Thankfully, the 2012 Minnesota Twins season is nearly at a close. While many teams are planning their playoff runs, the Twins' front office will need to find a way to revamp this team to become a winner once again.
Originally the Washington Senators, before they moved to Minnesota in 1961, the Minnesota Twins have a memorable postseason history, with outstanding players and two exciting World Series championships. In fact, Joe Sheehan of ESPN stated that Game 7 if the 1991 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves, both worst-to-first teams, was the best World Series game ever played.
All-Time Postseason Record: 33-50 (5-17 in division; 9-12 in American League Championship Series; 19-21 in the World Series)
Playoff Appearances: The Twins have made it to the playoffs 11 times: 1965, 1969, 1970, 1987, 1991, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2010.
Pennants: The Twins have won three American League pennants: 1965, 1987, and 1991.
World Series Titles: The Twins won the World Series in 1987 when they beat the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games and then in 1991 when they beat the Atlanta Braves.
Year-by-Year Postseason Results: 1965 - lost to L.A. Dodgers (4-3, World Series); 1969 - lost to Baltimore Orioles (3-0, American League Championship Series); 1970 - lost to Baltimore Orioles (3-0, American League Championship Series); 1987 - beat Detroit Tigers (4-1, American League Championship Series); 1987 - beat St. Louis Cardinals (4-3, World Series); 1991 - beat Toronto Blue Jays (4-1, American League Championship Series); 1991 - beat Atlanta Braves (4-3, World Series); 2002 - beat Oakland Athletics (3-2 Division Series), 2002 - lost to Anaheim Angels, 2003 - lost to New York Yankees (3-1, Division Series); 2004 - lost to New York Yankees (3-1, Division Series); 2006 - lost to Oakland Athletics (3-0, Division Series); 2009 - lost to New York Yankees (3-0), Division Series; and 2010 - lost to New York Yankees (3-0, Division Series).
Memorable Postseason Moments: In 1965, four years after the Twins moved to Minnesota, they went to their first World Series. This World Series was all about the pitching -- on the Twins' side, Jim Kaat, Mudcat Grant, and Camilo Pascual; on the Dodgers' side, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Despite the Twins dominating the first two games played in Minnesota, when they went to L.A., the opposite happened -- L.A. dominated. It came down to a final game at Met Stadium; the Twins just could not solve the superior Dodgers pitching, and they lost 2-0.
In 1987, the Minnesota Twins were a scrappy team of unknowns under first-year manager Tom Kelly. Kelly had coached these same players in the minors, so there was an established comradery. Yet, by the time they went to the World Series, they still got no respect. During the regular season, they barely played .500 baseball and were outscored during the season. On paper, the Cardinals were far superior. Fans filled the Metrodome, waving their "Homer Hankies."
By the time the series was finished, everyone knew these underdogs and the names of pitcher Frank "Sweet Music" Viola, who pitched the games of his life; and Kent Hrbek, whose Game 6 grand slam allowed the Twins to play a Game 7. In Game 7, no one will forget the victory or the missed call at first base between Hrbek and Tom Herr. This was the first world championship ever won in Minnesota and one of the greatest days in Minnesota history.
When 1991 season started, there really was not much expectation as the Twins were in last place in 1990. By the time the Twins reached the World Series, the Twins energized the community. To add to the excitement, the Atlanta Braves were also the worst team in 1990. Many say this World Series was the best World Series ever. Two highlights stand out: Kirby Puckett's Game 6 home run that allowed the Twins to go to Game 7. And Jack Morris' gritty 10-inning 1-0 masterpiece -- and the Twins' 10th-inning run could not have been more exciting. This was the World Series that no one will ever forget.
Legends: Players: Kirby Puckett, Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Bert Blyleven, Bob Allison, Frank Viola, Kent Hrbek, Jim Kaat, Jack Morris, Zoilo Versalles. Managers: Billy Martin and Tom Kelly.
Stadiums: Currently, the Minnesota Twins play at beautiful Target Field. This stadium was open to a lot of fanfare in 2010. The fans love being outside on a beautiful summer night. The stadium before Target Field was the HHH Metrodome. The Twins shared this stadium with the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Twins were in the Metrodome from 1982-2009. The first Minnesota Twins stadium was Metropolitan Stadium, in Bloomington, Minnesota. The Twins played here from 1961-1981.
Georgia Makitalo is a lifelong Twins fan, including numerous road trips, to see the Twins play in other cities.
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