Minnesota Twins

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Minnesota Twins </br> Established 1901 </br> Based in Minneapolis/St. Paul since 1961
Image:TwinsLogo.png</br> Team Logo Image:TwinsIcon.PNG</br> Cap Insignia
Major league affiliations
Current uniform
Retired Numbers 3,6,14,29,34
Name
  • Minnesota Twins (1961–present)
  • Washington Senators or Nationals (1901-1960)

*Nickname originally "Nationals"; alternate nickname "Senators" gained favor over the years but was not acknowledged on uniforms until 1959

Ballpark
Major league titles
World Series titles (3) 1991 • 1987 • 1924
AL Pennants (6) 1991 • 1987 • 1965 • 1933</br>1925 • 1924
Central Division titles (4) 2006 • 2004 • 2003 • 2002
West Division titles (4) 1991 • 1987 • 1970 • 1969
Wild card berths (0) None

The Minnesota Twins are a Major League Baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are in the Central Division of the American League.

Contents

[edit] Franchise history

The franchise originated in Washington, D.C. in 1901 when the American League was formed, and played there through the 1960 season.

[edit] Washington Nationals/Senators, 1901-1960

The Washington ballclub was known by two nicknames, the Nationals and the Senators, for most of its history prior to moving to Minnesota. The team was called the Senators from 1901-04. Before the 1905 season team owner Thomas C. Noyes asked a group of sports editors to come up with a new name, they chose Nationals. From 1905 to 1906 the team actually wore "Nationals" on their jerseys, the first team to do so. Otherwise, the jerseys either read "Washington" or carried a plain block "W". Newspaper articles for decades used the names "Senators" and "Nationals" (or "Nats") interchangeably, often within the same article. Baseball guides even said "Nationals or Senators" when listing the nickname. By the 1950s, "Nationals" was pretty much passe. Following the 1956 season, owner Calvin Griffith decided to officially change the name to Senators, but it wasn't until 1959 the word "Senators" finally appeared on their shirts. They and their expansion-replacement in 1961 would remain officially the "Senators" for good, although space-saving headline writers continued to refer to them as "Nats" frequently. (Today, the Washington Nationals of the National League use this name.)

During the period 1907 to 1927, the team's line up boasted the presence of Walter "The Big Train" Johnson and they won the 1924 World Series. They also appeared in the 1925 and 1933 Series and came very close in 1945. After that, the team fell into mediocrity quickly. That, along with its poor early years, resulted in the team being remembered mostly for its failures rather than its successes. During one portion of its history, the team was so notoriously inept that it inspired San Francisco Chronicle columnist Charley Dryden to joke: "Washington: First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League." This was a play on Light Horse Harry Lee's remembrance of George Washington: "First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." The team's difficulties on the field also inspired the book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant (see below).

Image:1924worldseries.jpg
Washington’s Bucky Harris scores on his home run in the fourth inning of Game 7 of the World Series, October 10, 1924

It is falsely claimed that prior to the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro tried out for the Senators as a pitcher during the early 1950s. [1]

The team played its games at Griffith Stadium, sharing it with the Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues (who played some of their games there).

[edit] The Washington Senators in popular culture

The longtime competitive struggles of the team were fictionalized in the book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, which became the Broadway musical and movie Damn Yankees. The plot concerns a long suffering middle-aged fan of the Washington Senators baseball club, real estate salesman Joe Boyd, who sells his soul to the Devil and becomes slugger Joe Hardy, the "long ball hitter the Senators need that he'd sell his soul for" (as spoken by him in a throwaway line near the beginning of the drama). His hitting prowess enables the Senators to win the American League pennant over the then-dominant Yankees. One of the songs from the musical, You Gotta Have Heart, is frequently played at baseball games.

Team nickname: Nats, short for Nationals. Also sometimes called Griffs by inventive headline writers, in reference to the club owner.

[edit] Minnesota Twins, 1961 to present

The "Minnesota" designation, instead of "Minneapolis" (The Twins were the first professional baseball team to be named for a state rather than a city), comes from the fact that the team is intended to represent the twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul (and, presumably, the entire state). This fact is reinforced by the stylized TC logo worn on one version of their caps, and by their mascot, TC Bear. The name "Twins" derives from the popular name of the region, the Twin Cities. Owner Calvin Griffith originally wished to name the team the Twin Cities Twins,[citation needed] but was persuaded by the governor and other state officials to name the team for the whole state instead (unheard of at the time, though later the Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the California Angels -- now the Los Angeles Angels--, would follow their lead). However, the original "Twin Cities Twins" TC logo was kept. The cap was abandoned in 1987 when the Twins got a new look, however the "TC" logo returned to one version of the home uniforms in 2002, as did the team's original cartoon logo: two large twins representing Minneapolis and St. Paul shaking hands over the Mississippi River, which separates the cities.

[edit] 1960s: The Twins arrive in Minnesota and rise in the standings

The Twins were eagerly greeted in Minnesota when they arrived in 1961, and they advanced to the World Series in 1965, driven by the exciting play of superstar sluggers Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva. They were defeated in the 1965 World Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games, Each home team had won until Game 7, when Sandy Koufax shut out the Twins 2-0 in Minnesota. The Twins scored a total of 2 runs in their four losses, and were shut out three times, twice by Koufax. Although disappointed with the near miss, the championship drive cemented the team's relationship with the people of Minnesota. The Twins would wait 22 seasons to return the World Series, beating the St. Louis Cardinals in 1987.

[edit] 1970s: From first place to mediocrity

The team continued to post winning records through 1971, winning the first two American League West division titles. However, they then entered a decade-long slump, finishing around .500 for the next eight years. Tony Oliva and Rod Carew continued to provide offensive power, but Killebrew's home run production decreased and the pitching staff languished.

[edit] 1980s: Building a new home, a World Champion

In the early 1980s, The Twins fell further, winning only 37% of its games from 1981 to 1982. From their arrival in 1961 through 1981, the team played its games at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, a suburb south of the Twin Cities. The Mall of America now occupies the spot where the "Old Met" stood, complete with home plate and the seat where Harmon Killebrew hit a 520 foot home run. The 1982 season brought the team indoors, into the Metrodome, which is in downtown Minneapolis near the Mississippi River. After several losing seasons in the Dome, the arrival of 1980s superstars Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett electrified the team and sent the team back to the World Series. The Twins defeated the St. Louis Cardinals to win the 1987 World Series. The 1987 Minnesota Twins set a record for fewest regular season victories by a World Series champion with 85. This record was broken by the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals, who won the World Series after only winning 83 games during the regular season. While their 56-25 record at the Metrodome was the best overall home record for 1987, the Twins had an appalling 29-52 mark away from the Metrodome and they only won nine road games after the All-Star break. The Twins won more games in 1988, but could not overcome the powerhouse division rival Oakland Athletics, even though pitcher Frank Viola won the Cy Young Award in that year. 1989 saw a decline in the win column.

[edit] 1990s: From worst to first to worst again

The Twins surprisingly did quite poorly in 1990, finishing last in their division with only 74 wins. 1991 brought breakout years from newcomers Shane Mack, Scott Leius, Chili Davis, and rookie of the year Chuck Knoblauch, along with consistently excellent performances from stars Hrbek and Puckett. The pitching staff excelled as well, with Scott Erickson, Rick Aguilera, and St. Paul native Jack Morris having all-star years. The Twins defeated the Atlanta Braves to win the nail biting 1991 World Series (which is considered by many to be the greatest of all-time). Game 6 is widely considered to be one of the greatest World Series games ever played. With the scored tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 11th inning, Kirby Puckett stepped up to the plate and drove the game winning home run into the left field seats to force a decisive Game 7.

All three of the Twins' World Series appearances were decided in seven games, with the latter series ending in a dramatic 10-inning, 1-0 shutout by series MVP Morris. 1991 was also the first time any team finishing last in its division the previous year advanced to the World Series, with both the Twins and Braves accomplishing this unprecedented feat. In both this and the Twins' previous World Series appearance, the home team won each game, which had never occurred before. ESPN rated the 1991 World Series as the best ever played in a 2003 centennial retrospective of the World Series.

1992 saw another superb Oakland team that the Twins could not overcome, despite another excellent 90-win season. After 1992, the Twins again fell into an extended slump, posting a losing record each year through 2000. From 1994 to 1997 a long sequence of retirements and injuries (including superstars Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett) hurt the team badly, and Tom Kelly spent the remainder of his managerial career attempting to rebuild the Twins. In 1998, management cleared out the team of all of its players earning over 1 million dollars (except for pitcher Brad Radke) and rebuilt from the ground up; the team barely avoided finishing in the cellar that year, finishing just five games ahead of the Detroit Tigers and avoiding the mark of 100 losses by eight games.

In 1997, owner Carl Pohlad almost sold the Twins to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver, who would have moved the team to the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro - Winston-Salem - High Point) area of the state. The defeat of a referendum for a stadium in that area and a lack of interest in building a stadium for the Twins in Charlotte killed the deal.

[edit] 2000s: A perennial contender

Things turned around, and in 2001 to 2006, the Twins compiled the longest streak of consecutive winning seasons since moving to Minnesota, going 85-77 in 2001, 94-67 in 2002, 90-72 in 2003, 92-70 in 2004, 83-79 in 2005, and 96-66 in 2006. From 2002 to 2004, the Twins compiled their longest streak of consecutive league/division championships ever (previous were the 1924 World Champion-1925 AL Champion Senators and the 196970 Twins). Threatened with closure by league contraction in 2002, the team battled back to reach the American League Championship Series before being eliminated 4-1 by that year's eventual World Series champion Anaheim Angels. Their streak of three straight division titles, along with some bitterly fought games, have helped to create an intense rivalry with the Chicago White Sox in recent years, starting with 2000 when the Sox clinched the division at the Metrodome, and heating up especially in 2003, 2004, and 2005.

In 2006, the Twins came from 11 games back in the division at the All Star break to tie the Detroit Tigers for the lead in the 159th game of the season. With the Tigers having won the season head-to-head by 11 games to 8, the Twins needed a Tiger loss and a Twins win in order to take sole possession of first place and win the division outright, and got both on the last day of the season, when the Tigers lost their third straight game at home to the last place Kansas City Royals in a 10-8 game in 12 innings. This is the first time in major league history that a team has won a division or league outright on the last day of the regular season without ever having had sole possession of first place earlier. The magical season came to a sudden end, however, as the Twins were swept 3-0 in the divisional championship series, while Detroit went on as a wild card entry, beat the Yankees 3-1 in their divisional series, and went on to play the A's in the league championship series.

For the current team, see 2006 Minnesota Twins.

[edit] The future

For a long time, the Twins wished to replace the Metrodome with a new ballpark within the next half decade, claiming that the Metrodome generates too little revenue for the Twins to be competitive. In particular, the Twins receive no revenue from luxury suite leasing (as those are owned by co-tenant Minnesota Vikings) and only a small percentage of concessions sales; also, the percentage of season-ticket-quality seats in the Metrodome is said to be very low compared to other stadiums, and the capacity of the stadium is far too high for baseball. However, attempts to spur interest and push legislative efforts towards a new stadium repeatedly failed prior to 2006. The Dome is thought to be an increasingly poor fit for all three of its major tenants (the Twins, the Vikings and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football team). In fact, in addition to the Twins, the Vikings and Gophers both have new stadium proposals in various stages of development.

In October of 2005 the Twins went to state court asking for a ruling that they have no long-term lease with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, the owner of the Metrodome where the Twins currently play. In February 2006 the court did rule favorably on the Twins motion. Thus, the Twins were not obligated to play in the Metrodome after the 2006 season. This removed one of the roadblocks that prevented contraction prior to the 2002 season and cleared the way for the Twins to either be relocated or disbanded prior to the 2007 season if a new deal was not reached. On May 21, 2006 The Twins' new stadium received the approval of the House, with a vote of 71-61, and received approval from the Senate, with a nailbiting vote of 34-32. The bill moved on to Governor Tim Pawlenty who signed it during a special pre-game ceremony at the HHH Metrodome on May 26, 2006 on what will be the first home plate installed in the new stadium.

[edit] New ballpark

The stadium will be located in what is now a parking lot at the north end of downtown Minneapolis within walking distance of the Target Center. The Hiawatha Light Rail line will most likely be extended to the ballpark area with a possible connection with the proposed Northstar Commuter Rail. Preliminary plans call for a seating capacity of 42,000 seats and 72 suites. There will be approximately 34 bathrooms compared to only 16 in the Metrodome. The concourses will be open to the playing field with a view of the downtown Minneapolis skyline from every seat in the park. As of September 10, 2006, there will not be a retractable roof on the stadium which would add about $100 million on to the cost which is currently set at $522 million. This has received some objection due to the harsh game conditions in April and early May, and the resulting lost revenue. There is a possibility that should the stadium not receive a roof, heat can be pumped into the seating areas from a nearby garbage burner. The stadium will most likely break ground in the summer of 2007 and be completed in time for the 2010 home opener. With the new ballpark bill, a provision was signed into law that allows the state of Minnesota the right of first refusal to buy the team if it is ever sold, and requires that the name, colors, World Series trophies and history of the team remain in Minnesota if the Twins are ever moved out of state (a reaction to the loss of the Minnesota North Stars to Dallas in 1993).

[edit] Stadium and franchise instability

Over the past 10 years, the Twins have argued that the lack of a modern baseball-dedicated ballpark has stood in the way of producing a top-notch, competitve team, despite the fact that their current stadium, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, played a crucial role in their championship seasons of 1987 and 1991. The quirks of the facility, such as the turf floor and the white roof, gave the Twins a huge homefield advantage; the Twins won every one of their home games in those two World Series. Regardless, the Metrodome has often been considered inadequate — mainly because of its relatively low income producing power — and in the 1990s and early 2000s the Twins were often rumored to be moving to such places as Las Vegas, Portland (Oregon), the Raleigh-Durham area, and others in search of a more financially competitive market. The team was nearly contracted (disbanded) in 2002, a move which would have eliminated the Twins and the Montreal Expos franchises. The Twins survived largely due to a court decision which forced them to play out their lease on the Metrodome. In recent months, the instability of the franchise has finally settled: the Minnesota Legislature voted in May of 2006 to allow Hennepin County to avoid putting a stadium tax to county referendum, allowing construction of a new open-air stadium in downtown Minneapolis, which should ready for play by 2010.

[edit] Quick facts

Founded: 1900 in Washington, D.C. when that league became the American League.
Formerly known as: Washington Nationals/Senators (1901 to 1960)
Uniform colors: Navy blue, Red, and White. Two uniform designs: A light colored uniform (white home, grey road, both with navy pinstripes) and an alternative (or "Sunday") uniform (solid blue with red and white piping). Team logotype on front, number on back in red on navy.
Logo design: The word "TWINS" in red block print. The entwined letters "TC" (for Twin Cities) appear on the home uniform hats, and a stylized "M" appears on the road uniform hats. The word "MINNESOTA" appears on their road uniforms in red block print. "TWINS" (home) and "MINNESOTA" (road) are printed in white with red outlining on the "Sunday" uniforms. Until 1986, the Twins used a different logo with "Twins" on the uniform in red script, using a white shirt for home games and a light blue shirt for away games.
Winningest season: 1965 (102-60)
Worst season: 1904 (38-113) (Franchise Worst); 1982 (60-102) (Worst in Minnesota)
Longest win streak: 1991 (15 games, June 1 to June 16)
World Series record (series): 3-3. (Won series in 1924, 1987, 1991; lost in 1925, 1933, 1965)
World Series Home Record: 17-5. (8-0 at home in last two series, 1987 and 1991}
World Series Away Record: 2-16. (No road wins since 1925's Game 1)
Famous ballpark gimmick: Homer Hanky (1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006)
Owner: Minneapolis businessman Carl Pohlad, the third owner of the club (following Clark Griffith and his son Calvin).
Mascot: TC, introduced in 2001.
Team Song: We're Gonna Win, Twins, written by Dick Wilson, introduced in 1961.
Local Television: FSN North, WFTC-29
Commentary: Dick Bremer, Bert Blyleven, Ron Coomer, Roy Smalley
Local Radio: 830 WCCO AM (1961-2006), 1500 KSTP AM (2007-????)
Commentary: John Gordon, Herb Carneal, Dan "The Dazzle Man" Gladden, Bert Blyleven
Spring Training Facility: Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers, FL
Occasional Nickname: The "Twinkies"

[edit] Trivia

  • The team and the Metrodome were featured in the 1994 motion picture Little Big League.
  • The Twins are affectionately called the "Twinkies" by some fans. Despite the cream-puff sound of that nickname, the Twins have a reputation as a hard-working, hard-playing club. Former manager Tom Kelly and current manager Ron Gardenhire run and encourage a hard-nosed, fundamentals-first attitude toward playing and winning baseball games. The party atmosphere of the Twins clubhouse after a win is well-known, the team's players unwinding with loud rock music (usually the choice of the winning pitcher) and video games. The club has several well-known, harmless hazing rituals, such as requiring the most junior relief pitcher on the team to carry water and snacks to the bullpen in a brightly-colored small child's backpack (Barbie in 2005, Spongebob Squarepants in 2006), and many of its players, both past and present, are notorious pranksters. A new nickname has been introduced by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén calling the Twins "Piranhas" as they gobbled up wins in July through August in the 2006 season.
  • After Bernie Allen joined the Twins in 1962 as a rookie second baseman, Twins radio personality Halsey Hall claimed the Twins were the first Major League team to field a four-eyed infield (i.e., all four infielders wearing eyeglasses). The other members of this infield were: Don Mincher, first base; Zoilo Versalles, shortstop, and Rich Rollins, third base.
  • Although Minneapolis appears at first glance to be a "small market" city (3 million residents of the associated metropolitan area), the team routinely draws fans from as far away as Montana, Wyoming, and Manitoba. The Twins are also well-liked in Japan, where their small-ball style is seen as similar to many Japanese professional clubs.
  • Bob Casey was the Twins first public-address announcer starting in 1961 and going until his death in 2005. He was well known for his unique delivery and butchering of player names.
  • The Twins were the first World Series champion to lose three away games and still win the series by winning all four home games; doing it in 1987 and again in 1991. The Arizona Diamondbacks duplicated this feat in 2001, when they became the first National League to do so.
  • The Twins are the first team in Major League history to sweep the Player of the Month, Pitcher of the Month, and Rookie of the Month awards, accomplishing this feat in June of 2006 with catcher Joe Mauer, pitcher Johan Santana, and Rookie Pitcher Francisco Liriano.
  • It is yet to be seen whether Herb Carneal, John Gordon, and Dan Gladden on 830 WCCO will move to 1500 KSTP in 2007 when the team switches radio channels.
  • In 2006, the club became one of the most decorated in recent baseball history, with Justin Morneau's MVP following the AL Cy Young Award won by Johan Santana and the AL batting title by Joe Mauer. The last team to have three different players claim those three honors was the 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers with MVP Maury Wills, Cy Young winner Don Drysdale and batting champ Tommy Davis.

[edit] Baseball Hall of Famers

Elected at least partly on basis of performance with franchise as Minnesota Twins

Elected at least partly on basis of performance with franchise as Washington Senators

Other Hall-of-Famers associated with franchise

Molitor and Winfield, St. Paul natives and University of Minnesota graduates, came to the team late in their careers and were warmly received as "hometown heroes," but were elected to the Hall on the basis of their tenures with other teams. Jack Morris, another St. Paul native who came to the Twins late in his career, helping them win the 1991 World Series, has not yet been elected to the Hall. Catcher Terry Steinbach was another Minnesota native and former All-Star who came to the Twins toward the end of his career.

Cronin, Goslin, Griffith, Harris, Johnson, Killebrew and Wynn are listed on the Washington Hall of Stars display at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium. So are Ossie Bluege, George Case, Joe Judge, George Selkirk, Roy Sievers, Cecil Travis, Mickey Vernon and Eddie Yost.

[edit] Retired numbers

The Twins organization has never retired the number of a player that played his best years with the Senators.

Hrbek grew up in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington, and was always very close with Twins fans during his career.

[edit] Players

[edit] 40-man roster

As of October 3, 2006

Active Roster (25)

Pitchers (11)

Catchers (2)

Infielders (6)

Outfielders (6)

 

Extended Roster (18)

Pitchers (10)

Catchers (1)

Infielders (3)

Outfielders (4)

 

Coaches

(Image:Dlicon.gif indicates that the player is on the Disabled List)


[edit] Notable players

(^ indicates active with Twins) (% indicates active in MLB not on Twins)

[edit] All-Time Roster

Minnesota Twins all-time roster: A complete list of players who played in at least one game for the Twins franchise.

[edit] Logos

Image:Twins 6171.gif Image:Twins 7286.gif Image:Twins 87pres.gif
1961-1971 1972-1986 1987-present

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Minnesota Twins Historical Teams
1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Minnesota Twins Franchise
AAA AA A Rookie
Rochester Red Wings New Britain Rock Cats
Fort Myers Miracle
Beloit Snappers
Elizabethton Twins
Gulf Coast Twins
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