Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Minnesota Twins is a Major League Baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are in the Central Division of the American League. The team is owned by Minneapolis businessman Carl Pohlad, the third owner of the club (following Clark Griffith and his son Calvin). The team and its famous (or infamous) domed ballpark, the Metrodome, were featured in the 1994 motion picture Little Big League .
The Twins are affectionately known among their fans as the "Twinkies." They have a reputation of being 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. Twins players seldom get in trouble with the law, unlike many other baseball clubs. The club has several well-known, harmless hazing rituals, such as requiring the most junior relief pitcher on the team (currently (September 20, 2004) J.D. Durbin ) 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.
The Twins' mascot, little recognized, is T.C. the Bear.
Kansas City Blues, 1894-1900
- The Kansas City Blues were a charter member of a 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 Senators were officially the Nationals from 1905-1955, but despite its long use the team name was never popular, so the team was renamed the Senators again in 1956, which remained until its 1961 departure from Washington for greener ballparks in Minnesota. During the period 1907-1927, their line up boasted the presence of Walter "The Big Train" Johnson and they won the 1924 World Series. Despite this, the team was never terribly successful. 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.")
Minnesota Twins, 1961 to present
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. The team continued to post winning records through 1971, but then entered a decade-long slump.
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. The 1982 season brought the team indoors, in 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 two World Series in five years. The Twins defeated the St. Louis Cardinals to win the 1987 World Series, then later defeated the Atlanta Braves to win the 1991 World Series. In both of these World Series, the home team won each game, which had never occurred prior to 1987. All three Series were decided in seven games, with the latter series ending in a dramatic 10-inning, 1-0 shutout by Series MVP (and St. Paul native) Jack 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.
After 1992, the Twins again fell into an extended slump, posting a losing record each year through 2000. Things turned around, and in 2001-2004, 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 2002-2004, the Twins compiled their longest streak of consecutive league/division championships ever (previous were the 1924 World Champion-1925 AL Champion Senators and the 1969-70 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.
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. 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).
Cultural and Economic Impact
The impact of the Twins on the Upper Midwest should not be underestimated. 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.
- 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 (1901-1960), Kansas City Blues (1894-1900)
- Home ballpark: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis
- 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, June 1 to June 16)
- Wild Card titles won (0): none
- Division titles won (7): AL West 1969, 1970, 1987, 1991, AL Central 2002, 2003, 2004
- American League pennants won (6): 1924, 1925, 1933, 1965, 1987, 1991
- Western League pennants won (1): 1898
- World Series championships won (3): 1924, 1987, 1991
- Famous ballpark gimmick: Homer Hankie (1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2004)
Players of note
- Rod Carew
- Steve Carlton
- Walter "Big Train" Johnson
- Harmon "Killer" Killebrew
- Paul Molitor
- Kirby Puckett
- Dave Winfield
Current roster (updated on April 19, 2005)
Not to be forgotten
- Rick Aguilera
- Bob Allison
- Don Baylor
- Steve Bedrosian
- Juan Berenguer
- Bert Blyleven
- Tom Brunansky
- Randy Bush
- Marty Cordova
- Chili Davis
- Scott Erickson
- Gary Gaetti
- Greg Gagne
- Dan Gladden
- Mudcat Grant
- Eddie Guardado
- Jimmie Hall
- Brian Harper
- Kent Hrbek
- Jim Kaat
- Tom Kelly
- Chuck Knoblauch
- Gene Larkin
- Shane Mack
- Jim Merritt
- Doug Mientkiewicz
- Jack Morris
- Al Newman
- Joe Niekro
- Tony Oliva
- Mike Pagliarulo
- Camilo Pascual
- Jim Perry
- A.J. Pierzynski
- Jeff Reardon
- Rich Rollins
- Roy Sievers
- Les Straker
- Kevin Tapani
- César Tovar
- Zoilo Versalles
- Frank Viola
- Al Worthington
- Bob Casey, the only public address announcer in Twins history (1961-2004).
- 3 Harmon Killebrew
- 6 Tony Oliva
- 14 Kent Hrbek
- 29 Rod Carew
- 34 Kirby Puckett
- 42 Jackie Robinson (retired throughout baseball)
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