clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Greatest Minnesota Twins: The Twinkie Town Definitive List (Round 6)

Joseph Patrick Mauer

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Rounds 1-5 Results:

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

The first four Minnesota Twins in this poll hailed from Idaho, Chicago, Panama, and Cuba—fitting for baseball’s strong international reach. Now, one of Minnesota’s own—Saint Paul, to be exact—rounds out the Twinkie Town top five with a landslide victory.

I have a sneaking suspicion that had not concussions robbed Mauer of years behind the dish and peak batting form, he would be at least a slot—maybe more—higher on this list. Now five years retired (where does the time go?!), it will be interesting to see Minnesota Joe’s first-year vote presence on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

The new entry: perhaps the most reliable hurler to ever toe the rubber in Twins duds.

Round 6:

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.
Twins - Angels baseball — Brad Radke delivers a pitch against Anaheim on his way to avictory Saturday night.

Brad Radke

  • For his first six MN seasons, Radke pitched for cellar-dwelling Twins clubs. That didn’t stop him from being staff ace, even racking up 20 wins in 1997 and finishing 3rd in AL Cy Young voting. From 2001-2006, #22 was reliability personified on much stronger squads. It wasn’t always pretty—the propensity for first-inning runs and gopher balls limited his ceiling—but his pinpoint control and maddening changeup made fools of MLB’s prodigious sluggers. In terms of career bWAR of any player wearing a Twins uniform, only Carew, Killebrew, Mauer, Puckett, & Blyleven eclipse him.

Poll

Greatest Minnesota Twin: Round 6

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Bert Blyleven
    (81 votes)
  • 30%
    Kent Hrbek
    (56 votes)
  • 18%
    Jim Kaat
    (34 votes)
  • 4%
    Torii Hunter
    (8 votes)
  • 3%
    Brad Radke
    (7 votes)
186 votes total Vote Now