Just in time for TwinsFest, the Twins announced this afternoon that former second baseman Chuck Knoblauch will be inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame in 2014.
Chuck Knoblauch is a no-brainer inductee. In addition to winning the 1991 Rookie of the Year, Knoblauch is the team's all time leader in stolen bases, ranks third all-time in career on-base percentage, and holds the Twins single-season record for runs scored. He also made Lonnie Smith look like an idiot with that terrific deke in the 1991 World Series.
Knoblauch has not returned to the Twin Cities since his last year in the majors in 2002. He was one of five players who did not come to the 20-year 1991 World Series Reunion at Target Field (side note: he actually wasn't there because he had a baby that weekend). But Chuck made clear in his statement to TwinsBaseball.com that he WILL be there:
"I am humbled and honored with the news of my election to the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame," Knoblauch said. "Thank you to the members of voting committee -- especially the Twins Hall of Famers and Twins fans everywhere -- for this unbelievable recognition. It was a privilege to be part of the Twins' organization, and I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity the Pohlad family, Andy MacPhail, Terry Ryan, Tom Kelly and so many others provided me. The time I spent in Minnesota will always hold a special place in my heart, and my family and I are excited about returning to the Twin Cities for the induction ceremony."
We all know why Chuck has been avoiding us. It's the reason why they only let you buy two hot dogs at a time on Dollar Dog Night. The infamous Chuck Knoblauch Incident.
But please, for the love of god, DON'T THROW THINGS AT CHUCK KNOBLAUCH. Don't boo him either. I think he got the message that Twins fans didn't appreciate that he demanded a trade to "a contender" after seven-season with the Twins, including winning a World Series his rookie year. I don't even particularly like the guy (he followed me, unfollowed me, and then blocked me on Twitter... three times), but I'm defending him. He was an excellent player for the Twins, and is a huge part of Twins history. He is absolutely worthy of this honor. Let's show him we are thankful.