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Greatest Minnesota Twins: The Twinkie Town Definitive List (Round 5)

Tony O!

Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Rounds 1-4 Results:

  1. Harmon Killebrew
  2. Kirby Puckett
  3. Rod Carew
  4. Tony Oliva

Ladies and gentlemen, we have an official Minnesota Twins Mount Rushmore. Stand and stare, argue over placement, and enjoy an ice cream cone in its presence before heading to Bear Country USA or Deadwood.

Though MN’s own Mauer enjoyed his strongest showing yet, he was edged out by the Cuban sensation who found a forever home in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. I can assure you a Cubano will be consumed in his honor this week.

The new entry: more than likely, the reason you are reading this blog today.

Round 5:

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.
GIANTS04001_CAG.JPG Minnesota Twins’s centerfielder, Torii Hunter makes a diving catch on a Rich Aurilia hit to center field in the bottom of the first inning of play at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, Ca., on Tuesday, June 3, 2003. The game was Photo By Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Torii Hunter

  • After nearly a decade (1993-2000) of being doormats, the Twins became competitive again in 2001 and Torii Hunter was the face of the franchise. His sparkling center field defense, solid bat, infectious smile, and competitive fire were reminiscent of predecessor Puckett. Torii’s Twins took home four division titles and the rise to prominence can be thanked for this website’s very existence. #48 returned in 2015 after a similar slump (2011-2014)—and Minnesota immediately became contenders.

Poll

Greatest Minnesota Twin: Round 5

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Joe Mauer
    (152 votes)
  • 25%
    Bert Blyleven
    (71 votes)
  • 5%
    Kent Hrbek
    (16 votes)
  • 11%
    Jim Kaat
    (32 votes)
  • 2%
    Torii Hunter
    (8 votes)
279 votes total Vote Now