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Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From to the present, the Twins have played in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

The "Twins" name originates from Minnesota's Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. One of the team's caps features a "TC" logo to emphasize "Twin Cities."

One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Washington, D.C. in as the Washington Senators. That was a carryover nickname from a previous, unrelated club in the National League. In 1905 the team changed its official name to the Washington Nationals. The name "Nationals" would appear on the uniforms for only 2 seasons, and would then be replaced with the "W" logo for the next 52 years. The media often shortened the nickname to "Nats". Many fans and newspapers (especially out-of-town papers) persisted in using the "Senators" nickname. Over time, "Nationals" faded as a nickname, and "Senators" became dominant. Baseball guides would list the club's nickname as "Nationals or Senators", acknowledging the unique dual-nickname situation.

The team name was officially changed to Washington Senators around the time that long-time team president Clark Griffith died and his son Calvin took over the team. It was not until that the word "Senators" first appeared on team shirts. "Nats" continued to be used by space-saving headline writers, even for the 1961 expansion team, which was never officially known as "Nationals".

In , Major League Baseball granted the city of Minneapolis an expansion team. Calvin Griffith requested that he be allowed to move his team to Minneapolis and instead grant Washington the expansion team. MLB granted his request, and the team moved to Bloomington, Minnesota after the 1960 season, setting up shop in Metropolitan Stadium, while Washington fielded a brand new "Washington Senators" that would also end up moving - to Arlington, Texas to become the Texas Rangers prior to the 1972 season.

Team history

Washington Nationals/Senators: 1901–1960

For a time, from 1911 to 1933, the Washington Senators were one of the more successful franchises in major-league baseball. The team's rosters included Hall of Famers Goose Goslin, Sam Rice, Joe Cronin, Bucky Harris, Heinie Manush and one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Walter Johnson. But the Senators are remembered more for their many years of mediocrity and futility, including six last-place finishes in the 1940s and 1950s.

A losing start for a charter franchise

When the American League declared itself a major league in , the new league placed a team in Washington, a city that had been abandoned by the National League a year earlier. The Washington club, like the old one, would be called the Senators.

The Senators began their history as a consistently losing team, at times so inept that San Francisco Chronicle columnist Charley Dryden joked: "Washington: First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League." The 1904 Senators lost 113 games, and the next season the team’s owners, trying for a fresh start, changed the team’s name to the Nationals. But the Senators name remained widely used by fans and journalists, and the team later restored it as the official name.

The ‘Big Train’ arrives

Whatever the name, the club continued to lose, despite the addition in of a talented 19-year-old pitcher named Walter Johnson. Raised in rural Kansas, Johnson was a tall, lanky man with long arms who, using a leisurely windup and unusual sidearm delivery, threw the ball faster than anyone had ever seen. Johnson’s breakout year was , when he struck out 313 batters, posted an earned-run average of 1.36 and won 25 games for a losing ball club. Over his 21-year Hall of Fame career, Johnson, called the “Big Train,” would win 417 games and strike out 3,509 batters, a major-league record that would stand for more than 50 years.

New stadium, new manager

In , the Senators’ wooden ballpark burned to the ground, and they replaced it with a modern concrete-and-steel structure on the same location. First called National Park, it later would be renamed after the man who was named Washington manager in 1912 and whose name would become almost synonymous with the ball club: Clark Griffith. A star pitcher with the National League’s Chicago Colts in the 1890s, Griffith jumped to the AL in 1901 and became a successful manager with the Chicago White Sox and New York Highlanders. In , with Griffith taking the Senators’ helm and Johnson winning 33 games, the Senators posted their first winning record: 91-61, good for second place behind the Boston Red Sox. The next year, , was Johnson’s best yet, 36 victories and a minuscule 1.14 ERA, and the Senators again finished second, this time behind the Philadelphia Athletics.

Starting in , the Senators settled back into mediocrity. Griffith, frustrated with the owners’ penny-pinching, bought a controlling interest in the team in and stepped down as field manager a year later to focus on his duties as team president.

1924: World champions

In , Griffith named 27-year-old second baseman Bucky Harris player-manager. Led by the hitting of Goose Goslin and Sam Rice and a solid pitching staff headlined by the 36-year-old Johnson, the Senators captured their first American League pennant, two games ahead of Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees.

In the World Series, the underdog Senators faced John McGraw's New York Giants. Despite Johnson losing both his two starts, the Senators kept pace to tie the Series at three games apiece and force Game 7. In the ninth inning with the game tied 3-3, Harris brought in Johnson to pitch on just one day of rest – he had been the losing pitcher in Game 5. Johnson shut out the Giants for four innings, and in the bottom of the 12th, a ground ball bounced over Giant third baseman Fred Lindstrom’s head, scoring Muddy Ruel with the winning run. The Washington Senators were world champions. Some called it the greatest World Series Game 7 ever … until 1991.

Building a winning tradition

The Senators repeated as AL champs in but lost the Series to Pittsburgh. After Johnson’s retirement in , the Senators endured a few losing seasons until returning to contention in , this time with Johnson as manager. But after the Senators finished third in and , behind powerful New York and Philadelphia, Griffith fired Johnson, a victim of high expectations.

For his new manager in , Griffith returned to the formula that worked for him in 1924, and 26-year-old shortstop Joe Cronin became player-manager. It worked. Washington posted a 99-53 record and swept to the pennant seven games ahead of the Yankees. But the Senators lost the World Series to the Giants in five games.

Back to the second division

The Senators sank all the way to seventh in . Attendance plunged as well, and after the season Griffith traded Cronin to the Red Sox for journeyman shortstop Lyn Lary and $225,000 in cash (even though Cronin was married to Griffith’s niece, Mildred). Despite the return of Harris as manager in 1935-42 and 1950-54, Washington remained mostly a losing ball club for the next 25 years, contending for the pennant only in the talent-thin war years of and . Washington came to be known as "first in war, first in peace, and last in the American League".

In , Senators scout Ossie Bluege signed a 17-year-old ballplayer from Payette, Idaho, named Harmon Killebrew. Because of his $30,000 signing bonus, league rules required Killebrew to spend the rest of 1954 with the Senators as a “bonus baby.” Killebrew bounced between the Senators and the minor leagues for next few years. He became the Senators’ regular third baseman in , leading the league with 42 home runs and earning a starting spot on the American League All-Star team.

Looking west

Clark Griffith died in , and his nephew and adopted son Calvin took over the team presidency. He sold Griffith Stadium to the city of Washington and leased it back, leading to speculation that the team was planning to move, as the Braves, Browns and Athletics had all done in the early 1950s. After an early flirtation with San Francisco, by 1957 Griffith was courting Minneapolis-St. Paul, a prolonged process that resulted in him rejecting the Twin Cities' first offer before agreeing to relocate. The American League opposed the move at first, but in a deal was reached: The Senators would move and would be replaced with an expansion Senators team for . The old Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins.

The Washington Senators in popular culture

The longtime competitive struggles of the team were fictionalized in the book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, which became the legendary Broadway musical and movie Damn Yankees. The plot centers around Joe Boyd, a middle-aged real estate salesman and long-suffering fan of the Washington Senators baseball club. In this musical comedy-drama of the Faust legend, Boyd sells his soul to the Devil and becomes slugger Joe Hardy, the "long ball hitter the Senators need that he'd sell his soul for" (as spoken by him in a throwaway line near the beginning of the drama). His hitting prowess enables the Senators to win the American League pennant over the then-dominant Yankees. One of the songs from the musical, "You Gotta Have Heart", is frequently played at baseball games.

Minnesota Twins: 1961 to present

A unique name for a unique situation

The name "Twins" derives from the popular name of the region, the Twin Cities. The NBA's Minneapolis Lakers had re-located to Los Angeles in 1960 due to poor attendance which was perceived to have been caused in part by the reluctance of fans in St. Paul to support the team. Griffith was determined not to alienate fans in either city by naming the team after one city or the other, and so instead proposed to name his team the Twin Cities Twins. When the league rejected that choice as being too generic, a decision then unprecedented in American professional sports was made. The team would be named after its home state and became known as the Minnesota Twins. Later, the Texas Rangers (coincidentally the relocated expansion Senators), Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the California Angels—now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim—would follow their lead.

However, the original "Twin Cities Twins" TC logo was kept. The cap logo was abandoned in 1987 when the Twins adopted their current uniforms. By this time, the team had become established enough that it could place an "M" on their caps without offending St. Paul. The "TC" logo returned to one version of the home uniforms in 2002, as did the team's original cartoon logo: two ball players with "M" and "StP" on their jerseys respectively, shaking hands over the Mississippi River, which runs through each of the two cities.

1960s: The Twins arrive in Minnesota

The Twins were eagerly greeted in Minnesota when they arrived in 1961. They brought a nucleus of talented players: Harmon Killebrew, Bob Allison, Camilo Pascual, Zoilo Versalles, Jim Kaat, Earl Battey, and Lenny Green. The Twins won 91 games in 1962, the most by the franchise since 1933.

The Twins won 102 games and the American League Pennant in 1965, driven by the exciting play of superstar sluggers Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva and flashy play of league MVP Zoilo Versalles. However, they were defeated in the 1965 World Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games; each home team had won until Game 7, when Sandy Koufax shut out the Twins 2–0 in Minnesota. The Twins scored a total of two runs in their four losses, and were shut out three times, twice by Koufax. Although disappointed with the near-miss, the championship drive cemented the team's relationship with the people of Minnesota. The Twins would wait 22 years to return to the World Series; they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games in the 1987 Series.

In , the Twins were involved in one of the closest pennant races in baseball history. Heading into the final weekend of the season, the Twins, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Detroit Tigers all had a shot at clinching the American League championship. With two games left to play, the Twins and Red Sox were knotted atop the standings; moreover, the two remaining games each team had to play happened to be against each other. Unfortunately for Minnesota baseball fans, the Red Sox won both games and clinched their first pennant since , finishing with a 92–70 record. The Twins and Tigers both finished a game behind, at 91–71, while the White Sox were three games out, at 89–73.

In 1969, Billy Martin was named manager. Martin pushed aggressive base running, with Rod Carew stealing home seven times. The Twins won the American League West, led by Rod Carew (.332, his first batting title), Tony Oliva (.309, 24 HR, 101 RBI) and league MVP Harmon Killebrew (49 HR, 140 RBI). Unfortunately, the Twins were swept by the Baltimore Orioles, who had set a franchise record of 109-53, in the first American League Championship Series. The Orioles would lose to the "Miracle Mets" in the 1969 World Series.

1970s: From first place to mediocrity

The team continued to post winning records through 1971, winning the first two American League West division titles. However, they then entered a decade-long slump, finishing around .500 for the next eight years. Tony Oliva and Rod Carew continued to provide offensive power, but Killebrew's home run production decreased, as injuries impacted his effectiveness, and the pitching staff languished. Killebrew's final season with the Twins was the 1974 season.

Owner Calvin Griffith faced financial difficulty with the start of free agency. While other owners had fortunes made in other businesses, Griffith's only income came from baseball. He ran the Twins as a family-owned business, employing many family members, and had to turn a profit each season. Stars Lyman Bostock and Larry Hisle left as free agents after the 1977 season and prompted the trade of Rod Carew after the 1978 season.

1980s: Building a World Champion

In the early 1980s, The Twins fell further, winning only 37% of its games from 1981 to 1982. They had their worst season in Minnesota in 1982, with a 60–102 record, the worst the franchise had since the 1904 season (that team went 38–113). From their arrival in 1961 through , the team played its games at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, a suburb south of the Twin Cities. The Mall of America now occupies the spot where the "Old Met" stood, complete with home plate and the seat where Harmon Killebrew hit a 520 foot home run. The season brought the team indoors, into the Metrodome, which is in downtown Minneapolis near the Mississippi River.

In 1984, Calvin Griffith sold the Twins to Minneapolis banker Carl Pohlad. In 1985, Minnesota hosted the All-Star Game at the Metrodome.

After several losing seasons in the Dome, a nucleus of players acquired during the waning years of the Griffith regime (Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky, Gary Gaetti, Frank Viola) combined with a few good trades (Bert Blyleven), intelligent free agent acquisitions (Al Newman, Roy Smalley), and a rising star in Kirby Puckett, combined to return the team to the World Series for the first time since 1965, defeating the Detroit Tigers (who won the World Series three years earlier) in the ALCS along the way. The dynamic play of the new superstars electrified the team and propelled the Twins to a seven-game victory over the St. Louis Cardinals to win the 1987 World Series.

The 1987 Twins set a record for fewest regular season victories by a World Series champion with 85 and a .525 winning percentage. This record was broken by the Cardinals, who won the World Series after going 83-79 during the regular season and a .513 percentage. While their 56-21 record at the Metrodome was the best overall home record for 1987, the Twins had an appalling 33-52 mark away from the Metrodome and they only won nine road games after the All-Star break.

The Twins won more games in 1988, but could not overcome the powerhouse division rival Oakland Athletics, even though pitcher Frank Viola won the Cy Young Award in that year. saw a decline in the win column though Puckett would win the batting title that season.

1990s: From worst to first to worst again

The Twins surprisingly did quite poorly in 1990, finishing last in the AL West division with a record of 74-88. brought breakout years from newcomers Shane Mack, Scott Leius, Chili Davis, and rookie of the year Chuck Knoblauch, along with consistently excellent performances from stars Hrbek and Puckett. The pitching staff excelled as well, with Scott Erickson, Rick Aguilera, and St. Paul native Jack Morris having all-star years. The Twins defeated the Atlanta Braves 4 games to 3 to win the nail-biting 1991 World Series, which is considered by many to be the greatest of all time. Game 6 is widely considered to be one of the greatest World Series games ever played. Facing elimination, and with the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 11th inning, Kirby Puckett stepped up to the plate and drove the game winning home run into the left field seats to force a decisive Game 7. The home run was Puckett's only walk-off home run of his career. In the final and deciding game, Jack Morris pitched a 10 inning shutout, viewed by many baseball historians as one of the greatest pitching performances in a 7th game of the World Series, to beat the Braves 1–0 and bring home the championship to Minnesota. 1991 was considered to be the first season that any team that ended in last place the previous year advanced to the World Series; Both the Twins and Braves accomplished the unprecedented feat. ESPN rated the 1991 World Series as the best ever played in a 2003 centennial retrospective of the World Series. saw another superb Oakland team that the Twins could not overcome, despite a 90–72 season and solid pitching from John Smiley. After that season, the Twins again fell into an extended slump, posting a losing record each year for the next eight years: 71–91 in 1993, 50–63 in 1994, 56–88 in 1995, 78–84 in 1996, 68–94 in 1997, 70–92 in 1998, 63–97 in 1999 and 69–93 in 2000. From to a long sequence of retirements and injuries hurt the team badly, and Tom Kelly spent the remainder of his managerial career attempting to rebuild the Twins. In , management cleared out the team of all of its players earning over 1 million dollars (except for pitcher Brad Radke) and rebuilt from the ground up; the team barely avoided finishing in the cellar that year, finishing just five games ahead of the Detroit Tigers and avoiding the mark of 100 losses by eight games.

In , owner Carl Pohlad almost sold the Twins to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver, who would have moved the team to the Piedmont Triad (GreensboroWinston-SalemHigh Point) area of the state. The defeat of a referendum for a stadium in that area and a lack of interest in building a stadium for the Twins in Charlotte killed the deal.

2000s: A perennial contender

Things turned around, and from 2001 to 2006, the Twins compiled the longest streak of consecutive winning seasons since moving to Minnesota, going 85–77 in 2001, 94–67 in 2002, 90–72 in 2003, 92–70 in 2004, 83-79 in 2005, and 96–66 in 2006. From 2002 to 2004, the Twins compiled their longest streak of consecutive league/division championships ever (previous were the 1924 World Champion-1925 AL Champion Senators and the 196970 Twins). Threatened with closure by league contraction (along with the Montreal Expos) in , the team battled back to reach the American League Championship Series before being eliminated 4-1 by that year's eventual World Series champion Anaheim Angels. Their streak of three straight division titles, along with some bitterly fought games, have helped to create an intense rivalry with the Chicago White Sox in recent years, starting with 2000 when the Sox clinched the division at the Metrodome, and heating up especially in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008.

In 2006, the Twins came from 12 games back in the division at the All-Star break to tie the Detroit Tigers for the lead in the 159th game of the season. With the Tigers having won the season head-to-head by 11 games to 8, the Twins needed a Tiger loss and a Twins win in order to take sole possession of first place and win the division outright, and got both on the last day of the season, when the Tigers lost their third straight game at home to the last place Kansas City Royals in a 10–8 game in 14 innings. After their win against the Chicago White Sox, the Minnesota Twins and somewhere between 30,000 to 40,000 fans watched the Tigers-Royals game on the Metrodome's jumbotrons. This is the first time in major league history that a team has won a division or league outright on the last day of the regular season without ever having had sole possession of first place earlier. The magical season came to a sudden end, however, as the Twins were swept 3–0 in the divisional championship series, while Detroit went on as a wild card entry, beat the Yankees 3–1 in their divisional series, and went on to play the A's in the league championship series. The Tigers would go on to sweep the A's 4–0 in the ALCS and lose the 2006 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, who coincidentally broke the record held by the Twins for the worst regular season record by a World Series champion (having gone 83–79).

Contraction

Over the past 10 years, the Twins have argued that the lack of a modern baseball-dedicated ballpark has stood in the way of producing a top-notch, competitive team, despite the fact that their current stadium, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, played a crucial role in their championship seasons of 1987 and 1991. The quirks of the facility, such as the turf floor and the white roof, gave the Twins a huge homefield advantage (often referred to as the "Dome"-field advantage). The Twins won every one of their home games in their two World Series victories. Regardless, the Metrodome has often been considered inadequate mainly because of its relatively low income producing power and in the 1990s and early 2000s the Twins were often rumored to be moving to such places as New Jersey, Las Vegas, Portland, Oregon, the RaleighDurham area, and others in search of a more financially competitive market. The team was nearly contracted (disbanded) in 2002, a move which would have eliminated the Twins and the Montreal Expos, now the Washington Nationals, franchises. The Twins survived largely due to a court decision which forced them to play out their lease on the Metrodome.

In October 2005 the Twins went back to state court asking for a ruling that they have no long-term lease with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, the owner of the Metrodome where the Twins currently play. In February 2006 the court did rule favorably on the Twins motion. Thus, the Twins were not obligated to play in the Metrodome after the 2006 season. This removed one of the roadblocks that prevented contraction prior to the 2002 season and cleared the way for the Twins to either be relocated or disbanded prior to the 2007 season if a new deal was not reached.

The future

For a long time, the Twins wished to move from the Metrodome to the site behind Target Center within the next half decade, claiming that the Metrodome generates too little revenue for the Twins to be competitive. In particular, the Twins receive very little revenue from luxury suite leasing (as the majority are owned by co-tenant Minnesota Vikings) and only a small percentage of concessions sales; also, the percentage of season-ticket-quality seats in the Metrodome is said to be very low compared to other stadiums, and the capacity of the stadium is far too high for baseball. However, attempts to spur interest and push legislative efforts towards a new stadium repeatedly failed prior to 2006. The Dome is thought to be an increasingly poor fit for all three of its major tenants (the Twins, the Vikings and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football team). In fact, the Vikings also have a stadium proposal in various stages of development, and the Twins and Gophers are in the process of constructing their new stadiums.

On May 21 2006, the Twins' new stadium received the approval of the Minnesota House of Representatives, with a vote of 71–61, and then received approval from the Senate, with a nailbiting vote of 34–32, after 4 a.m. on the second-to-last day of the 2006 legislative session. The bill moved on to Governor Tim Pawlenty, who signed it during a special pre-game ceremony at the HHH Metrodome on May 26, 2006 (the Twins played the Seattle Mariners that night) on what will be the first home plate installed in the new stadium.

Target Field

Target Field, the future stadium of the Twins is being built in what was a parking lot at the north end of downtown Minneapolis within walking distance of the Target Center. On September 15, 2008 the Twins announced that they had sold naming rights to the Target Corporation and that the stadium would be known as Target Field. The Hiawatha Light Rail line will be extended to the ballpark area with a connection to the Northstar Commuter Rail, which will have its final station at the ballpark. Preliminary plans call for a seating capacity of 40,000 seats and 72 suites. There will be approximately 34 rest rooms compared to only 16 in the Metrodome. The concourses will be open to the playing field with a view of the downtown Minneapolis skyline from every seat in the park. There will not be a retractable roof on the stadium which would add about $200 million on to the cost which is currently set at $522 million. This has received some objection due to the potentially harsh game conditions in early April (similar to other northern pro baseball teams such as the White Sox, Cubs, Tigers, Indians, Red Sox, etc.) and the potential risk of resulting lost revenue. The official groundbreaking for the stadium, originally scheduled for 2 August 2007, was postponed to August 30 due to the collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge. However, officials still expect the work to be completed in time for the 2010 home opener. With the new ballpark bill, a provision was signed into law that allows the state of Minnesota the right of first refusal to buy the team if it is ever sold, and requires that the name, colors, World Series trophies and history of the team remain in Minnesota if the Twins are ever moved out of state (a reaction to the loss of the Minnesota North Stars to Dallas in 1993). The stadium, according to current renderings, will be clad in Minnesota limestone, featuring a canopy cover for the seating area, as well as potentially trees in the outfield area. The concourses of the stadium will be wider than those in the Metrodome and will be heated.

Team statistics

  • Best regular season record: (102-60)
  • Worst regular season record as Washington Senators: (38-113)
  • Worst regular season record as Minnesota Twins: (60-102)
  • Longest win streak: (15 games, June 1 to June 16)
  • World Series Home Record: 17-5. (8-0 at home in last two series, 1987 and 1991)
  • World Series Away Record: 2-16. (No road wins since 1925's Game 1)

Trivia

  • Ballpark gimmick: Homer Hanky (1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006)
  • Mascot: TC, introduced in .
  • Team Song: We're Gonna Win, Twins, by Dick Wilson, introduced in 1961.
  • Spring Training Facility: Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers, Florida
  • The team and the Metrodome were featured in the 1994 motion picture Little Big League.
  • The party atmosphere of the Twins clubhouse after a win is well-known, the team's players unwinding with loud rock music (usually the choice of the winning pitcher) and video games. The club has several well-known, harmless hazing rituals, such as requiring the most junior relief pitcher on the team to carry water and snacks to the bullpen in a brightly-colored small child's backpack (Barbie in 2005, SpongeBob Squarepants in 2006, Hello Kitty in 2007), and many of its players, both past and present, are notorious pranksters.
  • A new nickname was unintentionally introduced by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén, who called the Twins "Little F***ing Piranhas" as they gobbled up wins in July through August in the 2006 season. In 2007, the Twins sometimes play an animated sequence of piranhas munching under that caption, in situations where the Twins are scoring runs via "small ball".
  • Bob Casey was the Twins first public-address announcer starting in 1961 and going until his death in 2005. He was well known for his unique delivery and his signature announcements of "NOOO Smoking in the Metrodome, either go outside or quit!", "Centerfielder, #34, KIRRBYYYYYYY PUCKETTTTTT!!!" and asking fans not to 'throw anything or anybody' onto the field.
  • The Twins were the first World Series champion to lose three away games and still win the series by winning all four home games; doing it in 1987 and again in 1991. The Arizona Diamondbacks duplicated this feat in 2001, when they became the first National League team to do so.
  • The Twins are the first team in Major League history to sweep the Player of the Month, Pitcher of the Month, and Rookie of the Month awards, accomplishing this feat in June 2006 with catcher Joe Mauer, pitcher Johan Santana, and Rookie Pitcher Francisco Liriano.
  • In , the club became one of the most decorated in recent baseball history, with Justin Morneau's MVP following the AL Cy Young Award won by Johan Santana and the AL batting title by Joe Mauer. The last team to have done it was the Los Angeles Dodgers. In addition to this, center fielder Torii Hunter was awarded the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his defense in the 2006 season, and Mauer and Morneau each received a Silver Slugger Award for the offense as catcher and first baseman respectively.
  • The 2008 season was an exciting one for the Twins despite being picked to finish second to last out of the division. The Twins had a ended up taking lead of the division by 0.5 game after a sweep of the WHite Sox, but failed to keep the lead. The White Sox tied it up in the final games of the season, and forced a playoff for the division title and playoff berth. The game ended in a White Sox 1-0 win off a Jim Thome eighth inning solo home run.

Titles

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Current roster

Minnesota Twins all-time roster:

A complete list of players who played in at least one game for the Twins franchise.

Minor league affiliates

Baseball Hall of Famers

Washington Senators

Minnesota Twins

  • Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Names in Bold Inducted as Senators or Twins

Molitor and Winfield, St. Paul natives and University of Minnesota graduates, came to the team late in their careers and were warmly received as "hometown heroes," but were elected to the Hall on the basis of their tenures with other teams. Both swatted their 3,000th hit with the Twins.

Cronin, Goslin, Griffith, Harris, Johnson, Killebrew and Wynn are listed on the Washington Hall of Stars display at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium. So are Ossie Bluege, George Case, Joe Judge, George Selkirk, Roy Sievers, Cecil Travis, Mickey Vernon and Eddie Yost.

Twins Hall of Fame

Class of 2000 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Harmon Killebrew First Baseman 1961-74
Rod Carew Second Baseman 1967-78
Tony Oliva Outfielder 1962-76
Kent Hrbek First Baseman 1981-94
Kirby Puckett Outfielder 1984-95
Calvin Griffith President and Owner 1961-83
Class of 2001 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Herb Carneal Radio Broadcaster 1962-2007
Jim Kaat Left-handed Pitcher 1961-73
Class of 2002 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Bert Blyleven Right-handed Pitcher 1970-76, 1985-88
Tom Kelly Manager 1986-2001
Class of 2003 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Bob Allison Outfielder 1961-70
Bob Casey Public Address Announcer 1961-2004
Class of 2004 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Earl Battey Catcher 1961-67
Class of 2005 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Frank Viola Left-handed Pitcher 1982-89
Carl Pohlad Owner 1984-Present
Class of 2006 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Zoilo Versalles Shortstop 1961-67
Class of 2007 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Gary Gaetti Third Baseman 1981-90
Jim Rantz Director of Minor Leagues 1986-Present
Class of 2008 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Rick Aguilera Right-handed Pitcher 1989-95, 1996-99

Retired numbers

The Metrodome's upper deck in center and right fields is partly covered by a curtain containing banners of various titles won, and retired numbers.

Image:TwinsRetired3.png>95px default Harmon Killebrew
Harmon
Killebrew OF-1B-3B: 1954-60 (WAS)
OF-1B-3B: 1961-74 (MIN)
Image:TwinsRetired6.png>95px default Tony Oliva
Tony
Oliva OF: 1962-76 (MIN)
Coach: 1976-78 (MIN)
Coach: 1985-91 (MIN)
Image:TwinsRetired14.png>95px default Kent Hrbek
Kent
Hrbek 1B: 1981-94 (MIN)
Image:TwinsRetired29.png>95px default Rod Carew
Rod
Carew 1B-2B: 1967-78 (MIN)
Image:TwinsRetired34.png>95px default Kirby Puckett
Kirby
Puckett OF: 1984-95 (MIN)
Image:TwinsRetired42.png>95px default Jackie Robinson
Jackie
Robinson Retired by
Baseball

Notable Players

(^ indicates active with Twins)

(# indicates active in MLB not on Twins)

Radio & Television

As of 2007, the Twins' new flagship radio station is KSTP, 1500 kHz AM. It replaces WCCO, which held broadcast rights for the Twins since the team moved to Minneapolis in 1961. The original radio voices of the Twins in 1961 were Halsey Hall and, after the first year, Herb Carneal, sponsored by the Hamm's Brewing Company. In 2006, John Gordon, Herb Carneal, Dan "The Dazzle Man" Gladden, and Jack Morris provided radio commentary.

The television rights are held by FSN North with Dick Bremer as the play-by-play announcer and former Twin Bert Blyleven as color analyst. They are sometimes joined by Ron Coomer and Roy Smalley. Blyleven was suspended by the team briefly in for inadvertently saying obscene words on a live telecast; he did not realize the broadcast was live and assumed a second take of the segment could be taped.

FSN North also produces game telecasts on WFTC, "My 29" in the Twin Cities.

On April 1st, 2007, Herb Carneal, the radio voice of the Twins for all but one year of their existence, died in his home in Minnetonka, Minnesota after a long battle with a list of illnesses. Carneal is currently in the Hall of Fame.

References

Further reading

See also

External links

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