Minnesota Twins History: Ranking the Twins Managers

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Minnesota Twins History: Ranking the Twins Managers
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Tom Kelly managed the Twins from 1986-2001, longer than any other manager in Minnesota

On Thursday, the Minnesota Twins announced that the No. 10 jersey would be retired. The only person to wear that jersey since 1983 is Tom Kelly, who wore it when he joined the Minnesota Twins as a part of manager Billy Gardner's coaching staff.

For Kelly, the only Minnesota manager to lead the Twins to a World Series title, this honor is a little overdue. 

Perhaps they were planning on doing it to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the team's first World Series Championship, but there is no indication from the story on Twins.com. After turning things over to Ron Gardenhire in 2002, there have been plenty of opportunities to honor Kelly, who led the Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991. 

No doubt there will be a daily countdown at Target Field until it's "Tom Kelly Day" on Sept. 8—as the team did to mark Jim Thome's march to 600 home runs, and Bert Blyleven's induction to the Hall of Fame.

I'm hoping the team wasn't holding on to this gesture, only to bring it forth when they needed something to generate some attention around the team. The timing seems a little dubious after the team suffered their second worst record in Minnesota Twins franchise history.

Even after stepping down as manager, Kelly, who serves as a special assistant to the Twins, is still very involved with the team. From running drills in spring training to taking a turn as the color commentator for the Fox Sports North broadcasts, Kelly is to the Twins what Bud Grant is to the Vikings. 

Since the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota to open the 1961 season, the Twins have had 11 different managers leading the team. I ranked them based on how long they managed, their winning percentage, and their numbers of playoff appearances and World Series titles.

Things have changed since the Twins started play in 1961 with the formation of divisions and expanded playoffs, making it slightly easier to make the postseason. When Sam Melee managed the team in the '60s, he had to beat out the entire American League in order to earn a World Series berth.  Therefore, postseason appearances in the '60s are weighted more heavily than any others.

While it's impossible to tease that Kelly might not finish with the top ranking, it is possible that Gardenhire may not be No. 2.

Here's a look at ranking the 12 men who have managed the Minnesota Twins.

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