The Minnesota Twins and Washington Senators franchise has had its fair share of Hall of Famers and records. While the Twins are far from the storied histories of the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox, they’re far from some of the basement dwellers throughout the league.
They say that records are made to be broken, but some simply can’t. Some are impossible because the game of baseball has changed too much. Long gone are the days of pitchers throwing 300-400 innings in a season. On the other side, with how many more strikeouts are in the game, Miguel Sanó’s single-season strikeout record could be broken at any time.
With that in mind, here are the Twins records that will likely never be broken.
Career Games Played
Record holder: Harmon Killebrew | 2,329 Games
Why this record won’t be broken: Killebrew made his debut with the Senators at 18 years old. He stuck with the franchise through their move to Minnesota and played until he was 39, all but the final season with the Twins/Senators. Playing 21 seasons with the same team is simply unheard of in this age, and almost no players are able to make their debut at 18. Killer holds countless Twins records, but this one may be the most unbreakable of them all.
Record holder: Sam Rice | 183 Triples
Why this record won’t be broken: Rice played for the Senators from 1915 - 1933 before finishing out his career with one season in Cleveland; another lengthy career with a single team. He didn’t make his major league debut until he was 25 years old, but triples were his calling card his whole career. Rice not only is the franchise leader in triples but is also 14th all-time in MLB.
The league as a whole has seen a steep decline in triples over the two decades or so. There is less emphasis placed on getting the extra base, with teams preferring that players just stick on second and not assume the extra risk. Another record of a past age of baseball.
Single Season Batting Average
Record holder: Rod Carew | .388
Why this record won’t be broken: If anyone can it’s Luis Arraez, but we even saw the limits of his bat-to-ball expertise over the last few years. Arraez seems to be the last of a bygone player type, and if even he can’t do it, no one will. With an increased emphasis on OBP and power, along with the increased velocity of pitchers, players simply can’t hit for this high of an average anymore.
Games Played in a Single Season
Record holder: Cesar Tovar | 164
Why this record won’t be broken: There are no more tiebreaker games! As part of the latest CBA, MLB did away with game 163s and 164s, meaning it’s physically impossible for players to play more than 162 games in a season for a single team. An individual player could still get traded midseason and play more than 162, but without tiebreaker games, it won’t be happening for the Twins.
Record holder: Joe Nathan | 260
Why this record won’t be broken: With a decreased emphasis on saves, managers are smartly deploying their best relievers in other high-leverage situations, much like what the Twins did last year with Jhoan Duran. Without the need for a pure closer anymore, the impressive record will likely stand forever. Nathan broke Rick Aguilera’s record in his final season with the Twins, and third on the list is Minnesota native Glen Perkins at 120 saves, less than half of Nathan and Aguilera. Nathan won’t be a MLB Hall of Famer, but he likely should be.
Bonus Record! Anything and Everything Walter Johnson
Name a Twins/Senators pitching record, and 2-time MVP and MLB Hall of Famer Walter Johnson probably owns it. He even shows up on a few franchise batting leaderboards due to his sheer number of games, and the fact that he was a great hitter on top of his legendary pitching. Playing his entire 21-year career with the Senators, Johnson is widely thought of as one of the best pitchers of all time, so it’s no surprise he holds so many records.
Johnson holds the following franchise career records: WAR, ERA, Wins, Games (as a pitcher), Innings Pitched, Strikeouts, Games Started, Complete Games, Shutouts, Walks, Hits, HBPs, Wild Pitches, Losses, Runs, Batters Faced, WPA, and Adjusted ERA+.
He also owns the following single-season records: WAR, ERA, Wins, IP, Strikeouts, Games Started, Complete Games, Shutouts, HR/9, Wild Pitches, HBPs, Adjusted ERA+, and FIP.
To top things off, the sheer number of times his name pops up on single-season Twins leaderboards is impressive. Johnson holds each of the Top 8 single-season WAR seasons for the Twins, 9/10 ERA seasons, 7/10 Win seasons, 7/10 WHIP seasons, 4/10 H/9 seasons, 8/10 IP seasons, 3/10 strikeout seasons, 6/10 complete game seasons, 8/10 shutout seasons,
Oh, Johnson also still holds the MLB shutout record with 110. The next closest player has 90. He was one of the Inaugural 5 MLB HOF players. Man, this guy is impressive.
What records do you think should be included? I went back and forth on quite a few other Killebrew records.