Since the Washington Senators moved to the Twin Cities in 1961 and became the Minnesota Twins, the franchise has had good times and bad.
American League Champions in 1965, World Series Champions in 1987 and 1991, and six A.L. Central Division Championships have been the good…last year’s 99-loss season and the mid- through late 1990s gave us the bad Twins.
No matter what kind of season the Twins had, Twins fans always have had their favorite players. From Chili Davis to Eric Milton to Jim Thome—everybody has had their favorites.
Does your favorite make the cut?
When you think of the Minnesota Twins you think about Kirby Puckett.
Kirby’s No. 34 is one of the seven numbers retired by the Twins and he is one of only four players enshrined in Cooperstown wearing a Twins cap.
Puckett’s legacy was sealed in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series when he made that amazing catch against the Metrodome’s Plexiglas and his walk-off home run that extended the series to seven games.
“And we’ll see you tomorrow night!”
Before Kirby donned a Twins uniform, when you thought about the Twins you then thought about Harmon Killebrew.
Nicknamed "Killer" because of the way he made balls fly out of Metropolitan Stadium; Killer was the complete opposite of his personality; there wasn't a nicer man.
Killer crushed 573 home runs in his career and only 19 came not wearing a Senators/Twins jersey. Killebrew’s last season in the MLB was as a member of the Kansas City Royals in 1975, the same year the Twins retired his No. 3.
In May the Royals visited Minnesota when the Twins formally retired Harmon’s number while he was in uniform for Kansas City.
"Killebrew can knock the ball out of any park, including Yellowstone."—Paul Richards, Baltimore Orioles Manager
He put the ball in play a lot and that’s all he had to do. He did it a whole lot too.
Carew played 19 years in the league and he made 18 All-Star games during his tenures with the Twins and the Angels. He made the Hall of Fame the first time he was on the ballot, and has had his No. 29 retired by both the Twins and Angels.
By the way his career batting average was .328. Wow.
Oliva's loyalty is not found in today's game, but it was well appreciated by the Twins organization. He played 15 years in the MLB and every year he was a member of the Minnesota Twins.
Oliva made the All-Star game eight times and probably would have made more if knee injuries hadn't slowed him down later in his career.
For his efforts his No. 6 was retired by the Twins in the magical year of 1991.
The new generation of Twins fans only want to be surrounded by him, but veteran Twins fans know all about Bert the pitcher.
Known for his nasty curveball, Blyleven finished his career with 3,701 strikeout, which is fifth all time. Blyleven had two stints with the Twins at the beginning of his career from 1970-1976 and then came back from 1985-1988 where he was a crucial part of the 1987 World Series team.
Bert finally made the Hall of Fame and had his No. 28 retired by the Twins last year, when Twins fans realized Tom Kelly is a great commentator but Bert's still a fan favorite.
Before there was Joe Mauer, there was Kent Hrbek. Hrbek was the Twins' original hometown boy; he grew up in the shadows of the old Met.
He may not have been one of the best ballplayers of all time, but he had some muscle. Hrbek knocked out 293 home runs in his career which was all as a member of his hometown Twins.
Sweet Music! What may be the best Twins nickname of all time was given to Frank Viola and there was definitely music in the air when he toed the rubber.
Viola started his career with the Twins, winning a World Series and World Series MVP in 1987; one year later in 1988 he won the AL Cy Young Award.
A fantastic pitcher who sweetened the hearts of Twins fans, until he was traded to the Mets for the likes of Kevin Tapani and Rick Aguilera, who helped the Twins win the World Series in 1991.
Current Twins fans can really find respect for Gaetti; ever since Corey Koskie left there's been a third-base black hole for the Twins, but from 1981-1990 that was Gaetti's turf.
Gaetti made two All-Star teams, won four straight Gold Gloves from 1986-1989 and was the ALCS MVP in 1987.
He never really found the same success he had in Minnesota in five other big league stops, but his play made him a fan favorite in Twins Territory.
He only played one year for his hometown team, but St. Paul native Jack Morris made it a very memorable one. He made the All-Star game...and then there was the 1991 World Series.
Morris put the team on his back during Game 7 and pitched a 10-inning shutout, leading his team to a World Series championship. For his efforts he won the World Series MVP and Twins fans' eternal gratitude.
If you totally disregard his comeback to the Twins as a starter, Aguilera's career as a Twin was fantastic. Aguilera had the most saves of all time by any Twin until some guy named Joe Nathan broke that last year.
Aguilera made the All-Star game three times and was one of the few bright spots on those horrible squads in the 1990s.
He wasn't flashy, he was just a good ole boy from Eau Claire, Wisconsin—and that made Brad Radke a fan favorite a state over in Minnesota.
Radke was all about control and he always had that. He also always had a Twins uniform on, playing all 12 of his Major League seasons for the Twins.
Radke made the All-Star game in 1998, but he was a lot more valuable to the Twins than his accolades show.
Kirby Puckett started a stronger outfield tradition which Hunter continued. Hunter was the best defensive outfielder to patrol the green turf of the Dome; winning seven Gold Gloves in his Twins tenure.
Hunter was a two-time All-Star with the Twins; during the 2002 All-Star game Hunter robbed Barry Bonds of a home run, in turn giving Hunter immense popularity.
He started as a mediocre arm out of the bullpen, but then moved to the starting rotation and flourished. Johan was a strikeout machine with the Twins and he led the AL in strikeouts in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
The accolades stacked up for Johan during his time as a Twin. Cy Young Awards in 2004 and 2006, three straight All-Star games and a Gold Glove.
He hasn't found the same success as a member of the Mets, but his time with the Twins made him a fan favorite.
Cuddyer finally left the Twins organization this offseason when he signed with the Colorado Rockies, but he made a big impact on the Twins during his tenure.
Before Cuddyer departed for the Rockies, he played every position except for catcher. His defensive versatility made him a fan favorite and he was rewarded for his efforts by being the Twins sole All-Star last season.
The last few years have been a disappointment, but nobody can deny Mauer's popularity.
The easiest way to measure popularity is video game covers: Mauer's been on the cover of MLB: The Show twice. He's been the cover boy for Sports Illustrated twice too.
Throw in the fact he's a former AL MVP, four-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, three-time Gold Glover, three-time batting champ and that he's from St. Paul, Minnesota—it all adds up to being a huge fan favorite.