The Twins began life in MLB as the Washington Senators, joining the AL in 1901 along with a bunch of other teams. It took until their 24th season in 1924 to make the playoffs, but they won the World Series that year. They made the World Series, losing both times, twice in following 9 years.
In 1961, the franchise moved to Minnesota and renamed itself the Twins. The team was a force in the late 1960s, finishing first or second 5 times between 1965 and 1970, but losing in the playoffs each year. The Twins won it all in 1987 and again in 1991, and then went into a period of suffering as a small market team. That changed in 2002 when the team posted a 1st place finish (one of 6 between ’02 and ’10) but again the team has lost all 6 times in the playoffs.
In 2011, the Twins turned suddenly dreadful, losing 99 games, and they have been only a bit better so far in 2012.
Let’s take a look at this team’s long list of great players.
Top batters in franchise history, by WAR:
So…the top 4 guys are all Hall of Famers, as are Goose Goslin and Joe Cronin. All Tony Oliva did was win 3 batting titles. And then you have two guys in Kent Hrbek and Joe Mauer who are huge fan favorites and spent numerous years as the popular face of the franchise.
No shortage of choices here…
Here are the pitchers:
So we had all these great choices for batters, and then there’s Walter Johnson, who cannot possibly be left off anybody’s ballot. Then there’s HOFer (yay!) Blyleven, Radke (the face of the franchise in between Hrbek and Mauer), Cy Young winner and 1987 post-season hero Frank Viola…it goes on and on.
Beyond these guys, there are others to consider as well: longtime manager Tom Kelly, plus two guys who produced a ton during the 1987 run: Dan Gladden and Tom Brunansky. In the 1925 World Series, Joe Harris had 3 HR and 6 RBI in 7 games. And then there’s Jack Morris, who pitched probably the most famous World Series game in the minds of fans aged 30 to 50.
Lots of folks to choose from here…please pick 4.