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Greatest Minnesota Twins: The Twinkie Town Definitive List (Round 4)

Rodney Cline Carew

Minnesota Twins Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Rounds 1-3 Results:

  1. Harmon Killebrew
  2. Kirby Puckett
  3. Rod Carew

After the first two rounds of this series produced the expected Killebrew & Puckett top two, I thought the bronze medal position would be pretty wide open. Well, it turns out that the Twinkie Town voice definitively spoke, as Rod Carew was the landslide victor of Round 3.

While Blyleven’s K dominance, Mauer’s overall excellence, and Oliva’s ambassadorship are all impressive and will duke it out in the forthcoming rounds, Carew’s insanely-tuned eye, bat handling, bunting, and speed easily won the day here.

The new entry: a Senator southpaw turned Twin with an incredible baseball resume.

Round 4:

Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Indians Photo by: Diamond Images/Getty Images

Tony Oliva

  • 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, Oliva was a Twins coach and remains a charismatic franchise ambassador routinely seen at Target Field.
Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins

Joe Mauer

  • 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.
Minnesota Twins rookie pitcher Bert Blyleven struck out nine and didn’t give up an earned run in seven innings in a game Wednesday July 1, 1970, against Kansas City. Minneapolis Tribune (now Star Tribune) photo by staff photographer John Croft.

Bert Blyleven

  • When that tongue crept out from the corner of Rik Aalbert Blijleven’s mouth, it usually meant a swing-and-a-miss for the opposing batter. Possessing perhaps the most fearsome 12-6 curveball the sport has ever seen, Bert piled up 287 wins (242 complete games and 60 shutouts!) & 3,701 strikeouts (5th all-time in MLB) en route to a long-awaited plaque in Cooperstown. Post-playing career, “Circle Me” Bert became an iconic Twins TV color commentator alongside Dick Bremer.
Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Kent Hrbek

  • Big Kenny was a solid player—some thunder in the lumber (293 HR) and a career .282 BA. Defensively—especially the earlier, lither years—he was immaculate at 1B. T-Rex was “one of us”—born in Minneapolis, grad of Bloomington, entire career in MN pinstripes—who nabbed the final out of the first Twins championship in 1987 after his Game 6 grand slam got them there. Herbie’s affinities for fishing and cracking cold ones have personally endeared him to Twins Territory like perhaps no other.
World Series:Los Angeles Dodgers v Minnesota Twins, October 7, 1965 Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Jim Kaat

  • After 55 innings as a Washington Senator, Kaat made the journey to the Twin Cities, From 1961-1973, he was a fixture in Twins starting rotations. At age 34 he could have called it a career, but ended up hurling 10 more seasons in various locales! Kaat compiled 283 W’s and 16 Gold Glove awards from the mound, then parlayed that playing success into an equally robust announcing tenure. Not a year has gone by in which Kitty hasn’t popped into a broadcast booth somewhere. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022.


Greatest Minnesota Twin: Round 4

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Tony Oliva
    (100 votes)
  • 29%
    Joe Mauer
    (73 votes)
  • 13%
    Bert Blyleven
    (32 votes)
  • 13%
    Kent Hrbek
    (33 votes)
  • 2%
    Jim Kaat
    (6 votes)
244 votes total Vote Now