Minnesota Twins

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Template:MLB infobox Twins

The Minnesota Twins are a Major League Baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are in the Central Division of the American League.

Franchise history

The franchise originated in Kansas City, Missouri in 1894, moved to Washington, D.C. in 1901 when the American League was formed, and played there through the 1960 season.

Kansas City Blues, 1894-1900

The Kansas City Blues were a charter member of the Western League, a minor league at the time. Byron "Ban" Johnson, president of the Western League, changed the name to the American League in 1900 and major league status was awarded a year later. The Blues were champions of the Western League in 1898, taking the league by a game-and-a-half from the Indianapolis Hoosiers.

Washington Nationals/Senators, 1901-1960

The Washington ballclub was known by two nicknames, the Nationals and the Senators, for most of its history prior to moving to Minnesota. During Template:Daterange the team actually wore "Nationals" on their jerseys. Otherwise, the jerseys either read "Washington" or carried a plain block "W". Newspaper articles for decades used the names "Senators" and "Nationals" (or "Nats") interchangeably, often within the same article. Baseball guides even said "Nationals or Senators" when listing the nickname. By the 1950s, "Nationals" was pretty much passe. In 1959 the word "Senators" finally appeared on their shirts. They and their expansion-replacement in 1961 would remain officially the "Senators" for good, although space-saving headline writers continued to refer to them as "Nats" frequently.

During the period Template:Daterange, the team's line up boasted the presence of Walter "The Big Train" Johnson and they won the 1924 World Series. They also appeared in the 1925 and 1933 Series and came very close in 1945. After that, the team fell into mediocrity quickly. That, along with its poor early years, resulted in the team being remembered mostly for its failures rather than its successes. During one portion of its history, the team was so notoriously inept that it inspired San Francisco Chronicle columnist Charley Dryden to joke: "Washington: First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League." This was a play on Light Horse Harry Lee's remembrance of George Washington: "First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." The team's difficulties on the field also inspired the book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant (see below).

File:1924worldseries.jpg
Washington’s Bucky Harris scores on his home run in the fourth inning of Game 7 of the World Series, October 10, 1924

It is falsely claimed that prior to the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro tried out for the Senators as a pitcher during the early 1950s. [1]

The team played its games at Griffith Stadium, sharing it with the Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues (who played some of their games there).

The Washington Senators in popular culture

The longtime competitive struggles of the team were fictionalized in the book The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant, which became the Broadway musical and movie Damn Yankees. The plot features a middle-aged man named Joe Hardy who sells his soul to the Devil so the Washington Senators can win the pennant. One of the songs from the musical, You Gotta Have Heart, is frequently played at baseball games.

Team nickname: Nats, short for Nationals. Also sometimes called Griffs by inventive headline writers, in reference to the club owner.

Minnesota Twins, 1961 to present

The "Minnesota" designation, instead of "Minneapolis", comes from the fact that the team is intended to represent the twin cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul (and, presumably, the entire state). This fact is reinforced by the stylized TC logo worn on home caps, and by their mascot, TC Bear.

1960s: The Twins arrive in Minnesota and rise in the standings

The Twins were eagerly greeted in Minnesota when they arrived in 1961, and they advanced to the World Series in 1965, driven by the exciting play of superstar first baseman Harmon Killebrew. They were defeated in the World Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the championship drive cemented the team's relationship with the people of Minnesota.

1970s: From first place to mediocrity

The team continued to post winning records through 1971, winning the first two American League West division titles. However, they then entered a decade-long slump, finishing around .500 for the next eight years. Tony Oliva and Rod Carew continued to provide offensive pop, but Killebrew's batting average suffered and the pitching staff languished.

1980s: Building a new home, a World Champion

In the early 1980s, The Twins fell further, winning only 37% of its games in 1981 and 1982. Through 1981, the team played its games at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, a suburb south of the Twin Cities. The Mall of America now occupies the spot where the "Old Met" stood, complete with home plate and the seat where Harmon Killebrew hit a 520 foot home run. The 1982 season brought the team indoors, into the Metrodome, which is in downtown Minneapolis near the Mississippi River. After several losing seasons in the Dome, the arrival of 1980s superstars Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett electrified the team and sent them to their first World Series. The Twins defeated the St. Louis Cardinals to win the 1987 World Series. The 1987 Twins were unique from the standpoint that with their regular season record of 85-77, they became worst peforming team (winning percentage wise) to win the World Series. While their 56-25 record at the Metrodome was the best overall home record for 1987, away from the Metrodome, the Twins had an appalling 29-52 mark. The Twins only won nine road games after the All-Star break. The Twins won even more in 1988, but could not overcome the powerhouse division rival Oakland A's. 1989 saw a decline in the win column.

1990s: From worst to first to worst again

In 1990, the Twins suprisingly did quite poorly, finishing last in their division with only 74 wins. 1991 brought breakout years from newcomers Shane Mack, Scott Leius, Chili Davis, and rookie of the year Chuck Knoblauch, along with consistently excellent performances from stars Hrbek and Puckett. The pitching staff excelled as well, with Scott Erickson, Rick Aguilera, and St. Paul native Jack Morris having all-star years. The Twins defeated the Atlanta Braves to win the 1991 World Series. In both this and the previous Twins World Series, the home team won each game, which had never occurred before. All three of the Twins' Series were decided in seven games, with the latter series ending in a dramatic 10-inning, 1-0 shutout by series MVP Morris. 1991 was also the first time any team finishing last in its division the previous year advanced to the World Series, with both the Twins and Braves accomplishing this unprecedented feat.

1992 saw another superb Oakland team that the Twins could not overcome, despite an excellent 90-win season. After 1992, the Twins again fell into an extended slump, posting a losing record each year through 2000. From Template:Daterange a long sequence of retirements and injuries (including superstars Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett) hurt the team badly, and Tom Kelly spent the remainder of his managerial career attempting to rebuild the Twins. In 1998, management cleared out the team of all of its players earning over 1 million dollars (except for pitcher Brad Radke) and rebuilt from the ground up; the team barely avoided finishing in the cellar that year, finishing just five games ahead of perennial cellar dwellers Detroit Tigers and avoiding the humiliating mark of 100 losses by just eight games.

In 1997, owner Carl Pohlad almost sold the Twins to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver, who would have moved the team to the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro - Winston-Salem - High Point) area of the state. The defeat of a referendum for a stadium in that area and a lack of interest in building a stadium for the Twins in Charlotte killed the deal.

2000s: A perennial contender

Things turned around, and in Template:Daterange, the Twins compiled the longest streak of consecutive winning seasons since moving to Minnesota, going 85-77 in 2001, 94-67 in 2002, 90-72 in 2003 and 92-70 in 2004. From Template:Daterange, the Twins compiled their longest streak of consecutive league/division championships ever (previous were the 1924 World Champion-1925 AL Champion Senators and the 196970 Twins). Threatened with closure by league contraction in 2002, the team battled back to reach the American League Championship Series before being eliminated 4-1 by that year's eventual World Series champion Anaheim Angels. Their streak of three straight division titles, along with some bitterly fought games, have helped to create an intense rivalry with the Chicago White Sox during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

A new ballpark for the 2010s?

The Twins wish to replace the Metrodome with a new ballpark within the next half decade, claiming that the Metrodome generates too little revenue for the Twins to be competitive. In particular, the Twins receive no revenue from luxury suite leasing (as those are owned by co-tenant Minnesota Vikings) and only a small percentage of concessions sales; also, the percentage of season-ticket-quality seats in the Metrodome is said to be very low compared to other stadiums, and the capacity of the stadium is far too high for baseball. However, attempts to spur interest and push legislative efforts towards a new stadium have repeatedly failed. The Dome is thought to be an increasingly poor fit for all three of its major tenants (the Twins, the Vikings and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers football team). In fact, in addition to the Twins, the Vikings and Gophers both have new stadium proposals in various stages of development. Given the strong public opposition to public subsidies for sports stadiums in Minnesota, it remains to be seen if any of these proposals will move forward, thus requiring the Twins to go the route of the baseball Cardinals and Giants in paying for their own stadium.

Quick facts

Founded: 1894, as the Kansas City, Missouri franchise in the minor Western League. Moved to Washington, D.C. in 1900 when that league became the American League.
Formerly known as: Washington Senators (Template:Daterange), Kansas City Blues (Template:Daterange)
Uniform colors: Navy blue, Red, and White. Two uniform designs: A light colored uniform (white home, grey road) and an alternative (or "Sunday") uniform (solid blue with red and white piping).
Logo design: The word "TWINS" in red script. The entwined letters "TC" (for Twin Cities) appear on the home uniform hats, and a stylized "M" appears on the road uniform hats. The word "MINNESOTA" appears on their road uniforms in red block print. "TWINS" (home) and "MINNESOTA" (road) are printed in white with red outlining on the "Sunday" uniforms.
Winningest season: 1965 (102-60)
Worst season: 1904 (38-113)
Longest win streak: 1991 (15 games, Template:Daterange)
Western League pennants won (1): 1898
Famous ballpark gimmick: Homer Hankie (1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004)
Owner: Minneapolis businessman Carl Pohlad, the third owner of the club (following Clark Griffith and his son Calvin).
Mascot: T.C. Bear, introduced in 2001.
  • The Twins are affectionately called the "Twinkies" by some fans. Despite the cream-puff sound of that nickname, the Twins have a reputation as a hard-working, hard-playing club. Former manager Tom Kelly and current manager Ron Gardenhire run and encourage a hard-nosed, fundamentals-first attitude toward playing and winning baseball games. The party atmosphere of the Twins clubhouse after a win is well-known, the team's players unwinding with loud rock music (usually the choice of the winning pitcher) and video games. The club has several well-known, harmless hazing rituals, such as requiring the most junior relief pitcher on the team to carry water and snacks to the bullpen in a bright pink Barbie backpack, and many of its players, both past and present, are notorious pranksters.
  • Although Minneapolis appears at first glance to be a "small market" city (3 million residents of the associated metropolitan area), the team routinely draws fans from as far away as Montana and Wyoming.

Baseball Hall of Famers

Current roster

Minnesota Twins roster

Minor league affiliations

See also

External links


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de:Minnesota Twins es:Minnesota Twins ja:ミネソタ・ツインズ sv:Minnesota Twins