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Pick a Line-Up
Picking an all-time lineup for the Twins is no easy task. Here’s an attempt at filling a roster of Minnesota’s best.
C, Earl Battey
As the Twins all-time best backstop, Battey solidified his standing in franchise history with four All-Star appearances and three Gold Gloves. From 1961 to 1966 he threw out more than 20 attempted base-stealers per season. He died in 2003 of cancer at age 68.
1B, Kent Hrbek
Hrbek, who grew up in the shadows of the old Metropolitan Stadium, spent his entire 14- year career with the Twins. Hrbek went to the 1982 All-Star game and was a key player in the franchise’s two World Series Championships. His number 14 is retired by the team.
2B, Rod Carew
From 1967 to 1978 Carew was the Twins’, and MLB’s, most prolific hitter. His 12 All-Star appearances as a Twin, seven batting titles and career batting average of .328 make him an easy choice. Adding to his Twins legend is his 17 successful attempts at stealing home.
3B, Harmon Killebrew
Killebrew became one of the American League’s most feared power hitters of the 1960s, belting 40 homers in a season eight times. Killebrew had his finest season in 1969, hitting 49 home runs, driving in 140 runs, and winning the MVP Award. Also played first base and some outfield.
SS, Greg Gagne
Gagne played 10 seasons for the Minnesota Twins including on both of the Twins' World Series championship teams in 1987 and 1991. He was considered one of the American League's best defensive shortstops during his time with Minnesota.
LF, Tony Oliva
Oliva was selected as the 1964 Rookie of the Year, becoming the first player to win both the Rookie of the Year award and American League batting title. Oliva was popular with the fans and the media of the Twin Cities during his career, and was given the nickname "Tony-O."
CF, Torii Hunter
Multiple Gold Gloves, homerun power and fan appeal led to Hunter being named to this squad. His numbers progressively got better during his tenure with the Twins and his defense frequently amazed. Who will forget Hunter scaling the wall in Milwaukee to rob Barry Bonds of a homer in the 2002 All-Star Game?
RF, Kirby Puckett
Puckett’s gregarious personality and dynamic style of play endeared him to players and fans alike. He is the Twins franchise's all-time leader in career hits, runs, doubles and total bases, and his .318 career batting average was the highest by any right-handed American League batter in the second half of the 20th century. Sadly, glaucoma ended this Hall of Famer’s career early at the age of 35.
P, Jim Kaat
Kaat came to Minnesota when the Washington Senators moved to the Twin Cities in 1961. Kaat is still the team leader in wins and his prowess with his glove earned him 16 Gold Gloves.
DH, Randy Bush
While many good hitters played this role for the Twins, Bush stood out because of his longevity and knack for getting a key hit. His .287 average and 11 pinch-hit homers make him a valuable addition to this lineup.