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The Washington Senators were one of the original teams in the American League, but they found greener pastures in the American heartland. With the move of the team to Minnesota in 1961, owner Calvin Griffith changed the name of his club to the Twins in honor of Minnesota’s Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Unlike an expansion team, the Twins were competitive right away. With Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat, the team took a liking to its new home. Just four years after they arrived, the Twins won their first pennant. They would eventually lose the world title to the Dodgers in seven games, but the fans were hooked.
At the end of the 1986 season, Tom Kelly took the reigns as manager. In his first full season as the skipper, his Twins beat the odds and won their first World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals behind stellar pitching from Frank Viola and clutch hitting by the likes of local legend Kent Hrbek.
The 1991 season started without much hope. The 1990 edition of the Twins were the worst team in the AL. But with the help of St. Paul native Jack Morris on the hill, slugger Chili Davis and rookie Chuck Knoblauch, the Twins won their division, pennant and the World Series championship over the Atlanta Braves.
After the late 1990s brought meager records and slumping attendance, the Twins were on the short list to be contracted by the league. However, the team stayed afloat and the managerial title was handed over to Ron Gardenhire prior to the 2002 season. Gardenhire took this group of overachievers on a journey that included a divisional crown, a victory in the ALDS over Oakland and hard-fought, but unsuccessful ALCS against the Angels.
After many years of debate, the Twins were granted a new stadium by county and state lawmakers. Ground was broken in 2007 on a site just north of downtown. The Twins are expected to open their new ballpark in April of 2010.