One of the most endearing—and enduring—conversations within any baseball franchise is “who is the greatest player in team history?” It’s a talking point that spans generations, positions, skill sets, and intangibles. This offseason, I’ll be giving Twinkie Town faithful—or whoever happens to drop in—the ability to settle those arguments once and for all.
In a setup similar—probably copyright infringement in a court of law—to the previous top prospect voting, we’ll start with five of the brightest Minnesota Twins (1961-Present) superstars. Poll voting begins on Tuesday, ends on Sunday, and the following Tuesday the Round 1 winner will be crowned and another top player added to the fray. No parameters for this voting—whatever constitutes “biggest superstar” is entirely up to you. The crowd-sourcing nature of the poll will take care of the rest.
One caveat: I am limiting my selections to those who played on the Twins for at least five seasons. So, no Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield, Jim Thome, or Nelson Cruz types on this list.
Without further ado, here are the first five Twins luminaries…
- The standard of baseball slugging prowess. Eight 40+ home run seasons—573 in total. The stance, swing, and demeanor your dad—perhaps grandpa—copied in 1960s/70s Little League. As sweet and giving of a man off the field as he was ferocious with the lumber on it.
- Perhaps the best pure batsman in Twins history. Career .328 BA and 3,053 hits—plus a 1977 assault on the mythical .400 batting average that came up just short (.388).
- An all-around spark plug (.318 BA, 2,304 H, 207 HR, 134 SB) who powered the Twins to their first two World Series championships in 1987 and 1991. His knack for being at his best in the biggest situations was never more apparent than Game Six of the 1991 World Series.
- From 1964-1971, Tony O was as good of a hitter as one could find in the American League—averaging .313 at the plate with a 140 OPS+. Only a devastating knee injury prevented his elite reign from continuing. After his playing days, Oliver was a Twins coach and remains a charismatic franchise ambassador routinely seen at Target Field.
- Born in St. Paul and drafted straight out of Cretin-Derham Hall High School, Mauer had perhaps the keenest eye and sweetest swing of any Twins alum. Not only dominating pitch-calling and baserunner-nabbing behind the plate, his offensive production—three batting titles, one AL MVP award, .308 BA, 124 OPS+—was unprecedented for a backstop.
Greatest Minnesota Twin: Round 1
This poll is closed