Twins leader Kent Hrbeck
There were three keys to the 1987 Minnesota Twins success:
- Power: First baseman Kent Hrbeck (34), right fielder Tom Brunansky (32) and third baseman Gary Gaetti (31) all hit 30 or more home runs, and center fielder Kirby Puckett added 28.
- Frank Viola: Viola posted a 17-10 record with a 2.90 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Bert Blyleven (15-12 4.01 ERA and 1.34 WHIP) was the only other Twins pitcher with double-digit wins.
- Hubert Humphrey Metrodome: The '87 Twins posted the best home-field record in the Major Leagues with a 56-25 record; they were 29-52 on the road.
The third key could easily be argued as the biggest key for any World Championship team. The '87 series went seven games, with the Twins winning all four home games at what was known as the "Homer Dome."
Greg Gagne was the only Twins player to hit a home run in the three games at Busch Memorial Stadium, where the Twins scored a grand total of five runs in those three games. They scored eight or more runs in three of the four games at the Metrodome. The exception was game seven, when they scored four.
The obvious unfair advantage the Twins received from the Metrodome was expressed by many over the years.
Scott Miller of CBSSports.com included several quotes about this in his September 2009 article "The Metrodome -- Baseball's historic abomination .. to many".
"This park should be banned out of baseball. If you lose here, or win, you're doing it on a Little League field." Billy Martin, New York Yankees manager 1985
"Disgrace to Baseball." Tony La Russa, Chicago White Sox manager 1984
"No question the dome was helpful. It was not a very friendly environment for visitors to walk into, and our guys took full advantage of it." Andy MacPhail, Minnesota Twins GM 1985-1994
"I don't think there ever was more of a home-field advantage in the history of baseball." Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame manager of the 1987 St. Louis Cardinals.
The fact that this team offered nothing much more than a home field, I rank them as the number 39 team out of the last 40 World Champions.