Han’s Mount Rushmore of all-time greatest today- the Washington Senators/ Minnesota Twins franchise. From 1901 until 1960 they were known as the Washington Senators [not to be confused with the 1960’s expansion team of the same name} In Washington the Senators were more often than not a doormat but they did win 3 American League pennants and one World Series in 1924. Since moving to Minnesota in 1961 the Twins have won three American League pennants and two World Series- the last being in 1991. Picking the Mount Rushmore of Senators/ Twins is the easiest one to do since the first one I did -the Yankees. They have had some great players over the past 118 seasons but four players to me stand out above the rest.
- WALTER ‘BIG TRAIN’ JOHNSON: “Barney” if not the greatest pitcher in baseball history is certainly on the Mount Rushmore of Greatest Pitchers Ever.” Was also known as one of the great gentlemen in the game. He was the fastest pitcher of his time and had great control, he had a sidearm deliver and he worried about hitting batters. Ty Cobb knew this and would crowd the plate against him. Cobb whose career average against everyone was .366 -had a .366 average against Johnson. Johnson’s Senators until near the end of his career were a second division losing team- which makes Johnson’s all time record of 417-279 2.17 ERA all the more remarkable. He won 20 or more games a dozen times-including ten seasons in a row from 1910-19. Has the record for most shutouts -110. Johnson was also an outstanding hitter for a pitcher- hitting 24 career home runs with a .235 average. In 1936 he was one of the first five players elected into the new Baseball Hall of Fame-along with Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson and Honus Wagner.
2. HARMON KILLEBREW: Killebrew played 21 of his 22 seasons with the Senators/Twins before finishing his career with one season with the Royals. He was a great power hitter leading the league in home runs six times and finishing his career with 573. AL MVP in 1969. Had this in common with Walter Johnson- was known as one of the nicest guys in the game. During his career he was a regular in left field, third base and at first base. A career .256 hitter he never hit .300 in any season of his career but with his power who cares. He edges out Carew for #2 due to Carew’s spending 12 out of his 19 seasons with the Twins- and the rest with the Angels.
3. ROD CAREW: A hitting machine. He was the opposite of the power hitting Killebrew. Carew was about average- and he won 7 American League batting titles all as a Twin. In 1977 he made a run at .400 before finishing at .388.He won the AL MVP Award that season. Also had great speed stealing 353 bases in his career. Carew had great bat control. He could foul off a pitch that was a strike- but a pitch he couldn’t hit well -until he got a pitch more to his liking.
- KIRBY PUCKETT: Puckett was a fun player to watch. He seemed to love playing the game. He was the best player on the two World Series Championships that the Twins have won in Minnesota. He was an all-star in 10 of his 12 seasons. His career ended at 35 due to loss of vision in one ear. His career battling average .318 and while not a big power hitter he had 20 home run a year power. Won six Gold Glove Awards. One of the great highlights of his career and one of the great home runs ever was his game winner in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series- which forced a Game 7 in which the Twins won. His post-retirement years were a nightmare- he died of a stroke at 45.