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  • VOTE: Most Iconic Twins Moment

    Earlier this week, The Sporting News released their list of the most iconic moment for each MLB team. Certain teams are tied to some of the best moments in the history of the sport while other teams' top moments aren't very memorable outside of their home market. That's the nature of these kinds of lists.

    For Twins fans, it is pretty easy to put Kirby Puckett's walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series at the top of the list. The '91 World Series might be the best Fall Classic of all time and this was a signature moment that elevated it above the rest of Twins history.

    There have been other significant moments throughout the history of the franchise. This got me thinking about what other events would end up on the Twins most iconic list. I polled the Twitter universe to see what other ideas people could come up with; there have been plenty of other signature moments in the team's history.

    How would you rank the following moments in relation to how iconic they were for the Twins? The following are listed in chronological order, starting with the most recent. Click on each link for a video or clip about the moment.

    Alexi Casilla's Walk-Off Hit, Game 163 (2009): For the younger generation of Twins fans, this is the closest thing to a walk-off World Series moment. It also helps that the game was back and forth with both teams seemingly near a victory. The Twins got to swarm onto the field and celebrate in front of a packed house and it was a great way to say goodbye to the Metrodome in the Twins final season there.

    Gene Larkin's Walk-Off Hit, Game 7 (1991): This game belonged to Jack Morris but it's hard to call one entire pitching performance an iconic moment. Larkin's hit over the outfielders' heads allowed Dan Gladden to trot home and the Twins to be World Series champions for the second time in five seasons. Morris was one of the first to meet Gladden at home plate and the legacy of this World Series was cemented in time.

    Kirby Puckett's Catch, Game 6 (1991): Before his walk-off heroics later in the evening, Puckett made a defensive play for the ages. His leap up against the Plexiglass outfield wall might have been the highlight of the game if not for his "See You Tomorrow Night" home run. The smaller sized Puckett seemed to defy gravity with his leap to pull in a sure bet extra-base hit.

    Kent Hrbek tags Ron Gant, Game 2 (1991): For Braves fans, this moment still burns deep in their souls. It is another story for Twins fans as this moment could have been one of the early turning points in the series. Hrbek might have muscled Gant off the base but the umpires still called him out. In recent years, this moment was immortalized in bobblehead form and it doesn't get much more iconic than that.

    Kent Hrbek's Grand Slam, Game 6 (1987): While the 1991 World Series was full of iconic moments, it is tough to find an iconic moment from the Twins first championship run. Hrbek's grand slam in Game 6 helped Minnesota push the Cardinals to a decisive Game 7. This would lead to Hrbek's leap at first base after collecting the final out of the team's first championship. Both these moments were iconic but the home run was more important to the outcome of the series.

    Metrodome's ALCS Celebration (1987): The front office for the Twins wasn't expecting more than a few thousand fans to welcome the Twins home after clinching the team's first AL pennant since 1965. By the end of the evening the Metrodome was packed to the brim with fans even having to sit in the stairs to get a view of the team. Members of the 1987 team always talk about this moment and for them it might be the most iconic.

    Harmon Killebrew's 520 foot HR (1967): A seat still hangs on the wall at the Mall of America to commemorate this Ruthian blast off the bat of Killebrew. As the first face of the franchise, Killebrew never had a championship winning moment. His 1965 team made the World Series but fell short against the Dodgers. Of all of his moments in a Twins uniform, this might be the one that stands the test of time.

    Bob Allison's Catch, Game 2 (1965): In only their fifth season since moving to Minnesota, the Twins were in the World Series. Minnesota won the first two games at The Met and Allison's catch helped to keep Game 2 close. His slow dive down the left field line took away what was sure to be an extra base hit. Los Angeles scored only one run in the game and this was one of the first iconic moments in the club's history.

    This article was originally published in blog: VOTE: Most Iconic Twins Moment started by Cody Christie
    Comments 32 Comments
    1. Thegrin's Avatar
      Thegrin -
      You didn't mention my favorite. The Day Killebrew saved Carew's life.
      Opening Day 1969. Rod Carew on 3rd. Gaylord Perry pitching for the Rangers.Harmon Killebrew at the plate. Carew fakes a steal of home and Perry ignores him. The next pitch Carew goes to steal home and Killebrew almost killed Carew with a 1/2 swing. He stopped his swing at the last second and Carew was safe. You had to be there.
    1. Cody Christie's Avatar
      Cody Christie -
      Just so everybody knows, I asked my followers on Twitter for the nominees for this poll. There have been a lot of iconic moments in the franchise history but I thought this was a good list.
    1. Cody Christie's Avatar
      Cody Christie -
      Here's the updated standings after the weekend:

      1. Kirby's Catch
      2. Larkin's walk-off
      3. Hrbek's Grand Slam
      4. ALCS Celebration
      5. Hrbek tags Gant
      6. Casilla's Walk-Off
      7. Killebrew's bomb
      8. Allison's catch

      Are there any surprises in the current standings?
    1. WINTWINS's Avatar
      WINTWINS -
      How about the DP with the bases loaded in Game 7 in 91 and Hrbek pumping his arm? That is the most memorable play for me. Others for me: Killebrew hitting it over the roof at Tiger Stadium; Carew chasing .400; Cesar Tovar playing all positions; Casilla's walkoff; Morris and Kelly having that conversation in the bottom of the ninth and you knew Morris was heading out there; Kirby's catch; Twins facing Koufax in 65; Ray Scott telling Halsey Hall "You can get up from underneath the table" after the Twins clinch the AL in 65.
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      I love that Halsey Hall story -- that one was just before my time so much appreciated. And that's about how I felt when Eddie G almost blew that Game 5 out in Oakland in 2002

      Two other Iconic moments which probably fall outside the top ten but deserve mention (or reminiscence): Puckett getting 10 hits in 2 games in Milwaukee (he probably swung at the first pitch on each one) and Morneau's big homer against Zumaya in Detroit in 2006. I think both of those were in August. Ahh to have a pennant race again...
    1. DocBauer's Avatar
      DocBauer -
      48 years old, and been a Twins fan since I was about 5. My exposure to the Twins for a majority of my life was a few games on cable at my grandmother's house growing up in South Dakota, but mostly on 57.0 WNAX out of Yankton on transistor, car and alarm clock radios. Fighting static on late night games, and my father teaching me the game on weekends or travels in the car. The professional, dignified voice of Herb Carneal will always be THE TWINS for me. I even recall watching/helping my father and family members milk cows in the evening at my grandfather's farm in northern South Dakota on visits, and me listening to a little radio hung up on a hook and offering up updates on the current game.

      I remember the Calvin Griffin era very well. I remember Koosman, Goltz and Marshall fondly, amongst others. Cubbage, Wilfong, Smalley and Wynegar and others. I can even recall Carew before leaving for the west coast. I sat in my first car cheering on Gaetti, Hrbek, Brunansky and others in the early 80's when a young kid named Kirby Puckett made his MLB debut. So many other memories over the years! But for all those years, while both World Series wins were memorable and completely thrilling, the '87 victory holds a special place for me.

      I remember total excilleration that my team had finally climbed the mountain, and was brought to tears with utter joy. My only regret being that my father and I, living 3 hours apart, were unable to watch the series together.

      Perhaps strangely, what I remember most was not the series itself, but the ALCS between the Twins and the Tigers. The Twins went from worst to first that year, and the Tigers won 98 games, the best record in all of baseball, and were the prohibitive favorite. The Twins out pitched and outplayed Sparky Anderson's boys. One of the strangest memories I have is of Randy Bush having a great series and surprising with a couple key SB. And those games I was able to watch with my father. And there was a sense that something was happening with our team that was special.
    1. Longdistancetwins's Avatar
      Longdistancetwins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thegrin View Post
      You didn't mention my favorite. The Day Killebrew saved Carew's life.
      Opening Day 1969. Rod Carew on 3rd. Gaylord Perry pitching for the Rangers.Harmon Killebrew at the plate. Carew fakes a steal of home and Perry ignores him. The next pitch Carew goes to steal home and Killebrew almost killed Carew with a 1/2 swing. He stopped his swing at the last second and Carew was safe. You had to be there.
      Interesting, but I'd like more details. The Rangers didn't exist yet, and I think Gaylord was in the National League. Anybody remember who was pitching?
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Longdistancetwins View Post
      Interesting, but I'd like more details. The Rangers didn't exist yet, and I think Gaylord was in the National League. Anybody remember who was pitching?
      http://miscbaseball.wordpress.com/20...-home-in-1969/ :

      Ten days later, we’re playing California. I was on third in the seventh inning. The score was tied, and Hoyt Wilhelm, the old knuckleballer, was pitching. His knuckler takes all day to arrive at the plate. It looked appetizing. I flashed a sign to Billy that I thought I could go. He flashed back an okay.
      Harmon [Killebrew] was at the plate. I flashed him the sign. It’s a tap on my belt buckle with my right hand. It appeared he answered by tapping his belt buckle with his right hand. Wilhelm started into the windup. I went. I was coming down the line, and I was amazed to see that Harmon was preparing to hit the pitch: if he swung, I’d end up a double down the left-field line. Suddenly out of the corner of his eye he saw me, and he held back in the nick of time. I came sliding in and beat the knuckleball home. It proved to be the winning run of the game.
      Box score (April 19, 1969):


      Looks as though it only tied the score, and then they won it in the bottom of the 9th, this time because Killer did take the bat off his shoulder to drive in Uhlaender. Box score (April 19, 1969):

    1. #1ShaneMackFan's Avatar
      #1ShaneMackFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      The "moment" for Morris's game might be when he came back out for the 10th. A real "wow" moment that still sends chills of anticipation for me. As an iconic moment, it is different than the others mentioned, as it wasn't yet a done deal, and it only becomes iconic because of the final result.
      I would go with that or my favorite moment from the game: the Hrbek-Harper-Hrbek double-play late in the game. The reactions of Hrbek and Morris are forever etched in my mind. Best fist pump ever.
    1. goulik's Avatar
      goulik -
      Quote Originally Posted by Obie View Post
      Let me speak for the over 60 crowd. I don't think the two oldest entries ('65 catch and '67 520 ft homer) equal Killebrew's '65 bottom of the ninth, two out home run in the last game before the all star game. That homer that beat the Yankees, perennial league champions, signaled that the Twins just might be for real. In an earlier day, that homer was voted the greatest moment in Twins history (25 year celebration?). I also have a personal attachment as I was in the left field bleachers near where the line drive homer landed.

      I also think Carew's 4 hit June 26 game that left him with an avg over .400 during his 1977 MVP year should have been on the list.
      As part of the under 60 crowd I wish I knew those older moments better especially those tied to the '65 World Series. Because of the Long History and moments like those you mentioned, game 163 does not belong in the same list.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Game 163, with Casilla's game winner, was the greatest game I can ever remember. It had everything including the walkoff in a win-or-go-home situation.
    1. Cody Christie's Avatar
      Cody Christie -
      I wrote a post with the final standings for this poll.

      Here are the results: http://www.nodaktwinsfan.com/2014/02...ns-moment.html
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