As a child, October 31 was a much-anticipated date. When else besides All Hallows’ Eve is scaring the bejesus out of people, gobbling copious amounts of candy, and sneaking peeks at illicit horror films quasi-encouraged?! Supposedly, my dad took 5-year-old me trick-r-treating during the Minnesota Halloween Blizzard of 1991 ™—mere days after Gene Larkin walked off the Atlanta Braves—though I cannot recall that adventure.
In that Halloween spirit, let’s look at some of the most terrifying experiences in Twins Territory for opposing players…
- Seeing Harmon Killebrew dig into the batter’s box and take his square, sturdy stance.
- Accidentally leaving a ball middle-in to Brian Dozier.
- Trying to throw a pitch anywhere near the strike zone that Kirby Puckett couldn’t rake.
- Plunking Miguel Sano and seeing him charge the mound.
- Facing Royce Lewis with the pond full of ducks.
- Desperately searching for a fly ball against the Metrodome’s white roof.
- Playing 3B and having Rod Carew square to bunt.
- Awaiting a Target Field RF wall carom that could be cement, padding, or limestone.
- Trying to make sense of Jhoan Duran’s 103 mph heater—then getting his 97 mph splinker.
- Having your knees buckled by Bert Blyleven’s bender (and knowing he’ll probably light your shoelaces on fire later).
- Barreling a ball to deep center field—but seeing Torii Hunter take off after it.
- Tracking the June/July 2006 Francisco Liriano cross-body slider.
- Gunning for an extra base as Michael Cuddyer fields the ball and pivots to fire.
- Expecting a Johan Santana fastball but instead receiving the circle-change that looks identical coming out of his hand.
In baseball parlance, all the above are just as scary as Michael, Jason, or Freddy. Drop your own Minnesota Twins terrifiers in the comments if you dare!