A classic bar-room sports debate centers around one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States. “Who is on the Mount Rushmore of [blank]?” It’s an extension of the “greatest players” debate, although you can also consider it to have an implied spice of “who was the most important” involved.
So, who should be on the “Twins Mount Rushmore”?
Right off the bat, Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett have to be considered locks, in my opinion. They are hands-down the two greatest players who spent (nearly) their entire careers in Minnesota. The Killer and Kirby were beloved on the Twins, as well as elite on the field. I think their connection to fans and performance probably make them the two most important Twins players ever.
With two spots remaining, it gets more difficult. Do you go with Rod Carew, who was one of the greatest few players in team history, but spent much of his career elsewhere? Or maybe Tony O, who was one of the best hitters in the league before injuries slowed him down? How about Bert Blyleven, one of the all-time great pitchers, or Joe Mauer, the hometown golden boy?
With one of my spots, I think I would put Sir Rodney in there. Carew spent over half of his legendary career in the Twin Cities, and he is one of the top tier of hitters in not just Twins history, but baseball history. He also has contributed to the franchise with his presence and wisdom long after his career ended.
In the “Teddy Roosevelt” spot, I’ve got to go with Joe Mauer. While there may be more deserving players based solely on their career-long performance, no one sticks out enough to be undeniable over Mauer. Mauer’s status as a lifelong Twin, as well as a native of St. Paul, on top of his incredible peak as one of the great catchers in baseball history leads me to conclude that he is the most important remaining Twin.
Killebrew, Kirby, Mauer, and Carew. Not a bad group. Can I get somebody to photoshop that?
Who would you put on your “Twins Mount Rushmore”? Would you go with someone like Bert or Oliva over Mauer? Or maybe a manager like Tom Kelly? Did I fail to mention a deserving candidate? Let’s see your suggestions below!