Get back on the Twins bandwagon
The Minnesota Twins are champions again, claiming the Central Division crown in the American League with 101 victories.
If you have been on the Twins bandwagon before and jumped off, jump back on and enjoy the excitement of possibly heading to another World Series.
The 2019 regular season has been a great ride thus far for those of us who call ourselves dedicated Twins fans.
I'm dating myself, but I can remember very clearly the moment the Minnesota Twins became a Major League baseball team with the Washington Senators moved here by Calvin Griffith in 1961.
During that time of 58 years, the Twins have played in three World Series and won two world championships, in 1987 and in 1991.
I was fortunate enough with my newspaper connections to see Game 2 of the 1965 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
I was still a fledgling cub reporter with the Albert Lea Tribune in 1965. Our newspaper received a strip of tickets for the '65 World Series. We had a drawing for the tickets and my boss, the late Ken Allen, won one of the tickets and gave it to me.
That Game 2 in 1965 pitted Los Angeles Dodger star pitcher Sandy Koufax facing Minnesota Twins left-hander Jim Kaat. The Twins won that game, and I remember sitting in a left field bleacher seat which gave me a perfect view of a diving catch by left fielder Bob Allison.
I also remember Harmon Killebrew and Earl Battey being on base at the same time. Fans chanted, "Go, Go," urging these not-too-fast runners to steal a base. They did not.
The Dodgers eventually won the Series, four games to three.
Fast forward 22 years to 1987. I was lucky enough, again with newspaper connections, to see three of the four home games the Twins played in 1987 against the St. Louis Cardinals in the Metrodome.
Game 6 of the 1987 World Series was maybe the most exciting game of the Series. First baseman Kent Hrbek clubbed a grand slam home run to help the Twins move on to the final Game 7 were the Twins won the game and the Series.
A redesigned Twins team made it to the World Series in 1991. One thing remained the same, however. Kirby Puckett was still on the team.
It was Puckett who told his teammates to jump on his back and he would carry them to victory. He did just that, especially in Game 6. Puckett made a game-saving catch against the left field wall, and he also hit the game winning home run in the 11th inning of Game 6.
I love baseball because when the playoffs begin, players seem to turn it up another notch.
The Twins brought in some new players this year, and a new manager in Rocco Baldelli. Twins management should be commended for bringing in some new pieces of the puzzle.
The new pieces who really were the reasons the Twins had such great regular season success were: Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron, Jonatham Scopps and Marwin Gonzalez.
This team has that chemistry needed to be winners.
Unless you are lucky to get a ticket for a playoff game, sit back in your easy chair and cheer the Twins onto the World Series and onto another world championship.