Dear Derek Falvey, Thad Levine, & the Pohlad Family-
Hello. As I compose this letter, Byron Buxton was recently signed to a long-term extension with the Minnesota Twins.
In the spirit of the just-celebrated Thanksgiving holiday, I am grateful for the chance to watch Buxton as a Twin for the foreseeable future.
I began closely following the Twins franchise in 1995 (in ‘87 & ‘91, I was only old enough to wave a Homer Hanky and not much else). As such, I saw the tail end of Kirby Puckett’s magical Twins career. Even in that short amount of time, Kirby became my favorite Twins player. Not only was #34 often the most talented player on the field—he was ours. From the skinny kid who batted leadoff to the powerful slugger who put the team on his back in the postseason, Puckett spent his entire career in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and reached baseball’s pinnacle twice.
Since that time, I’ve been waiting for a similar Twins superstar—that player I watch his entire career and see him hoist a Commissioner’s Trophy (or at least perform spectacularly in the effort) wearing the same jersey as is on my back.
Torii Hunter looked to be that type of player—until he was granted free agency and spent the next seven seasons with Los Angeles & Detroit. Johan Santana had that kind of promise too, but was of course traded to the Mets and starred for three seasons with them before injuries curtailed a fine career.
After that, Joe Mauer & Justin Morneau had perhaps the best chance of my Twins-watching lifetime so far to accomplish the homegrown champions feat. Unfortunately, as you well know, debilitating concussion injuries rendered that potential reality a dream.
Since 2015, Byron Buxton has shown the talent to be a similarly special superstar. When roaming Target Field’s spacious outer regions or dashing around the bases like a man possessed, his talent is undeniable. Even in an era of analytics and measurements, numbers cannot begin to capture what he means to this ball club or its fan base. When he is one of the starting nine, the team has a far better chance of securing a victory than without him.
Put all this together, and it becomes desperately clear that some way, somehow, Byron Buxton needed to be a Minnesota Twin for years to come—and now is! His on-field performance is impossible to replicate and the excitement he brings to the ballpark and its fans is not to be understated. His departure would have been a devastating blow to a fanbase desperate for all the things I’ve described above—a fanbase that has too many times been told “wait ‘til next rebuild cycle” or “we just can’t take the risk”.
As such, I thank you again for keeping Byron Buxton at 1 Twins Way. Though of course nothing is guaranteed either way, I’d far prefer to “take my chances” with Buck than without him when it comes to bringing a championship back to the Twin Cities.