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Updates

(Minnesota Twins)

2020 Season

Season Preview: The Twins surprised the experts by winning 101 games in 2019. They won’t win that many in a 60-game season, but 40 victories is not out of the question. Minnesota has depth and talent from one end of its roster to the other. Power hitters Miguel Sano, Nelson Cruz, Eddie Rosario, and Max Kepler lead the offense, while the pitching has improved with some new young arms.

2019 Season

Season Recap: No one in history hit more home runs than the Twin in 2019. They sent 307 balls into orbit and won 97 games to capture the AL East. Eight different players hit 20 or more homers, led by Nelson Cruz with 41, Max Kepler with 36, and Miguel Sano with 34 in just 105 games. All-Star shortstop Jorge Polanco was Minnesota’s best all-around player, with 40 doubles, 22 homers, and 107 runs scored. The Twins’ pitching staff featured five starters with double-digit wins, and closer Taylor Rogers saved 30 games. Unfortunately, Minnesota’s losing streak in the playoffs continued as they were swept in three games by the Yankees in the Division Series.

June 15, 2019: The Twins retired Joe Mauer’s number 7.

May 23, 2019: The Twins hit 8 home runs in a game for the second time in the 2019 season.

Season Preview: The retirement of Joe Mauer means the Twins will have new leaders on the field and in the clubhouse. Who will they be? The fans hope that three key players—Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, and Byron Buxton—all take a step toward stardom in 2019 and turn the Twins into contenders again. With exciting pitchers like Jose Berrios and Fernando Romero on the roster, Minnesota could make a run at first place in the AL Central.

2018 Season

Season Recap: The Twins could not repeat their fine performance of 2017 and it cost manager Paul Molitor his job. Several key players took steps backwards and no regular came close to batting .300. Veteran Joe Mauer was good in the clutch, but often came to bat with the bases empty. The team’s best hitter in 2018, Eduardo Escobar, was traded to Arizona. One of the few bright spots for Minnesota was the pitching of Jose Berrios, who is an emerging star. The Twins finished second in the AL Central, but won six fewer games than they lost.

April 12, 2018: Joe Mauer collected his 2,000th career hit in a game against the White Sox.

Season Preview: After making it to the playoffs in 2018, the Twins have set their sights on challenging for the pennant. They added a half-dozen solid veterans over the winter to go with their young everyday lineup, which includes Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Brian Dozier, Max Kepler, and Eddie Rosario. Joe Mauer and Logan Morrison will provide experience and leadership.

2017 Season

Season Recap: The Twin were the most surprising team in baseball. While many experts predicted they might lose 100 games, the team won 85 and earned a spot in the Wild Card Game. Joe Mauer led the team with a .305 average, while Brian Dozier was tops with 34 home runs and 93 RBIs. Veteran Ervin Santana won 16 games but could not beat the Yankees in their one-game Wild Card match-up.

September 12, 2017: The Twins hit home runs in each of the first seven innings of their game against the Padres. No team had ever done that before.

July 10, 2017: Miguel Sano reached the finals of the Home Run Derby, falling to Aaron Judge, 11–10. A day later, Sano played in his first All-Star Game.

2016 Season

November 1, 2016: Minnesota fans watched their club lose 103 games—more than anyone else in baseball. Among the few bright spots were great years by Brian Dozier, with 42 homers, and an All-Star season from super-sub Eduardo Nunez. The Twins traded Nunez at the end of July for pitching prospect Adelberto Mejia.

2015 Season

October 6, 2015: The Twins fought for a Wild Card spot until the final week of the season, but finished three wins short. Eight players reached double-figures in home runs, led by Brian Dozier with 28. At 39, Torii Hunter gave the team great leadership.

April 5, 2015: The Twins don’t have any hitting stars, but Joe Mauer and his teammates get the job done year in and year out. Can the team’s pitching match the hitting? Ervin Santana is the newest addition to a so-so starting staff. If not, Minnesota fans can still look forward to young stars Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton playing their way into the starting lineup this season.

2014 Season

November 1, 2014: After making the playoffs 6 times between 2002 and 2010, the Twins suffered four losing seasons in a row, including 2014. Manager Ron Gardenhire was fired after the season, but Minnesota fans pointed their fingers at other problems on the team—including a poor performance from team leader Joe Mauer. Bright spots for the Twin included a fine season from pitcher Phil Hughes and the development of young slugger Oswaldo Arcia.

September 23, 2014: Phil Hughes set a new record for the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in a season. He fanned 186 batters and walked only 16 for a 11.63:1 mark.

March 31, 2014: The pitching looks pretty good for the Twins in 2014, but the hitting has a way to go. Joe Mauer can’t win games by himself—at least not every game. Some good prospects are on the way, but in the meantime Minnesota fans will have to settle for watching Yosmil Pinto and Oswaldo Arcia grow into solid everyday players.

2013 Season

October 1, 2013: A 10-game losing streak in May doomed the Twins to a disappointing season. The offense was only so-so, while the pitching was something less than so-so. Joe Mauer turned in his seventh .300 season in 10 years, while Glen Perkins became one if the AL’s top closers, with 36 saves.

March 30, 2013: The Twins have good hitting as usual, but there are many question marks on its pitching staff in 2013. New pitchers Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey, and Kevin Correia may make the difference between a fun season and an ugly one.

2012 Season

October 3, 2012: The Twins had good hitting and good pitching at times in 2012, but almost never at the same time. That led to a last-place finish in the AL Central. Newcomer Josh Willingham had the best year of his career, with 35 home runs and 110 RBIs. Joe Mauer led the AL with a .416 on-base percentage. And Ben Revere stole 40 bases. The good news is that the team has enough talent to turn things around in 2013.

April, 2012: The Twins always find hitters that other clubs have overlooked. In 2012, newcomers Josh Willingham, Ryan Doumit, and Jamey Carroll will join Joe Mauer and (a hopefully healthy) Justin Morneau in the lineup. All of these guys can swing the stick.

More Go-To Guys

Senators superstar Walter Johnson had nothing to worry about when a batter hit the ball to center field. Clyde Milan was usually waiting for the ball before it came down. (American Caramel)

Wow! What a colorful ballpark Ossie Bluege played in! Do you think the artist got a little carried away? (Goudey Gum Co.)

These Hall of Fame postcards were for sale at Cooperstown for many years. The old-time players really liked to sign them. (Author’s Collection)

The Senators were very good at finding pitchers in Cuba during the 1940s and 1950s. Pascual was the best of them. (Topps, Inc.)

Roy Sievers signed this great old photo. He was the second Senator to lead the league in RBIs. (Author’s Collection)

I remember needing this card to complete my 1972 set. It came out at the end of the season, so it was hard to find. (Topps, Inc.)

This is a weird Torii Hunter collectible. It’s a poster warning people about the dangers of lightning. Like Torii says, it’s “one strike and you’re out.” (NOAA)

  • Clyde Milan — Outfielder
    Born: 3/25/1887
    Died: 3/3/1953
    Played for Team: 1907 to 1922
    Clyde Milan was nicknamed “Deerfoot” for his speed and agility. He was an expert at getting on base and led the AL in steals in 1912 and 1913.

  • Sam Rice — Outfielder
    Born: 2/20/1890
    Died: 10/13/1974
    Played for Team: 1915 to 1933
    Sam Rice’s lightning-quick wrists enabled him to wait until the last possible moment before swinging at a pitch. The result was a .322 career average and 2,987 hits. In 1925, Rice had 227 hits and struck out only 10 times.

  • Goose Goslin — Outfielder
    Born: 10/16/1900
    Died: 5/15/1971
    Played for Team: 1921 to 1930, 1933 & 1938
    Goose Goslin was one of baseball’s best power hitters. But he played in a large stadium, so he did not hit many homers. However, Goslin reached double-figures in doubles, triples, and home runs and knocked in 100-plus runs five years in a row.

  • Ossie Bluege — Third Baseman
    Born: 10/24/1900
    Died: 10/14/1985
    Played for Team: 1922 to 1939
    Ossie Bluege was a star for all three Washington pennant winners. He was a superb defensive player who could also handle the bat.

  • Buddy Myer — Second Baseman
    Born: 3/16/1904
    Died: 10/31/1974
    Played for Team: 1925 to 1927 & 1929 to 1941
    Buddy Myer played in the shadow of more famous AL second basemen during the 1930s, but few players were better at getting on base and coming around to score. Myer was the league’s top hitter in 1935 and batted .303 for his career.

  • Joe Cronin — Shortstop
    Born: 10/12/1906
    Died: 9/7/1984
    Played for Team: 1928 to 1934
    Joe Cronin was the best shortstop in baseball during the 1930s. He regularly hit .300 and drove in 100 runs. Cronin was named player-manager of the Senators in 1933 and led them to a pennant. He was runner-up for the AL MVP that year.

  • Cecil Travis — Shortstop/Third Baseman
    Born: 8/8/1913
    Died: 12/16/2003
    Played for Team: 1933 to 1941 & 1945 to 1947
    Cecil Travis began his career with a bang when he rapped out five hits in his first big-league game. Travis was drafted in the prime of his career; when he returned from World War II, he was never the same player again. Some believe Travis might have reached 3,000 hits had his career not been uninterrupted.

  • George Case — Outfielder
    Born: 11/11/1915
    Died: 1/23/1989
    Played for Team: 1937 to 1945 & 1947
    George Case was one of the best all-around athletes in team history. He led the AL in stolen bases every year from 1939 to 1943, despite playing with a nagging back injury. The pain led Case to retire from baseball at the age of 31.

  • Mickey Vernon — First Baseman
    Born: 4/22/1918
    Died: 9/24/2008
    Played for Team: 1939 to 1948 & 1950 to 1955
    Mickey Vernon was one of the most popular men in baseball, both with fans and fellow players. He won two batting championships and was an excellent fielder. Vernon was an All-Star five times as a Senator.

  • Eddie Yost — Third Baseman
    Born: 10/13/1926
    Played for Team: 1944 to 1958
    Eddie Yost was not a great hitter, so he made pitchers throw him perfect strikes before he would swing. The result was a ton of free trips to first base. Yost led the AL in walks four times from 1950 to 1956. When he retired he had 1,863 hits and 1,614 bases on balls. His nickname was the “Walking Man.”

  • Camilo Pascual — Pitcher
    Born: 1/20/1934
    Played for Team: 1954 to 1966
    Camilo Pascual was a star for the team in Washington and Minnesota. He used his hard-breaking curveball to win 20 games twice for the Twins and lead the AL in strikeouts each year from 1961 to 1963.

  • Roy Sievers — Outfielder
    Born: 11/18/1926
    Played for Team: 1955 to 1959
    Roy Sievers was one of the great power hitters of the 1950s. He slugged 180 home runs for the Senators in five years and led the league with 42 homers and 114 RBIs in 1957.

  • Bob Allison — Outfielder
    Born: 7/11/1934
    Died: 4/9/1995
    Played for Team: 1958 to 1970
    Bob Allison hit a lot of home runs, but when the ball didn’t clear the fence, no one ran the bases harder. He also hustled after batted balls in the outfield.

  • Jim Kaat — Pitcher
    Born: 11/7/1938
    Played for Team: 1959 to 1973
    Jim Kaat could make the ball curve right or left, or drop sharply on its way to home plate. The result was a lot of weak grounders. Kaat fielded many of those hits himself and won 16 Gold Gloves over his career. His best season for the Twins was 1966, when he won 25 games.

  • Frank Viola — Pitcher
    Born: 4/19/1960
    Played for Team: 1982 to 1989
    Few pitchers have ever had as many good pitches as Frank Viola. He could make the ball do most anything he wanted. In 1987, Viola led the Twins to their first championship by winning Game 7 of the World Series. A year later he went 24–7 and won the Cy Young Award.

  • Torii Hunter — Outfielder
    Born: 7/18/1975
    Played for Team: 1997 to 2007
    No one was more fun to watch playing center field than Torii Hunter. He caught almost everything hit his way and regularly reached over the fence to steal home runs. Hunter won seven Gold Gloves in a row with the Twins.

  • Joe Nathan — Pitcher
    Born: 11/22/1974
    Played for Team: 2004 to 2011
    When the Twins swapped catcher A.J. Pierzynski for Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano after the 2003 season, it turned out to be one of their greatest trades. Liriano became one of their best starters, while Nathan took over the closer’s role that spring. Nathan went on to save 261 games for the Twins and helped them reach the playoffs three times.

More Fun Facts

Is Joe Mauer still thinking about an NFL career? Probably not. (Black Book Partners)

Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison shared this card, which shows the 1963 AL home run leaders. (Topps, IN.)

  • TWO-SPORT STAR
    When Joe Mauer was in high school, he was named the top baseball and football player in the country. Mauer turned down offers to play quarterback in college for Miami, Florida State, Arizona, and Minnesota after he was drafted by the Twins.

  • WELCOME TO THE FAMILY
    While playing for the Senators, Joe Cronin met and married the niece of team owner Clark Griffith. Family ties did not keep Griffith from trading Cronin to the Boston Red Sox before the 1935 season.

  • SEVEN-TERM PITCHER
    After 15 years with the Senators and Twins, Jim Kaat went on to pitch 10 more season in the major leagues. He set a record by playing during the terms of seven presidents—Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan.

  • BIG-INNING BOB
    Whenever Bob Allison came to bat, Twins fans knew something special might happen. In 1963, he and Harmon Killebrew became the first teammates to hit grand slams in the same inning. One year later, he and three other Twins—Tony Oliva, Jimmie Hall, and Killebrew—hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs.

  • HOME WARRIORS
    The 1987 Twins had one of the worst road records in baseball—29–52—including losing their last five games in a row. Luckily, they were almost unbeatable at home. In the playoffs and World Series that season, the Twins won a grand total of one road game. But they did not lose once in Minnesota and finished the year as champions of baseball.

  • SEEING RED
    In a 1967 game at Metropolitan Stadium, Harmon Killebrew blasted a 520-foot home run—the longest in Twins history. The seat it hit was painted red. After the stadium was torn down, the seat was put on display in the Mall of America, which was built on the site of the old ballpark. It is still there today.

League Leaders

Goose Goslin poses for a photo in the early 1920s. He was one of the AL’s most feared power hitters at the time. (Exhibit Supply Co.)

This card is from 1939, the first season that George Case led the AL in steals. (Goudey Gum Co.)

Frank Viola’s nickname was “Sweet Music.” A viola is a string instrument that looks like a large violin. (Author’s Collection)

Walter Johnson relaxes before a game. No one was better for a longer period of time during the early years of the 20th century. (Author’s Collection)

  • Home Runs
    1957 — Roy Sievers — 42*
    1959 — Harmon Killebrew — 42*
    1962 — Harmon Killebrew — 48
    1963 — Harmon Killebrew — 45
    1964 — Harmon Killebrew — 49
    1967 — Harmon Killebrew — 44
    1969 — Harmon Killebrew — 49

    * Played for Washington Senators

  • Batting Average
    1935 — Buddy Myer — .349*
    1946 — Mickey Vernon — .353*
    1953 — Mickey Vernon — .337*
    1964 — Tony Oliva — .323
    1965 — Tony Oliva — .321
    1969 — Rod Carew — .332
    1971 — Tony Oliva — .337
    1972 — Rod Carew — .318
    1973 — Rod Carew — .350
    1974 — Rod Carew — .364
    1975 — Rod Carew — .359
    1977 — Rod Carew — .388
    1978 — Rod Carew — .333
    1989 — Kirby Puckett — .339
    2006 — Joe Mauer — .347
    2008 — Joe Mauer — .328
    2009 — Joe Mauer — .365

    * Played for Washington Senators

  • Runs Batted In
    1924 — Goose Goslin — 129*
    1957 — Roy Sievers — 114*
    1962 — Harmon Killebrew — 126
    1969 — Harmon Killebrew — 140
    1971 — Harmon Kilebrew — 119
    1977 — Larry Hisle — 119
    1994 — Kirby Puckett — 112

    * Played for Washington Senators

  • Stolen Bases
    1906 — John Anderson — 39
    1912 — Clyde Milan — 88
    1913 — Clyde Milan — 75
    1920 — Sam Rice — 63
    1937 — Ben Chapman — 35*
    1939 — George Case — 51
    1940 — George Case — 35
    1941 — George Case — 33
    1942 — George Case — 44
    1943 — George Case — 61

    All of the above played for the Washington Senators; no Twin has led the league in stolen bases.

    * Ben Chapman also played for the Boston Red Sox in 1937.

  • Wins
    1913 — Walter Johnson — 36
    1914 — Walter Johnson — 28
    1915 — Walter Johnson — 27
    1916 — Walter Johnson — 25
    1918 — Walter Johnson — 23
    1924 — Walter Johnson — 23*
    1932 — General Crowder — 26*
    1933 — General Crowder — 24*
    1953 — Bob Porterfield — 23*
    1965 — Jim Grant — 21
    1966 — Jim Kaat — 25
    1970 — Jim Perry — 24
    1977 — Dave Goltz — 20
    1988 — Frank Viola — 24
    1991 — Scott Erickson — 20
    2006 — Johan Santana — 19

    * Played for Washington Senators

  • Strikeouts
    1910 — Walter Johnson — 313*
    1912 — Walter Johnson — 303*
    1913 — Walter Johnson — 243*
    1914 — Walter Johnson — 225*
    1915 — Walter Johnson — 203*
    1916 — Walter Johnson — 228*
    1917 — Walter Johnson — 188*
    1918 — Walter Johnson — 162*
    1919 — Walter Johnson — 147*
    1921 — Walter Johnson — 143*
    1923 — Walter Johnson — 130*
    1924 — Walter Johnson — 158*
    1942 — Bobo Newsom — 113*
    1961 — Camilo Pascual — 221
    1962 — Camilo Pascual — 206
    1963 — Camilo Pascual — 202
    1985 — Bert Blyleven — 206**
    2004 — Johan Santana — 265
    2005 — Johan Santana — 238
    2006 — Johan Santana — 245

    * Played for Washington Senators
    ** Bert Blyleven also played for the Cleveland Indians in 1985.

  • Earned Run Average
    1912 — Walter Johnson — 1.39*
    1913 — Walter Johnson — 1.14*
    1918 — Walter Johnson — 1.27*
    1919 — Walter Johnson — 1.49*
    1924 — Walter Johnson — 2.72*
    1925 — Stan Coveleski — 2.84*
    1928 — Garland Braxton — 2.51*
    1988 — Allan Anderson — 2.45
    2004 — Johan Santana — 2.61
    2006 — Johan Santana — 2.77

    * Played for Washington Senators

Twins In The World Series

I love this World Series program. It was 1965, and there was a “space race” between the U.S. and Soviet Union. (Author’s Collection)

YEAR OPPONENT RESULT
1965 Los Angeles Dodgers Lost 4–3
1987 St. Louis Cardinals Won 4–3
1991 Atlanta Braves Won 4–3

Senators In The World Series

YEAR OPPONENT RESULT
1924 New York Giants Won 4–3
1925 Pittsburgh Pirates Lost 4–3
1933 New York Giants Lost 4–1

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