Remembering Corey Koskie

With his retirement over the weekend, it's the end of a career for one of the core guys that led the Minnesota Twins out of the dark ages.

It's hard for me to remember much of anything specific about Corey Koskie.  I remember him making some great stops at third base, and I remember always wishing he'd put up offensive numbers like he did in 2002.  So in honor of Justin Morneau's Canadian predecessor, here are Koskie's best offensive gems as a member of the Minnesota Twins.

#5:  July 12, 2001
Twins 13, Brewers 5

Starting Lineup:
Matt Lawton, RF
Christian Guzman, SS
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B
Corey Koskie, 3B
Torii Hunter, CF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Jacque Jones, LF
Luis Rivas, 2B
Kyle Lohse, P

In Milwaukee, Lohse was pitching well until the eighth inning...but by then the game was over.  Koskie led off the top of the second with a double to center, and eventually scored on a Jones grand slam.  The next inning Koskie followed (Mientkiewicz) and preceeded (Hunter) solo home runs with one of his own, putting the Twins up 7 - 0.  He doubled in Guzman in the sixth and homered in the eighth to finish his role for the day.

Line:  4-for-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 2B, 2 HR

#4:  July 5, 2001
Twins 12, White Sox 2

Starting Lineup:
Matt Lawton, RF
Christian Guzman, SS
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B
Corey Koskie, 3B
Chad Allen, DH
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Torii Hunter, CF
Jacque Jones, LF
Luis Rivas, 2B

Joe Mays threw off a rough start to give his offense a chance to take back the game, and they did in a big way.  Koskie tripled to lead off the second inning and scored on an Allen fly to tie the game at one.  In the third, Koskie doubled in Lawton and Guzman to give the Twins a three-run frame and give them the only lead they'd need.  His three-run bomb in the fourth put the game out of reach.

Line:  3-for-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2B, 3B, HR

#3:  April 8, 1999
Twins 11, Blue Jays 9

Starting Lineup:
Torii Hunter, CF
Denny Hocking, SS
Todd Walker, 2B
Marty Cordova, DH
Matt Lawton, RF
Chad Allen, LF
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B
Terry Steinbach, C
Corey Koskie, 3B

Joey Hamilton put the Jays in a big hole early before Eric Milton returned the favor, but in the end this one was an offensive slug-fest.  Already leading 2 - 0 by the time he came to the plate for the first time, Koskie added to the score by singling in Mientkiewicz and later scoring on hit by Cordova.  A two-run double in the third made in 7 - 1 Twins, and a 25-year old Koskie was having one of the best days of his career.  In the fourth the Jays had closed the game to 7 - 6, but after manufacturing one run, Koskie plated two more on a single to left field.  Minnesota hung on to win, with Rick Aguilera notching his first save of the season.

Line:  3-for-5, R, 5 RBI, 2B

#2:  May 12, 2000
Twins 4, White Sox 3

Starting Lineup:
Christian Guzman, SS
Jay Canizaro, 2B
Matt Lawton, RF
Ron Coomer, 1B
Butch Huskey, DH
Corey Koskie, 3B
Matt LeCroy, C
Jacque Jones, LF
Torii Hunter, CF

Koskie gave the Twins an early lead after walking and then scoring on a Jones single.  In the fourth he scored off of Jones again, this time after pulling a Jim Parque offering into right field, giving the Twins a 3 - 0 lead.  With the game tied at three in the sixth he singled, reaching base for the third time in the game, but was stranded after Jones and Hunter struck out.  In the eighth, with the game still knotted at three, Koskie singled again; he was then thrown out trying to steal second base.  Finally, in the tenth, Coomer walked and David Ortiz singled for Huskey.  Koskie came through again, singling and scoring Coomer to give Hector Carrasco the only support he'd need to nail down a save.

Line:  4-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB

Best Game:  June 19, 2003
Twins 16, Royals 2

Starting Lineup:
Jacque Jones, LF
Christian Guzman, SS
Corey Koskie, 3B
Justin Morneau, DH
Torii Hunter, CF
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B
Dustan Mohr, RF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Luis Rivas, 2B

This one was all Twins, with the offense chasing Kasas City starter Kyle Snyder after four innings; Mays went eight strong for the Twins.  Koskie led off the scoring in the first by driving in Jones from second base.  After getting called out on strikes in the third, Koskie put what would be another of many, many nails in the Royals' coffin by knocking in Guzman.  A three-run homer in the fifth and a solo shot in the ninth would top off one hell of a day.

Line:  4-for-5, 3 R, 6 RBI, 2 HR, 1 BB

Thanks for the memories, Kos!  It's a shame the concussions had as much of an effect on your career as they did, but you were a big part of this time for a handful of critical years.

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