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The Twins are closing in on 50 seasons in Minnesota, and while some of those teams have earned the nickname ‘Twinkies,’ many others have delighted fans in the Twin Cities and across the Upper Midwest. Here’s a subjective list of the top five teams in franchise history, in no particular order:
The 1965 Minnesota Twins won the American League Pennant with a 102-60 record. The team lost the World Series in seven games to the potent Dodgers. The Twins led the AL in attendance that year when 1,463,258 fans came to see them play.
Led by new manager Bill Rigney, the 1970 Minnesota Twins won the Western Division with a 98-64 record. But the Twins were swept by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1970 American League Championship Series. Pitcher Jim Perry became the first Twins pitcher to win the AL Cy Young Award.
They won just 85 games in the regular season but it was enough to get them in the playoffs, where they used the Dome’s home-field advantage to roll to the World Series title – the team’s first in Minnesota and the franchise’s first since the Senators won one in 1924. They beat the Cardinals in a seven-game Series by winning four times at home. Manager Tom Kelly achieved the rare feat of winning the World Series in his first full season as manager.
The Twins went from worst to first to win their second title in four years with a 95-67 record. St. Paul-native Jack Morris made his one season in Minnesota count. He led the team in pitching and will go down in history for his 10-inning performance in Game 7 of the World Series against the Braves.
After facing talk at the previous winter meetings that they might be dissolved as part of MLB contraction, new manager Ron Gardenhire led the Twins to their first postseason since 1991. The team won a five-game series over Oakland before falling to the Angels in the ALCS. The Twins became America’s darlings for their low-budget, high-return style of play.