977 team scored 867 runs, but the pitching was not real strong. Bill Rigney began the decade as the team's manager. He was replaced by Frank Quilici midway through the 1972 season. Gene Mach took over in 1976 and remained through the decade. He managed his nephew, Roy Smalley who was voted the starting shortstop for the American League in the 1979 All-Star Game. Let's get to the lineup... and be sure to leave your thoughts on this roster, or who I missed. C - Butch Wynegar (1976-1979) 577 games, .256/.344/.350 (.694) with 85 doubles, 31 homers, 250 RBI. Wynegar was the Twins second-round pick out of high school in 1974 and debuted just after he turned 20 in April of 1976. He finished second to Mark Fydrich in 1976 Rookie of the Year voting, and he was an All-Star his first two seasons. He caught between 131 and 146 games in each of his first five seasons. 1B - Harmon Killebrew (1970-1974) 634 games, .247/.373/.451 (.824) with 68 doubles, 113 homers, 391 RBI. After winning the AL MVP in 1969, Killebrew hit 41 homers and finished third in the voting in 1970. He was an All-Star in 1970 and 1971, his 10th and 11th of the year. While things went downward from there, the Twins great and future Hall of Famer was still the easy choice for this position. His 113 homers from over these five years still led the organization by 25. 2B - Rod Carew (1970-1978) 1,248 games, .345/.407/.460 (.867) with 226 doubles, 57 homers, 584 RBI. Carew was the choice in the 1960s for second base as well, but he was just getting started. Look at that, a .345 average over NINE seasons. He didn’t hit under .307 in any season, and he led the league in batting average six of those nine years. He was the AL MVP in 1977 when he hit .388/.449/.570 (1.019) with 38 doubles, 16 triples, 14 home runs and 100 RBI. He had four other Top 5 MVP seasons as well. He was an All-Star each of the 12 seasons he played with the Twins. If you’re into bWAR, his 53.7 mark is 36.5 more than anyone else in the organization during the decade. 3B - Steve Braun (1971-1976) 751 games, .284/.376/.381 (.757) with 103 doubles, 35 homers, 273 RBI. Braun was the team’s 10th-round pick in 1966 out of high school. He debuted with 128 games in 1971. He spent six seasons with the Twins. He played around the diamond, but mostly at third base the first three seasons and then in left field the next three years. He had a good, patient approach at the plate. In 1973, he hit .283 but also had a .408 on-base percentage. SS - Roy Smalley (1976-1979) 573 games, .261/.346/.388 (.734) with 96 doubles, 51 homers, 264 RBI. Smalley was the Rangers' first-round pick in 1974 from USC and debuted in 1975. On June 1, 1976, he came to the Twins as part of a package for Bert Blyleven. His best season was in 1979. He was an All-Star and received MVP votes. He led the league in games played and plate appearances. He hit 28 doubles and a career-high 24 homers. Side note - It’s inexplicable to me why Roy Smalley is not in the Twins Hall of Fame. LF - Larry Hisle (1973-1977) 662 games, .286/.354/.457 (.811) with 109 doubles, 87 homers, 409 RBI. Hisle was traded to the Twins from the Cardinals after the 1972 season and spent the next five seasons in a Twins uniform. He immediately became an impact player, hitting for average, getting on base and showing some power. He was good the first four years, but in 1977, he hit .302 with 36 doubles, 28 homer and a league-leading 119 RBI. He was an All-Star and earned MVP votes. That offseason, he left via free agency and signed with Milwaukee where he had one more really strong season. CF - Lyman Bostock (1975-1977) 379 games, .318/.366/.416 (.812) with 78 doubles, 18 homers, 179 RBI. Bostock was the Twins 26th-round pick in 1972 out of Cal State, Northridge. He debuted at the start of the 1975 season. He hit .282 in 98 games as a rookie. Then he hit .323 in 1976. In 1977, he hit .336/.389/.508 (.897) with 36 doubles, 12 triples and 14 home runs. He became a free agent and signed with the Angels. He was tragically killed in September of 1978. RF - Cesar Tovar (1970-1972) 459 games, .293/.348/.384 (.732) with 85 doubles, 13 homers, 130 RBI. Tovar continued to play all over the diamond in the early 1970s. In 1970, he led the league with 36 doubles and 13 triples. In 1971, he led the league with 204 base hits. He batted .300 in 1970 and 1971 and received MVP votes. He was traded to the Phillies after the 1972 season and played through the 1976 season. DH - Tony Oliva (1970-1976) 764 games, .299/.345/.446 (.791) with 116 doubles, 88 homers, 412 RBI. Oliva was a star for the Twins in the 1960s, and he entered the 1970s as one of the best players in the league. In 1970, he hit .325, finished second in MVP voting and led the league with 204 hits and 36 doubles. In 1971, he won his third career batting title by hitting .337. He also led the league with a .546 slugging percentage. Knee injuries cost him most of the 1972 season and lowered the trajectory of his career. He kept playing through the 1976 season. Your turn. Who would make your Twins 1970s All-Decade team? And what might that lineup look like? Click here to view the article
  13. Twins fans fans may have been spoiled by the team in their first decade. The second decade started out strong with 98 wins and a playoff berth in 1970. That was their lone playoff appearance of the decade. In 1971, they finished in fifth place in the division. Each other season, they finished either third or fourth in the AL West. Some of the Twins stars of the 1960s were still around and contributing early in the 1970s, though generally just a shell of themselves after 1971. Rod Carew and Bert Blyleven certainly led the way during the decade, but there were other really solid players throughout the decade. The 1976 and 1977 Twins won 85 and 84 games. The 1977 team scored 867 runs, but the pitching was not real strong. Bill Rigney began the decade as the team's manager. He was replaced by Frank Quilici midway through the 1972 season. Gene Mach took over in 1976 and remained through the decade. He managed his nephew, Roy Smalley who was voted the starting shortstop for the American League in the 1979 All-Star Game. Let's get to the lineup... and be sure to leave your thoughts on this roster, or who I missed. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep16_Patrick_Reusse.mp3 C - Butch Wynegar (1976-1979) 577 games, .256/.344/.350 (.694) with 85 doubles, 31 homers, 250 RBI. Wynegar was the Twins second-round pick out of high school in 1974 and debuted just after he turned 20 in April of 1976. He finished second to Mark Fydrich in 1976 Rookie of the Year voting, and he was an All-Star his first two seasons. He caught between 131 and 146 games in each of his first five seasons. 1B - Harmon Killebrew (1970-1974) 634 games, .247/.373/.451 (.824) with 68 doubles, 113 homers, 391 RBI. After winning the AL MVP in 1969, Killebrew hit 41 homers and finished third in the voting in 1970. He was an All-Star in 1970 and 1971, his 10th and 11th of the year. While things went downward from there, the Twins great and future Hall of Famer was still the easy choice for this position. His 113 homers from over these five years still led the organization by 25. 2B - Rod Carew (1970-1978) 1,248 games, .345/.407/.460 (.867) with 226 doubles, 57 homers, 584 RBI. Carew was the choice in the 1960s for second base as well, but he was just getting started. Look at that, a .345 average over NINE seasons. He didn’t hit under .307 in any season, and he led the league in batting average six of those nine years. He was the AL MVP in 1977 when he hit .388/.449/.570 (1.019) with 38 doubles, 16 triples, 14 home runs and 100 RBI. He had four other Top 5 MVP seasons as well. He was an All-Star each of the 12 seasons he played with the Twins. If you’re into bWAR, his 53.7 mark is 36.5 more than anyone else in the organization during the decade. 3B - Steve Braun (1971-1976) 751 games, .284/.376/.381 (.757) with 103 doubles, 35 homers, 273 RBI. Braun was the team’s 10th-round pick in 1966 out of high school. He debuted with 128 games in 1971. He spent six seasons with the Twins. He played around the diamond, but mostly at third base the first three seasons and then in left field the next three years. He had a good, patient approach at the plate. In 1973, he hit .283 but also had a .408 on-base percentage. SS - Roy Smalley (1976-1979) 573 games, .261/.346/.388 (.734) with 96 doubles, 51 homers, 264 RBI. Smalley was the Rangers' first-round pick in 1974 from USC and debuted in 1975. On June 1, 1976, he came to the Twins as part of a package for Bert Blyleven. His best season was in 1979. He was an All-Star and received MVP votes. He led the league in games played and plate appearances. He hit 28 doubles and a career-high 24 homers. Side note - It’s inexplicable to me why Roy Smalley is not in the Twins Hall of Fame. LF - Larry Hisle (1973-1977) 662 games, .286/.354/.457 (.811) with 109 doubles, 87 homers, 409 RBI. Hisle was traded to the Twins from the Cardinals after the 1972 season and spent the next five seasons in a Twins uniform. He immediately became an impact player, hitting for average, getting on base and showing some power. He was good the first four years, but in 1977, he hit .302 with 36 doubles, 28 homer and a league-leading 119 RBI. He was an All-Star and earned MVP votes. That offseason, he left via free agency and signed with Milwaukee where he had one more really strong season. CF - Lyman Bostock (1975-1977) 379 games, .318/.366/.416 (.812) with 78 doubles, 18 homers, 179 RBI. Bostock was the Twins 26th-round pick in 1972 out of Cal State, Northridge. He debuted at the start of the 1975 season. He hit .282 in 98 games as a rookie. Then he hit .323 in 1976. In 1977, he hit .336/.389/.508 (.897) with 36 doubles, 12 triples and 14 home runs. He became a free agent and signed with the Angels. He was tragically killed in September of 1978. RF - Cesar Tovar (1970-1972) 459 games, .293/.348/.384 (.732) with 85 doubles, 13 homers, 130 RBI. Tovar continued to play all over the diamond in the early 1970s. In 1970, he led the league with 36 doubles and 13 triples. In 1971, he led the league with 204 base hits. He batted .300 in 1970 and 1971 and received MVP votes. He was traded to the Phillies after the 1972 season and played through the 1976 season. DH - Tony Oliva (1970-1976) 764 games, .299/.345/.446 (.791) with 116 doubles, 88 homers, 412 RBI. Oliva was a star for the Twins in the 1960s, and he entered the 1970s as one of the best players in the league. In 1970, he hit .325, finished second in MVP voting and led the league with 204 hits and 36 doubles. In 1971, he won his third career batting title by hitting .337. He also led the league with a .546 slugging percentage. Knee injuries cost him most of the 1972 season and lowered the trajectory of his career. He kept playing through the 1976 season. Your turn. Who would make your Twins 1970s All-Decade team? And what might that lineup look like?
  14. The Twins came to Minnesota before the 1961 season and had a really good first decade. The team won 89 or more games in six of the nine seasons. They took the Dodgers to Game 7 of the 1965 World Series. They had some batting championship, Pitchers of the Year, lots of home runs and gave Twins baseball fans some great excitement. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep15_Dave_Mona.mp3 You may know Dave Mona from his great work at WCCO, hosting The Sports Huddle with Sid and Dave. But as you'll hear in this episode, he remains busy, working throughout the community. He has long been a huge supporter of all Minnesota sports. He worked at Met Stadium in the 1950s, when the Minneapolis Millers played there. He ended up at the Minneapolis Tribune and he was the Twins beat writer during the 1968 and 1969 seasons. In this episode, we discussed the top Twins hitters and pitchers of the 1960s. Mr. Mona has so many great stories from covering the team and from remaining in the sports media since then. He's got great stories of Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Ron Perranoski and most of the All-Decade team. And there are great stories regarding Billy Martin, and Reggie Jackson, and others. This was one of the most enjoyable conversations I have had,and I really believe you will enjoy the conversation. There were so many great Twins players in the 1960s, and Dave Mona tells some great stories! Please listen and discuss and comment below. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep15_Dave_Mona.mp3 You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. Please leave ratings or feedback. And did you know that you can listen to the Get To Know 'Em podcast by asking Alexa to "Listen to the Get To Know 'Em Podcast." PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Episode 7: Get to know: Matt Wallner (and Ten Minutes with Tyler Wells) Episode 8: Get to know: Caleb Hamilton, Austin Schulfer, Nick Anderson Episode 9: Get to know: Andy Young, Billy Boyer (and Ten Minutes with Tyler) Episode 10: Get to know: Wesley Wright (Twins Pro Scout) Episode 11: Get to know: John Manuel (Twins Pro Scout) Episode 12: Get to know: Marshall Kelner (Mighty Mussels broadcaster) Episode 13: Get to know: Dick Bremer (Twins broadcaster, author) Episode 14: Get to know: Anthony Slama (former Twins pitcher, entrepreneur) Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.
  15. This week, I have shared my choices for a Minnesota Twins All Decade Team, starting with the Hitters and then the Pitchers. To continue the discussion of the 1960s Twins, I was fortunate to spend about a little over an hour chatting with WCCOs Dave Mona about the players from the 1960s team. He was a Twins beat writer in 1968 and 1969.The Twins came to Minnesota before the 1961 season and had a really good first decade. The team won 89 or more games in six of the nine seasons. They took the Dodgers to Game 7 of the 1965 World Series. They had some batting championship, Pitchers of the Year, lots of home runs and gave Twins baseball fans some great excitement. You may know Dave Mona from his great work at WCCO, hosting The Sports Huddle with Sid and Dave. But as you'll hear in this episode, he remains busy, working throughout the community. He has long been a huge supporter of all Minnesota sports. He worked at Met Stadium in the 1950s, when the Minneapolis Millers played there. He ended up at the Minneapolis Tribune and he was the Twins beat writer during the 1968 and 1969 seasons. In this episode, we discussed the top Twins hitters and pitchers of the 1960s. Mr. Mona has so many great stories from covering the team and from remaining in the sports media since then. He's got great stories of Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Ron Perranoski and most of the All-Decade team. And there are great stories regarding Billy Martin, and Reggie Jackson, and others. This was one of the most enjoyable conversations I have had,and I really believe you will enjoy the conversation. There were so many great Twins players in the 1960s, and Dave Mona tells some great stories! Please listen and discuss and comment below. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. Please leave ratings or feedback. And did you know that you can listen to the Get To Know 'Em podcast by asking Alexa to "Listen to the Get To Know 'Em Podcast." PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Episode 7: Get to know: Matt Wallner (and Ten Minutes with Tyler Wells) Episode 8: Get to know: Caleb Hamilton, Austin Schulfer, Nick Anderson Episode 9: Get to know: Andy Young, Billy Boyer (and Ten Minutes with Tyler) Episode 10: Get to know: Wesley Wright (Twins Pro Scout) Episode 11: Get to know: John Manuel(Twins Pro Scout) Episode 12: Get to know: Marshall Kelner(Mighty Mussels broadcaster) Episode 13: Get to know: Dick Bremer (Twins broadcaster, author) Episode 14: Get to know: Anthony Slama (former Twins pitcher, entrepreneur) Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to view the article
  16. Over the coming weeks at Twins Daily, I will be digging into the history of the Minnesota Twins and presenting for you Twins teams of the decades. Tonight, we will start with my choices for the Hitters of the 1960s Twins. Tomorrow, I'll post the pitchers of that decade (five starters, five relievers).Finally, on Thursday night, I'll post a fun interview/podcast with someone who is very familiar with the Twins of the 1960s. Hopefully you are as interested in the Twins 60-year history and will discuss the players and the list.As you know, the Twins came to Minnesota from Washington DC where they were known as the Senators. In 1961, they won just 70 games. Then they won 91 games each of the next two seasons. 1964 was disappointing as the team finished just below .500. In 1965, the Twins made it all the way to the World Series where they lost in seven games to the Dodgers. They won at least 89 games the next two seasons but then fell below .500 again in 1968. In 1969, under Billy Martin, they won 97 games. The 1960s was the Twins first decade in Minnesota. As you look through the top hitters below, you might want to ask yourself if the 1960s Twins All-Decade team might just be the best of the six decades. Share your thoughts. Who did I miss? Who would you name the player of the decade? THE HITTERS C - Earl Battey (1961-1967) 853 games, .278/.356/.409 (.765) with 115 doubles, 76 homers, 350 RBI. Battey spent parts of five seasons with the White Sox but came to the Senators in 1960. That season, he won his first Gold Glove Award. In his seven seasons in a Twins uniform, he was an All-Star in four seasons. He won two more Gold Gloves. He finished in the top ten in MVP voting twice. 1B - Harmon Killebrew - 1961-1969 1,305 games, .266/.388/.547 (.935) with 164 doubles, 362 homers, 933 RBI. When the Twins came to Minnesota, he had already spent parts of seven seasons with the Senators.In the ‘60s, he was an All-Star all but one year. His 362 homers were best in the organization by over 150 homers. He hit 39 or more homers in seven of the seasons and led the American League five times. He won the 1969 MVP award and finished in the Top 5 in MVP voting five times. 2B - Rod Carew - 1967-1969 387 games, .299/.346/.408 (.754) with 79 doubles, 17 homers, 149 RBI. Carew didn’t debut until 1967, but he made an immediate impact. He played in all three All-Star games. He was the 1967 AL Rookie of the Year. He led the league with a .332 batting average in 1969. It was just the beginning for the future Hall of Famer whom the American League batting championship is now named after. 3B - Rich Rollins - 1961-1968 888 games, .272/.333/.398 (.727) with 117 doubles, 71 homers, 369 RBI. Rollins was an All-Star (twice). He finished eighth in MVP voting. He had at least 40 extra-base hits each year from 1962 through 1964. As the decade advanced, he became more of a part-time, platoon player. SS - Zoilo Versalles - 1961-1967 1,065 games, .252/.299/.387 (.686) with 188 doubles, 86 homers, 401 RBI. Versalles had played parts of two seasons with the Senators. He became a regular in 1961. He was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner in 1963. In 1965, he was an All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, and the American League MVP. That season, he led the league in doubles (45) and triples (12). It was the third straight year he led the league in triples. LF - Bob Allison - 1961-1969 1,189 games, .255/.361/.482 (.843) with 162 doubles, 210 homers, 635 RBI. Allison debuted with the Senators in 1958 and was an All-Star and the AL Rookie of the Year in 1959. He was a starter throughout the 1960s. He was an All-Star in 1963 and 1964, his two best seasons. He hit over 30 homers twice and over 20 homers seven seasons in the decade. His .911 OPS led the American League. He was a leader of the 1965 World Series team and his catch is still one of the great highlights in World Series history. CF - Jimmie Hall - 1963-1966 573 games, .269/.334/.481 (.815) with 73 doubles, 98 homers, 288 RBI. Hall debuted as a 25 year old in 1963 and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. He hit .260 with a career-high 33 homers. He was an All-Star in 1964 and 1965. A left-handed hitter, he started just two of the seven World Series games in 1965 because he didn’t play in the games started by Sandy Koufax or Claude Osteen. He hit 20 or more homers in all four of his Twins seasons before he was traded to California after the 1966 season. RF - Tony Oliva - 1962-1969 912 games, .308/.359/.500 (.859) with 213 doubles, 132 homers, 535 RBI. Oliva played in 16 games between 1962 and 1963. In 1964, he hit .323 and was the AL Rookie of the Year. He won batting titles his first two seasons. He was an All-Star in 1964 and for each season through the rest of the decade. He twice finished runner up in AL MVP voting, including to Versalles in 1965. He led the league in Hits four times during the decade and in Doubles four times. His 213 doubles was tops in the organization. DH - Cesar Tovar - 1965-1969 631 games, .271/.329/.371 (.700) with 108 doubles, 25 homers, 189 RBI. Obviously there wasn’t a designated hitter in the 1960s, but we are going to have one… because, well, why not? With the hitters in this lineup, Tovar likely wouldn’t be the regular DH in actual games. He would play all over the diamond with different guys DHing each game. Tovar debuted in 1965. In 1966, he became a regular. In 1967, he led the league with 164 games played (and plate appearances and at-bats). He received MVP votes each season from 1967 through 1971. What an impressive group of players, led by several Hall of Famers, Twins Hall of Famers and Baseball Hall of Famers. Check back tomorrow for the Twins Pitchers of the Decade of the 1960s. Click here to view the article
  17. As you know, the Twins came to Minnesota from Washington DC where they were known as the Senators. In 1961, they won just 70 games. Then they won 91 games each of the next two seasons. 1964 was disappointing as the team finished just below .500. In 1965, the Twins made it all the way to the World Series where they lost in seven games to the Dodgers. They won at least 89 games the next two seasons but then fell below .500 again in 1968. In 1969, under Billy Martin, they won 97 games. The 1960s was the Twins first decade in Minnesota. As you look through the top hitters below, you might want to ask yourself if the 1960s Twins All-Decade team might just be the best of the six decades. Share your thoughts. Who did I miss? Who would you name the player of the decade? THE HITTERS C - Earl Battey (1961-1967) 853 games, .278/.356/.409 (.765) with 115 doubles, 76 homers, 350 RBI. Battey spent parts of five seasons with the White Sox but came to the Senators in 1960. That season, he won his first Gold Glove Award. In his seven seasons in a Twins uniform, he was an All-Star in four seasons. He won two more Gold Gloves. He finished in the top ten in MVP voting twice. 1B - Harmon Killebrew - 1961-1969 1,305 games, .266/.388/.547 (.935) with 164 doubles, 362 homers, 933 RBI. When the Twins came to Minnesota, he had already spent parts of seven seasons with the Senators.In the ‘60s, he was an All-Star all but one year. His 362 homers were best in the organization by over 150 homers. He hit 39 or more homers in seven of the seasons and led the American League five times. He won the 1969 MVP award and finished in the Top 5 in MVP voting five times. 2B - Rod Carew - 1967-1969 387 games, .299/.346/.408 (.754) with 79 doubles, 17 homers, 149 RBI. Carew didn’t debut until 1967, but he made an immediate impact. He played in all three All-Star games. He was the 1967 AL Rookie of the Year. He led the league with a .332 batting average in 1969. It was just the beginning for the future Hall of Famer whom the American League batting championship is now named after. 3B - Rich Rollins - 1961-1968 888 games, .272/.333/.398 (.727) with 117 doubles, 71 homers, 369 RBI. Rollins was an All-Star (twice). He finished eighth in MVP voting. He had at least 40 extra-base hits each year from 1962 through 1964. As the decade advanced, he became more of a part-time, platoon player. SS - Zoilo Versalles - 1961-1967 1,065 games, .252/.299/.387 (.686) with 188 doubles, 86 homers, 401 RBI. Versalles had played parts of two seasons with the Senators. He became a regular in 1961. He was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner in 1963. In 1965, he was an All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, and the American League MVP. That season, he led the league in doubles (45) and triples (12). It was the third straight year he led the league in triples. LF - Bob Allison - 1961-1969 1,189 games, .255/.361/.482 (.843) with 162 doubles, 210 homers, 635 RBI. Allison debuted with the Senators in 1958 and was an All-Star and the AL Rookie of the Year in 1959. He was a starter throughout the 1960s. He was an All-Star in 1963 and 1964, his two best seasons. He hit over 30 homers twice and over 20 homers seven seasons in the decade. His .911 OPS led the American League. He was a leader of the 1965 World Series team and his catch is still one of the great highlights in World Series history. CF - Jimmie Hall - 1963-1966 573 games, .269/.334/.481 (.815) with 73 doubles, 98 homers, 288 RBI. Hall debuted as a 25 year old in 1963 and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting. He hit .260 with a career-high 33 homers. He was an All-Star in 1964 and 1965. A left-handed hitter, he started just two of the seven World Series games in 1965 because he didn’t play in the games started by Sandy Koufax or Claude Osteen. He hit 20 or more homers in all four of his Twins seasons before he was traded to California after the 1966 season. RF - Tony Oliva - 1962-1969 912 games, .308/.359/.500 (.859) with 213 doubles, 132 homers, 535 RBI. Oliva played in 16 games between 1962 and 1963. In 1964, he hit .323 and was the AL Rookie of the Year. He won batting titles his first two seasons. He was an All-Star in 1964 and for each season through the rest of the decade. He twice finished runner up in AL MVP voting, including to Versalles in 1965. He led the league in Hits four times during the decade and in Doubles four times. His 213 doubles was tops in the organization. DH - Cesar Tovar - 1965-1969 631 games, .271/.329/.371 (.700) with 108 doubles, 25 homers, 189 RBI. Obviously there wasn’t a designated hitter in the 1960s, but we are going to have one… because, well, why not? With the hitters in this lineup, Tovar likely wouldn’t be the regular DH in actual games. He would play all over the diamond with different guys DHing each game. Tovar debuted in 1965. In 1966, he became a regular. In 1967, he led the league with 164 games played (and plate appearances and at-bats). He received MVP votes each season from 1967 through 1971. What an impressive group of players, led by several Hall of Famers, Twins Hall of Famers and Baseball Hall of Famers. Check back tomorrow for the Twins Pitchers of the Decade of the 1960s.
  18. World Series Region After a Hall of Fame career and multiple heroic World Series moments, Kirby Puckett was named the tournament’s number one overall seed. Kent Hrbek was the number two seed in the region and these two seemed destined for an Elite Eight match-up. Both would advance before Puckett took out Hrbek to make the Final Four. Jack Morris might have been the one surprise in this region as he was able to defeat Tom Brunansky in the first round. Morris was the higher seed, but he only played one season in Minnesota. Still, his one season was a magical one and he pitched one of the greatest games in baseball history. It also helps that he has continued to have a media presence in the Twin Cities since retiring. Current Twins Region The Tournament Committee might have underestimated some of the players in the Current Twins Region. The biggest upset of the tournament happened in this region and it was the only region where a non-number one seed was able to make the Final Four. Nelson Cruz was given the number one seed in the region after being named the team’s MVP. Cruz made it all the way to the region final, but he was upset by Max Kepler, the region’s three seed. Kepler took out Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton along the way. The bracket’s biggest first round upset might have been Jose Berrios, the region’s number two seed, being taken out by Byron Buxton, a seven seed. Buxton’s Cinderella story ended in the next round, but he was able to handily beat the team’s two-time All-Star and scheduled Opening Day starter. Metrodome Region Of all the regions, this one might have included some of the biggest tournament snubs. Jacque Jones, Nick Punto, Doug Mientkiewicz and others were left out of the tournament with names like Lew Ford and Francisco Liriano beating them out. Joe Mauer was the easy selection as the number one and he had enough to beat out Justin Morneau and Torii Hunter to make the Final Four. The closest match-up in the entire tournament was between Johan Santana, the three seed, and Torii Hunter, the two seed. Heading into the final hour of voting it was deadlocked at 50-50. Hunter used a last-minute run to overtake Santana and head to the Elite Eight before eventually losing to Mauer. Early Twins Region Many fans on social media are far removed from the early Twins and their impact on this franchise. Harmon Killebrew earned the number one seed in the region and the number two overall seed and he seemed like the front-runner for the championship. He fell short of this goal, but it might have been connected to recency bias instead of his overall greatness. Minnesota has seven retired players eligible for this bracket and four of them made it through the first round. Realistically, the Mount Rushmore of Twins players includes multiple players from this region that wouldn’t be represented in the Final Four. Bert Blyleven and Tony Oliva weren’t able to upset the higher seeds and it set up a Killebrew vs. Carew final for the ages. Final Four Both semifinal matchups turned out to be no contests as the most recent legend in Twins history, Joe Mauer, beat out an all-time legend in Harmon Killebrew. Max Kepler, out of the Current Twins region, hasn’t made any big catches or hit any big home runs in the World Series, so it made sense for him to be demolished by Kirby Puckett. Puckett versus Mauer would be the final and it looked close at the beginning of the voting. After about eight hours of voting, both players were nearly tied for the top spot. Some on Twitter thought it would be atrocious for Mauer to beat-out Puckett, the World Series hero. Stronger heads prevailed and the top seed in the tournament, Puckett, cut down the nets. https://twitter.com/NoDakTwinsFan/status/1242161395157938176?s=20 MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  19. Harmon Killebrew Killebrew moved all over the field during his big-league career as the Twins shuffled him between the left field and both corner infield spots. He spent more time at first base than any other position. His fielding percentage at first was the best of any position (.992). His total zone rating in runs above average was -6, but at third he was a -51 and he was a -19 in left field. Like Killebrew, Sano is in the Twins line-up because he can put baseballs into orbit with his powerful swing. Unlike Killebrew, the designated hitter role could impact Sano as his career progresses. Killebrew was forced to play a defensive position because the DH didn’t exist until the tail-end of his career. If Sano struggles with the transition to first, he could move to DH after Nelson Cruz vacates that position for the Twins. Rod Carew While Killebrew and Sano share similarities, Rod Carew and Sano might be the furthest thing apart when it comes to body type and approach at the plate. Carew did not move full time to first base until his age-30 season and his lone MVP award came in his second full season at first base. He played three full seasons there before leaving for the Angels and he amassed an 18 total zone rating. His best season at first base actually came in 1982 when he posted an 18 total zone rating, a career high. With a .991 fielding percentage, he and Killebrew posted nearly identical marks for their careers. Like Carew, Sano started his professional career at another defensive position where he wasn’t exactly strong defensively. Carew provided a -3 total zone rating in nearly 9,500 innings at second base. This included a bad season (1971: -11 TZ) and a couple of good seasons (1969, 1975: 6 TZ). Sano had multiple seasons with a -10 TZ rating at third including last season. His best season (4 TZ) was in 2016 when he was limited to 42 games at third. Kent Hrbek Both players above made the Hall of Fame, but Kent Hrbek was Minnesota born and he was part of some of the most famous plays at first base in team history (See: Final out 1987, Ron Gant). Hrbek posted a .994 fielding percentage at first with a 16 TZ rating. He had multiple seasons with a TZ rating higher than five, but he also had two of his final five seasons with a -7 TZ. Arguably, his best defensive season was 1984 when he finished second for the AL MVP. Like Hrbek, the Twins hope Sano can provide a big target for infielders especially Minnesota’s current middle infield duo. Jorge Polanco and Luis Arraez are both below average on the defensive side of the ball. Last season, Polanco was saved multiple times by CJ Cron after throwing the ball in the dirt. With a big target at first, the team’s advice for this season is to throw it high because those types of throws will be easier for a less experienced first baseman. Joe Mauer Joe Mauer won multiple Gold Gloves in his career, but all of them came as a catcher which is considerably harder defensive position than first base. Most people thought his transition from catcher to first base would be smooth because of his athleticism, but it was a skill he had to improve. In his first three seasons at first, he combined for a -6 TZ ranking, but over his final two seasons he posted positive totals to end his career with an overall 0 TZ at first. He also combined to have a .996 fielding percentage, a higher total than any player mentioned above. Like Mauer, Sano has played his entire career in an advanced analytical age and this means more defensive data to gauge player effectiveness. SABR’s Defensive Index has been used to help pick the Gold and Platinum Glove winners in each league since 2013. Back in 2014, Mauer finished tied with Albert Pujols (3.8 SDI) for the top SDI ranking at first. He tied that SDI total in 2017, but it was only good enough to finish third overall at first base. Last season, only two players ranked worse than Sano (-6.8 SDI) at third base according to SDI. What do you remember about these different defenders? How good can Sano be at first? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  20. 1972 Record: 77-77 (3rd in the AL West) The first player strike in baseball history took out the first two weeks of the 1972 season. Players wanted an increase in their pension fund payments and salary arbitration added to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. A total of 86 games were lost over 13-days with most teams losing six to eight games. With teams playing a different number of games, the Detroit Tigers won the AL East by half a game because they played one more game than the Boston Red Sox. Rod Carew and Bert Blyleven were the Twins team leaders in WAR. Carew hit .318/.369/.379 (.749) with 27 extra-base hits in 142 games. Blyleven pitched nearly 290 innings and posted a 2.73 ERA with 228 strikeouts and 69 walks. Harmon Killebrew led the team with 26 home runs, but Bobby Darwin was close behind with 22. Dick Woodson nearly matched Blyleven with 251 2/3 innings and a 2.72 ERA. 1981 Record: 41-68 (7th in the AL West) Every team played roughly 107 games in 1981 after the players walked out on June 11 and didn’t return until August 10. Owners were pushing for draft pick compensation when losing a free agent player and they also wanted to be able to take a player off the roster of the team where the free agent signed. Because the stoppage was in the middle of the year, MLB had division winners from the season’s first and second halves face off in a division series before moving on to a championship series. Unfortunately for baseball, the teams with the top two records (Cincinnati and St. Louis) missed the playoffs because of this format. Minnesota’s final season in Metropolitan Stadium was certainly one to forget as the team struggled out of the gate in the first half and finished with a 17-39 record. The second half went a little better as the team ended up fourth in the AL West with a 24-29 record. There were few notable names among the team’s top WAR contributors. Doug Corbett, Albert Williams, John Castino and Pete Redfern are not exactly a top-tier list of former Twins greats. 1995 Record: 56-88 (5th in the AL Central) In what might be baseball’s most famous work stoppage, the 1994 season had ended early and baseball’s strike wouldn’t end until the beginning of April 1995. Players were given three weeks to get themselves in playing shape at a shortened spring training before heading into a 144-game season. It would be the first year where the playoffs would use a three-division format with a wild card team. For Twins fans, a moment occurred in 1995 that no one saw coming, Kirby Puckett’s final game. On September 28, Puckett stepped in against Dennis Martinez and took a pitch to the head. He would play during spring 1996 before waking up with blurred vision in his right eye. Beside Puckett, Chuck Knoblauch and Marty Cordova were the team’s WAR leaders. Cordova beat out the likes of Garret Anderson and Andy Pettitte to win the AL Rookie of the Year. https://twitter.com/TwinsAlmanac/status/1045667945462910976?s=20 Baseball messed up the playoffs in 1972 and 1981, so it will be interesting to see how the season will unfold when and if the teams return to action. Minnesota hasn’t fared well in any of baseball’s previously shortened seasons, but on paper, the 2020 version of the Twins are certainly set up to do well. How will this season’s delay compare to the previously shortened seasons? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  21. My name is Travis Harrison, former first-round supplemental pick for the Minnesota Twins. I was contacted to see if I was interested in telling my story and answer questions that Twins fans might have. To be honest, this usually is not my thing, so excuse the sub-par writing skills. I do love the game of baseball and have come to love the Minnesota sports fans. So, lets give it a shot. What could go wrong?A quick intro/update on my life. I am married to my wife Jessica, who is way better looking than myself. We had a beautiful girl 10 months ago named Jamie. She sleeps from 7 pm to 7 am every night so, go me! I have stopped playing baseball officially and am currently working for the #1 Real Estate team is Southwest Florida, Domain Realty. Also, I am taking full advantage of the Twins College Scholarship Plan that was offered to me coming out of high school. Enough with the boring stuff and onto my first Minnesota Twins story. On June 6, 2011, I was attending my regular high school classes while knowing my life would change forever that evening. I was receiving calls every 20 minutes or so, and the only thing I can remember is my agent texting me, “if the Twins contact you, say you are not interested”. I didn’t think much about it until the draft had started and I got a call. It was my local Twins scout (who was the best in the area and an amazing person). He said "If you are still there and Levi Michael is off the board, we are picking you at 30." I replied with “Sounds good”. This is back when “slot money” meant less than the close door button on an elevator. People were signing for half of slot or double slot. It was just a big chess game. Anyway, pick #30 comes and goes and Levi was still there. I remember seeing my father over in the corner of the house talking on the phone with someone and wondering who it was. Turns out, he was negotiating my first professional baseball contract for me. Pick #50 comes up and Rod Carew announces my name on TV in front of all my family and friends. The time I spent with the Twins was an absolute blast. It didn’t matter if I was hitting home runs in big league spring training or striking out in AA. The lessons I learned from playing professional baseball will stick with me forever. Even though I had three concussions that really held me back, I wouldn’t change my experience for anything in the world. I have a ton of stories to tell and I would love to answer questions about ANYTHING you might want to know. -------------------------------------------------- Related Articles: 2017 Killebrew Award Winner: Travis HarrisonQ&A with Travis Harrison (5/21/13)Twins Prospect Takes Flight (Harrison is a pilot)Draft Day MemoriesSupplemental Draft Picks Have Great Talent, Made Tough Decisions-------------------------------------------------- EDITOR'S NOTE: We are hoping that Travis will write an article every week or two about various topics related to his baseball career, time in the Twins organizations, tips, tricks, and more. He certainly welcomes your questions and ideas for topics, so fill the comments with those. - Seth Click here to view the article
  22. A quick intro/update on my life. I am married to my wife Jessica, who is way better looking than myself. We had a beautiful girl 10 months ago named Jamie. She sleeps from 7 pm to 7 am every night so, go me! I have stopped playing baseball officially and am currently working for the #1 Real Estate team is Southwest Florida, Domain Realty. Also, I am taking full advantage of the Twins College Scholarship Plan that was offered to me coming out of high school. Enough with the boring stuff and onto my first Minnesota Twins story. On June 6, 2011, I was attending my regular high school classes while knowing my life would change forever that evening. I was receiving calls every 20 minutes or so, and the only thing I can remember is my agent texting me, “if the Twins contact you, say you are not interested”. I didn’t think much about it until the draft had started and I got a call. It was my local Twins scout (who was the best in the area and an amazing person). He said "If you are still there and Levi Michael is off the board, we are picking you at 30." I replied with “Sounds good”. This is back when “slot money” meant less than the close door button on an elevator. People were signing for half of slot or double slot. It was just a big chess game. Anyway, pick #30 comes and goes and Levi was still there. I remember seeing my father over in the corner of the house talking on the phone with someone and wondering who it was. Turns out, he was negotiating my first professional baseball contract for me. Pick #50 comes up and Rod Carew announces my name on TV in front of all my family and friends. The time I spent with the Twins was an absolute blast. It didn’t matter if I was hitting home runs in big league spring training or striking out in AA. The lessons I learned from playing professional baseball will stick with me forever. Even though I had three concussions that really held me back, I wouldn’t change my experience for anything in the world. https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/710184914109517824 I have a ton of stories to tell and I would love to answer questions about ANYTHING you might want to know. -------------------------------------------------- Related Articles: 2017 Killebrew Award Winner: Travis Harrison Q&A with Travis Harrison (5/21/13) Twins Prospect Takes Flight (Harrison is a pilot) Draft Day Memories Supplemental Draft Picks Have Great Talent, Made Tough Decisions -------------------------------------------------- EDITOR'S NOTE: We are hoping that Travis will write an article every week or two about various topics related to his baseball career, time in the Twins organizations, tips, tricks, and more. He certainly welcomes your questions and ideas for topics, so fill the comments with those. - Seth
  23. Each year Topps goes outside of the baseball realm with the Allen & Ginter product line. Yes, it’s still a baseball card set, but the product explores avenues off the diamond as well. Ranging from standard base cards to mini tobacco type offerings, there’s a little something for everyone here. Allen & Ginter has long had a unique following and give the consistent non-baseball inclusions that shouldn’t change any time soon. From a collecting standpoint baseball cards are generally about the big-name stars. In Ginter it’s always interesting to see what random offering pops up as a chase card. A year ago, there was a cryptocurrency depiction that saw base cards jump well over the expected value point, and the market explosion didn’t take place until months after the product release. Movie stars, presidents, and plenty of other big names will be found in this product as well. What’s great for Twins fans is that Minnesota is well represented this season. Let’s look at everything there is to go after. Base The Twins lands eight subjects on the base checklist. Continuing to emerge as a popular figure in the hobby this year Torii Hunter has a card here. Willians Astudillo lands another rookie card, and teammates Jose Berrios, Eddie Rosario, and Byron Buxton join him. The trio of retired stars include Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, and Harmon Killebrew. You can also find parallel versions of some base subjects among the mini, cloth, metal, and newly introduced stained glass checklists. Inserts Traditional inserts aren’t the highlight of Ginter as much as the obscure non-baseball offerings are. That said Carew is noted as both a “Baseball Star” and “Ginter Great.” Killebrew lumps in to the Ginter Greats checklist as well. Those three are the only traditional insert cards Minnesota places in the product. Hits Minis are the name of the game in Ginter. Whether it be relics, framed cards, or autographs the tobacco craze is high and mighty in this product. Eddie Rosario is the Twins lone signing among the framed mini checklist. Lending their signature to 20 total book cards, Berrios and Hunter are present. Berrios is the only relic subject, while the elusive Rip Cards feature the likeness of Carew and Killebrew (with a more limited dual offering as well). For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  24. What if the all star game was the end of the season? What kind of records would we have? Home Runs – 12 have 33 or more – Harmon Killebrew in 1964 had 30 and the total with 30+ first half homeruns is – 36 and Harmon is the only Twin on the list. TOP 12: • Barry Bonds, 2001 Giants, 39 • Chris Davis, 2013 Orioles, 37 • Mark McGwire, 1998 Cardinals, 37 • Reggie Jackson, 1969 Athletics, 37 • Luis Gonzalez, 2001 D-backs, 35 • Ken Griffey Jr., 1998, Mariners, 35 • Frank Howard, 1969 Senators, 34 • Sammy Sosa, 1998 Cubs, 33 • Ken Griffey Jr., 1994 Mariners, 33 • Matt Williams, 1994 Giants, 33 • Mark McGwire, 1987 Athletics, 33 • Roger Maris, 1961 Yankees, 33 I know that George Brett (390) was hitting 341 on July 10, Tony Gwynn (394) was hitting 387 on July 4, and Rod Carew (388) hit 403 on July 4. Beyond that I cannot find stats for All-Star break leaders. Maybe you can add something.
  25. One of the first premiere products of the 2019 season, Topps Definitive Collection releases at hobby stores May 29th. The one pack box, containing eight cards, will set you back just over $1,000. While the price tag is certainly steep, the contents inside can absolutely match that shock value. Unfortunately for Minnesota Twins fans the checklist leaves a bit to be desire. There are no true base cards in this product. A base autograph relic set is where your “standard” cards fall, and it’s composed of 46 subjects all serial numbered to 50 or less. This is a product heavy on game worn memorabilia and it’s displayed in many different forms. Minnesota’s first offering comes in the Defining Moments Autograph subset. Rod Carew, one of Topps longstanding Twins signers, is in the 37-subject set. These cards are also serialed to 50 or less. Carew lends his signature to the Legendary Autograph Collection as well, and these are a bit more limited at 25 or less. In total that gives Carew collectors roughly 75 totals cards in the entire product run. From there things get sparse for Minnesota as the final seven cards are all of the 1/1 variety. A Harmon Killebrew cut signature can be had, as well as two separate Joe Mauer offerings. Joe has a single patch card as part of the Definitive Patch Collection, and then lands his namesake in the Nameplate Collection. Each letter represents a 1/1 offering and could entice someone to put together what would be an expensive five-card run. Every year Topps Definitive Collection is one of the most visually appealing sets put onto the market. For the Twins to only have three subjects, and only one that contributed anything, it’s a tough checklist to get behind. Carew has autographs in almost every product, while Killebrew cuts are the only thing we’ll obviously be able to see going forward. Not getting Joe, Torii Hunter, or some other signer in the product is unfortunate. One of the toughest things about any high-end set for Topps catering to Twins fans is in wondering where they turn. Carew is all but played out, but Minnesota’s two biggest names have both since passed. Mauer could come back to be a regular signer, Hunter is cycling in more, and Morneau may even be an interesting get. In any big product though, would the return of Buxton, Sano, Rosario, or some other current player be satisfying enough? Going into the season that answer was probably no, but the tides are turning. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
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