Last week I asked you guys to write about who your favorite Twins player of all time was. I thought it was a natural projection since the week before I asked you who your favorite terrible baseball player was. Good (?) news: There were no overlapping players in responses to the two FanPost prompts.
Here’s the great Twins you guys did say were your favorites.
The Dazzleman is probably the weirdest player of this bunch, and DakotaTwins openly acknowledged it in his post—but he sure wasn’t kidding about Danny being his favorite of all time. Born out of an irrational childhood belief in the value of a Danny Gladden baseball card, DakotaTwins never really found a new favorite Twin.
I still have a binder full of Dan Gladden baseball cards. Anytime I'm at a card shop I try to find a card that I don't own and have bought countless cards off of eBay to add to my collection. I made my wife wait with me outside the Metrodome three hours before the gates opened so that I could be sure to be one of the first in line to secure my Dan Gladden bobblehead. I custom ordered my Dan Gladden shirsey and wear it with pride. If I have to pick a number between 1 and 100 it is always 32. I was so attached to Gladden that after he left for Detroit following the '91 season I didn't even have a favorite Twin until Span showed what he could do in 2008. Sure, I liked different players, but I would never really say that anyone was my "favorite."
Big props to zkonedog for writing about one of the greatest players to put on a Twins uniform in the ‘90s and ‘00s, our man Brad Radke. Remember when he pitched all of 2006 with a torn labrum? zkonedog does, and listed it as one of his favorite memories in his post.
He summed up his affinity for Radke thusly:
Sure, Radke never had a sparkling ERA, always struggled with the gopher balls (especially in that darn first inning!), and often had days when his "stuff" just wasn't around at all. But he was consistent. Barring some serious DL stint, he'd always throw 200+ innings a season, get you 13-15 wins, and just be an overall calming presence to the pitching staff. Simply put, he was extremely reliable to two managers (TK & Gardy) who extremely valued reliability.
Yeah... As a Twins fan, that actually sounds pretty dang good right about now.
No list of favorite Twins would be complete without Hrbie, who Peazy33 wrote about as her favorite Twin of all time. She was the first one to write a FanPost, and I laughed for a good two minutes at the entire idea of it. It’s pretty short, so you should just read the whole thing.
Unfortunately, Rod isn’t at Spring Training this year because he’s still recovering from his heart transplant surgery and can’t fly yet. Get well soon, Rodney!
My first Twins game was against the Yankees in 1964. It was a day game. As we entered Metropolitan Stadium, my dad and I approached our seats along the right field line. The grass on the field was impossibly green. Tony Oliva, the best hitter and best right fielder in the game, patrolled that grass in front of us. He moved like a big cat and had a rifle for a throwing arm. When he batted Tony-O spent some time digging a trench, at the very back of the batter's box, where he braced his left foot. The arcing practice swings were followed by a straight, quick swing the put the ball in play on a line more often than not. That year Oliva led the league in hits, runs, doubles, total bases and batting average. He hit 32 home runs and posted an OPS (which was not measured then) of .916.
Man, Tony O brings out the feels. Good thing he’s never going to die!
It should come with little surprise that more of you wrote about Kirby Puckett than any other player, and even many of you who didn’t pick his as your favorite mentioned him. The charismatic Hall of Famer and World Series hero is arguably the most popular athlete in Minnesota history.
Devereaux might have Tony O as his avatar, but he wrote a beautiful FanPost about why, as he put it, "No one before or since has ever come anywhere close to replacing Kirby Puckett as my favorite Twin or ballplayer." It’s a beautiful post an interesting story.
Birthday that year. An envelope shows up in the mail with a Minnesota return address. Inside is a birthday card signed by Kirby as well as an autographed '91 Score card. It's no longer good enough for me to be a fan. I now seek to make others Kirby fans and Twins in general, walking away confused when if they don't convert...
Sometimes the best guy is a simple choice and so it is with the Twins. Some other might be in contention for greatest Twin ever (Killbrew, Carew, Oliva, Kaat, maybe Joe Mauer), to me Kirby was the best and most dynamic and had the biggest impact on the organization. Kirby was the best, most lovable, and greatest winner in Twins history so he gets my vote as the favorite. Simple as that.
Miss you, Kirby.
Interestingly enough, no one wrote about Harmon Killebrew. That makes me a little sad, but I wonder if it’s a generational thing?
Anyway, the nine of you who did write FanPosts are hardly a large enough sampling to be any sort of scientific. And not everyone had the time or energy to write a whole FanPost, I know. Hence, I gotta ask again...