Hello and welcome to yet another Friday discussion! This week, I’ve got an extra-contentious prompt to help get you through to the weekend: Who do you consider to be the all-time face of the Twins franchise?
I have to admit, this isn’t really my prompt. MLB Network sparked the thought with this tweet that I bookmarked from a couple of weeks ago.
So, who will it be? There’s no shortage of candidates for the Twins, nor is there a grand-slam consensus pick.
In one corner, we have the first big star of the franchise and one of the brightest they’ve ever had. There is a strong argument to be made for Harmon Killebrew, with his quiet demeanor and country strength. An undisputed legend of not just the Twins, but of the game of baseball. A man spoken in awe of not only for his performance on the baseball field, but also for his temperament off of it.
On another hand, there’s an argument to be made for Kirby Puckett. The spark-plug centerfielder was the heart and soul of both World Series teams, and made it all the way to the Hall of Fame despite an untimely end to his career.
Thirdly, we have Joe Mauer. The St. Paul boy who rose to a peak that few catchers have ever been even close to reaching, all in the uniform of his hometown team. The man who played out his career in his home state, even as he struggled with his health.
Another choice may be Terry Mulholland. I’m sure you’ll see Sandwiches saying something of the sort in the comment section today. I’m sure that there’s some other choices that will get thrown out there as well.
My pick is Joe Mauer. This is, admittedly, at least partially due to my age, being just old enough to remember his career from the early days. The Twins didn’t find much playoff success in his career (not for lack of performance on his part), and there was some sad years following the concussions, but I would be surprised if anyone ever surpasses Joe as the premier Twin in my mind. The one-of-us status and friendly demeanor definitely play heavily into this. For 15 years, Joe made it feel like you were turning on the TV and watching an old family friend on the field. Not to mention the elite level of performance that he reached (I’ll die on the hill that, at his peak, he was better than any other catcher has ever been). He played out his entire career with the Twins, he married another Minnesota girl, and then he went and had a set of twin daughters just to hammer the point home. Joe Mauer is the quintessential Twin.
Who is the face of the Twins?
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