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The Minnesota Twins are an American professional baseball team based in Minneapolismarker, Minnesotamarker, and play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Citiesmarker area of Minneapolis and St. Paulmarker, Minnesota. They played in the Hubert H.marker Humphrey Metrodomemarker from 1982 to 2009, and will move to the new Target Fieldmarker in 2010.

One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Washington, D.C.marker in as the Washington Senators. In 1905, the team changed its official name to the Washington Nationals. The name "Nationals" appeared on uniforms for only 2 seasons, and was then replaced with the "W" logo for the next 52 years. The media often shortened the nickname to "Nats". Many fans and newspapers (especially out-of-town papers) persisted in using the "Senators" nickname. Over time, "Nationals" faded as a nickname, and "Senators" became dominant. Baseball guides listed the club's nickname as "Nationals or Senators", acknowledging the dual-nickname situation.

The team name was officially changed to Washington Senators around the time that long-time team president Clark Griffith died and his son Calvin took over the team. It was not until 1959 that the word "Senators" first appeared on team shirts. "Nats" continued to be used by space-saving headline writers, even for the 1961 expansion team, which was never officially known as "Nationals".

In 1960, Major League Baseball granted the city of Minneapolis an expansion team. Calvin Griffith requested that he be allowed to move his team to Minneapolis and instead grant Washington the expansion team. MLB granted his request, and the team moved to Bloomington, Minnesotamarker after the 1960 season, setting up shop in Metropolitan Stadiummarker, while Washington fielded a brand new "Washington Senators" that would also end up moving—to Arlington, Texasmarker to become the Texas Rangers prior to the 1972 season.

Through the 2009 season, the franchise has won 3 World Series Championships (1924, 1987, and 1991) and has fielded 17 American League Batting Champions.

Team history

Washington Nationals/Senators: 1901–1960

a time, from 1911 to 1933, the Washington Senators were one of the more successful franchises in major-league baseball. The team's rosters included Hall of Famers Goose Goslin, Sam Rice, Joe Cronin, Bucky Harris, Heinie Manush and one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Walter Johnson.

In the 1924 World Series, the Senators defeated the New York Giants in seven games. The following season, they repeated as American League champions the next year but ultimately lost the 1925 World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. After Walter Johnson’s retirement in 1927, he was hired as manager of the Senators. After enduring a few losing seasons, the team returned to contention during the 1930 season. In the 1933 season, Senators owner Clark Griffith returned to the formula that worked for him nine years before, and 26-year-old shortstop Joe Cronin became player-manager. The Senators posted a 99–53 record and cruised to the pennant seven games ahead of the New York Yankees, but in the 1933 World Series the Giants exacted their revenge on the Senators, winning in five games. Following the loss, the Senators sank all the way to seventh place in 1934 as attendance began to fall. Despite the return of Harris as manager in 1935–42 and 1950–54, Washington remained mostly a losing ball club for the next 25 years, contending for the pennant only during World War II. Washington came to be known as "first in war, first in peace, and last in the American League", with their hard luck being crucial to the plot of the musical and film Damn Yankees. In 1954, the Senators signed future Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew. By 1959, he was the Senators’ regular third baseman, leading the league with 42 home runs and earning a starting spot on the American League All-Star team.

After Griffith's death in 1955, his nephew and adopted son Calvin took over the team presidency. He sold Griffith Stadiummarker to the city of Washington and leased it back, leading to speculation that the team was planning to move, as the Boston Braves, St. Louis Browns and Philadelphia Athletics had all done in the early 1950s. By 1957, after an early flirtation with San Franciscomarker, Griffith began courting Minneapolis-St. Paul, MNmarker, a prolonged process that resulted in his rejecting the Twin Cities' first offer before agreeing to relocate. The American League opposed the move at first, but in a deal was reached: The Senators would move and would be replaced with an expansion Senators team for 1961. Thus, the old Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins.

Minnesota Twins: 1961 to present

The name "Twins" was derived from the popular name of the region, the Twin Cities. The NBA's Minneapolis Lakers had re-located to Los Angelesmarker in 1960 due to poor attendance which was perceived to have been caused in part by the reluctance of fans in St. Paul to support the team. Griffith was determined not to alienate fans in either city by naming the team after one city or the other, so the team became known as the Minnesota Twins. However, the original "Twin Cities Twins" TC logo was kept, and the team logo showed two men, one in a Minneapolis Millers uniform and one in a St. Paul Saints uniform, shaking hands across the Mississippi River. This remained the team's primary logo until 1987, when the team felt it was established enough to put an "M" on its cap without having St. Paul fans think it stood for Minneapolis.

The Twins were eagerly greeted in Minnesota when they arrived in 1961. They brought a nucleus of talented players: Killebrew, Bob Allison, Camilo Pascual, Zoilo Versalles, Jim Kaat, Earl Battey, and Lenny Green. The Twins won 91 games in 1962, the most by the franchise since 1933. The Twins won 102 games and the American League pennant in 1965, but were defeated in the 1965 World Series by the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games. Heading into the final weekend of the 1967 season, the Twins, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Detroit Tigers all had a shot at clinching the American League championship. The Twins and the Red Sox started the weekend tied for 1st place and played against each other in Boston for the final three games of the season. The Sox won two out of the three games, clinching their first pennant since 1946 with a 92–70 record. The Twins and Tigers both finished a game behind, at 91–71, while the White Sox were three games out, at 89–73. In 1969, new manager Billy Martin pushed aggressive base running, with Rod Carew stealing home seven times; the Twins won the American League West, but lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the first American League Championship Series. After a pennant win in 1970, the team entered an eight-year dry spell, finishing around the .500 mark. Killebrew departed after 1974. Owner Calvin Griffith faced financial difficulty with the start of free agency. Because of this, Lyman Bostock and Larry Hisle left as free agents after the 1977 season and prompted a trade of Carew after the 1978 season.

In the early 1980s, the Twins moved into the Hubert H.marker Humphrey Metrodomemarker, which they shared with the Minnesota Vikings, while the team continued to struggle. In 1984, Griffith sold the Twins to Carl Pohlad. The Twins' new home hosted the 1985 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. After several losing seasons, the teams led by Kent Hrbek, Bert Blyleven, and rising star Kirby Puckett combined to return the team to the World Series, defeating the Tigers in the ALCS. Tom Kelly led the team to World Series victories in 1987 and 1991. In the latter, the Twins defeated the Atlanta Braves, 4–3, to win the 1991 World Series. 1991 was the first season that any team that ended in last place the previous year advanced to the World Series. After a winning season in 1992, the Twins fell into an extended slump, posting a losing record each year for the next eight years: 71–91 in 1993, 50–63 in 1994, 56–88 in 1995, 78–84 in 1996, 68–94 in 1997, 70–92 in 1998, 63–97 in 1999 and 69–93 in 2000. From 1994 to 1997, a long sequence of retirements and injuries hurt the team badly, and Tom Kelly spent the remainder of his managerial career attempting to rebuild the Twins.

In 1997, owner Carl Pohlad almost sold the Twins to North Carolinamarker businessman Don Beaver, who would have moved the team to the Piedmont Triad area. From 2001 to 2006, the Twins compiled the longest streak of consecutive winning seasons since moving to Minnesota. 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. In 2006, the Twins won the division on the last day of the regular season without ever having had sole possession of first place earlier, but lost to the Oakland Athletics in the ALDS. In 2006, Ozzie Guillén introduced a new nickname, calling the Twins "little Piranhas". In response, the Twins sometimes played an animated sequence of piranhas munching under that caption, in situations where the Twins were scoring runs via "small ball". In 2008, the Twins finished the 162-game season tied with the White Sox, who won a rained out game against the Tigers to face the Twins in Chicago in a one-game playoff to reach the ALDS. The Twins lost the game and missed the playoffs. Beginning with the 2009 season, the sites for any tiebreaker game is determined by the regular season head-to-head record between the teams involved. In 2009, the Twins used this to their advantage when they won the AL Central in 2009 after tying the Detroit Tigers at the end of the regular season and winning a 12-inning marathon tiebreaker on a walk-off hit by Alexi Casilla. They went on to lose three straight games to the New York Yankees, failing to reach the American League Championship Series. Joe Mauer became only the second catcher in 33 years to win the AL MVP award in 2009.

Contraction and the future

Over the past 10 years, the Twins have argued that the lack of a modern baseball-dedicated ballpark has stood in the way of producing a top-notch, competitive team, despite the fact that their current stadium, the Hubert H.marker Humphrey Metrodomemarker, played a crucial role in their championship seasons of 1987 and 1991. The quirks of the facility, such as the turf floor and the white roof, gave the Twins a home-field advantage; the team won every one of their home games in their two World Series victories. Regardless, the Metrodome has often been considered inadequate mainly because of its relatively low income-producing power; in the 1990s and early 2000s the Twins were often rumored to be moving to such places as New Jerseymarker, Las Vegas, Portlandmarker, Oregonmarker, the RaleighmarkerDurhammarker area, and others in search of a more financially competitive market. The team was nearly contracted (disbanded) in 2002, a move which would have eliminated the Twins and the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals) franchises. The Twins survived largely due to a court decision which forced them to play out their lease on the Metrodome. In October 2005, the Twins went back to state court asking for a ruling that they have no long-term lease with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, the owner of the Metrodome where the Twins currently play. In February 2006, the court did rule favorably on the Twins motion. Thus, the Twins were not obligated to play in the Metrodome after the 2006 season. This removed one of the roadblocks that prevented contraction prior to the 2002 season and cleared the way for the Twins to either be relocated or disbanded prior to the 2007 season if a new deal was not reached.

Target Field



Twins ownership wished to move from the Metrodome to a site behind the Target Centermarker, claiming that the Metrodome generates too little revenue for the Twins to be competitive. On May 21, 2006, the Twins' new stadium, which would later be named Target Field, received the approval of the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate on the second-to-last day of the 2006 legislative session. The bill moved on to Governor Tim Pawlenty, who signed it during a special pre-game ceremony at the Metrodome on May 26, 2006. On January 5, 2009, owner Carl Pohlad died at the age of 93. Pohlad's three sons inherited the team, with Jim Pohlad assuming control of day-to-day operations and acting as principal owner. The Pohlad family has invested at least $185 million of their own money into construction of Target Field, and is expected to retain ownership of the team.

The Twins' future stadium is being built in a former parking lot at the north end of downtown Minneapolis within walking distance of the Target Centermarker. On September 15, 2008 the Twins announced that they had sold naming rights to the Target Corporation and that the stadium would be known as Target Field. The Hiawatha Light Rail line will be extended to the ballpark area; preliminary plans call for a seating capacity of 40,000 seats and 72 suites. There will not be a retractable roof on the stadium due to cost; this has received some objections due to potentially harsh game conditions in early April and October (similar to other northern pro baseball teams such as the White Sox, Cubs, Tigers, Indians, Red Sox, etc.) and the potential risk of resulting lost revenue. The concourses of the stadium will be wider than those in the Metrodome and will be heated.

With the new ballpark bill, a provision was signed into law that allows the state of Minnesota the right of first refusal to buy the team if it is ever sold, and requires that the name, colors, World Series' trophies and history of the team remain in Minnesota if the Twins are ever moved out of state.

Current roster

Minnesota Twins all-time roster: A complete list of players who played in at least one game for the Twins franchise.

Minor league affiliates



Baseball Hall of Famers

Molitor and Winfield, St. Paulmarker natives and University of Minnesotamarker graduates, came to the team late in their careers and were warmly received as "hometown heroes," but were elected to the Hall on the basis of their tenures with other teams. Both swatted their 3,000th hit with the Twins.

Cronin, Goslin, Griffith, Harris, Johnson, Killebrew and Wynn are listed on the Washington Hall of Stars display at Nationals Parkmarker (previously they were listed at Robert F.marker Kennedy Stadiummarker). So are Ossie Bluege, George Case, Joe Judge, George Selkirk, Roy Sievers, Cecil Travis, Mickey Vernon and Eddie Yost.

Ford C. Frick Award recipients



Twins Hall of Fame

Class of 2000 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Harmon Killebrew First Baseman 1961-74
Rod Carew Second Baseman 1967-78
Tony Oliva Outfielder 1962-76
Kent Hrbek First Baseman 1981-94
Kirby Puckett Outfielder 1984-95
Calvin Griffith President and Owner 1961-83
Class of 2001 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Herb Carneal Radio Broadcaster 1962-2007
Jim Kaat Left-handed Pitcher 1961-73
Class of 2002 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Bert Blyleven Right-handed Pitcher 1970-76, 1985-88
Tom Kelly Manager 1986-2001
Class of 2003 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Bob Allison Outfielder 1961-70
Bob Casey Public Address Announcer 1961-2004
Class of 2004 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Earl Battey Catcher 1961-67
Class of 2005 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Frank Viola Left-handed Pitcher 1982-89
Carl Pohlad Owner 1984-2009
Class of 2006 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Zoilo Versalles Shortstop 1961-67
Class of 2007 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Gary Gaetti Third Baseman 1981-90
Jim Rantz Director of Minor Leagues 1986-Present
Class of 2008 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Rick Aguilera Right-handed Pitcher 1989-95, 1996-99
Class of 2009 Affiliation Years w/ Twins
Brad Radke Right-handed Pitcher 1995–2006
George Brophy Front office executive 1961-85


Retired numbers

wide


The Metrodome's upper deck in center and right fields was partly covered by a curtain containing banners of various titles won, and retired numbers. There was no acknowledgment of the Twins prior championships in Washington, and several Senators Hall of Famers such as Walter Johnson played in the days prior to numbers being used on uniforms. Killebrew did play seven seasons as a Senator, including two full seasons as a regular prior to the move to Minnesota in 1961.

Image:TwinsRetired3.png|95pxdefault Harmon Killebrew

Harmon

Killebrew
OF-1B-3B: 1954-60 (WAS)

OF-1B-3B: 1961-74 (MIN)
Image:TwinsRetired6.png|95pxdefault Tony Oliva

Tony

Oliva
OF: 1962-76 (MIN)

Coach: 1976-78 (MIN)

Coach: 1985-91 (MIN)

Image:TwinsRetired14.png|95pxdefault Kent Hrbek

Kent

Hrbek
1B: 1981-94 (MIN)
Image:TwinsRetired29.png|95pxdefault Rod Carew

Rod

Carew
1B-2B: 1967-78 (MIN)
Image:TwinsRetired34.png|95pxdefault Kirby Puckett

Kirby

Puckett
OF: 1984-95 (MIN)
Image:TwinsRetired42.png|95pxdefault Jackie Robinson

Jackie

Robinson
Retired by

Baseball


Radio and television

As of 2007, the Twins took the rights to the broadcasts in-house and created the Twins Radio Network (TRN). With that new network in place the Twins secured a new Metro Affiliate flagship radio station in KSTP, 1500 kHz AM. It replaced WCCOmarker, which held broadcast rights for the Twins since the team moved to Minneapolis in 1961. The original radio voices of the Twins in 1961 were Ray Scott, Halsey Hall and Bob Wolff. After the first season, Herb Carneal replaced Wolff. Twins TV and radio broadcasts were originally sponsored by the Hamm's Brewing Company. In 2006, John Gordon, Herb Carneal, Dan Gladden, and Jack Morris provided radio commentary.

TRN broadcasts are originated from the studios at Minnesota News Network and Minnesota Farm Networks. Kris Atteberry hosts the pre-game show, the "Lineup Card" and the "Post-game Download" from those studios except when filling in for John Gordon or Dan Gladden doing play-by-play while they are on vacation.



The television rights are held by Fox Sports North with Dick Bremer as the play-by-play announcer and former Twin Bert Blyleven as color analyst. They are sometimes joined by Ron Coomer and Roy Smalley. Blyleven was suspended by the team briefly in for inadvertently saying obscene words on a live telecast; he did not realize the broadcast was live and assumed a second take of the segment could be taped.

Fox Sports North also produces Sunday game telecasts on WFTCmarker, "My 29" in the Twin Cities. A few of these Sunday games may air nationally on TBS. Some Twins games may also air on Fox or ESPN.

On April 1, 2007, Herb Carneal, the radio voice of the Twins for all but one year of their existence, died at his home in Minnetonka, Minnesotamarker after a long battle with a list of illnesses. Carneal is in the broadcasters wing of the Hall of Fame.

Bob Casey was the Twins first public-address announcer starting in 1961 and continuing until his death in 2005. He was well known for his unique delivery and his signature announcements of "NOOO Smoking in the Metrodome, either go outside or quit!", "Centerfielder, #34, KIRRBYYYYYYY PUCKETTTTTT!!!" and asking fans not to 'throw anything or anybody' onto the field.

Ballpark gimmick: Homer Hanky (1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009). 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 brightly-colored small child's backpack (Barbie in 2005, SpongeBob Squarepants in 2006, Hello Kitty in 2007), and many of its players, both past and present, are notorious pranksters — the infamous Bert Blyleven even earning the nickname "The Frying Dutchman" for his ability to pull the "hotfoot" - which entails crawling under the bench in the dugout and lighting a teammate's shoelaces on fire.

See also



References

  1. Rod Carew Baseball Hall of Fame
  2. 1991 World Series had it all By Jim Caple ESPN.com
  3. http://www.startribune.com/opinion/editorials/46497222.html?page=1&c=y
  4. Minnesota House of Representatives No. 2480, §14, Subd. 8. Accessed 2009-10-12.


Further reading



External links




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