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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

The New York Twins (or Something Like That)

By Paul Semendinger

June 15, 2024

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NOTE - This article was originally written for the IBWAA and was published in their daily newsletter Here's the Pitch on Saturday, June 8, 2024

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As a baseball fan, I love to look at rosters of teams.  I enjoy seeing what players played for each teams and such.  This probably comes from my days collecting baseball cards as a kid and spending far too many hours reading the backs of the cards.  (As a young student of the game, I found that the smaller the print, the better, because it meant that there was a lot more to learn.)


This information helps me when I try my hand at the Immaculate Grid, but I don't play that often.  


Of course, I am a Yankees fan, so much of my research centers on the Yankees and the players that played for my favorite team.


A few weeks ago, I became a grandpa for the first time.  But, I didn't become just a grandpa, I became a grandpa of twins - of the most wonderful little babies ever.  (We all say that, I'm sure, and, for all of us, it is also so very true.)


This made me start to think about the greatest players who played for both the Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees.  


I decided to see if I could make up a team of players who played for both teams.  Now, one could expand this and make this team of players who were also original Washington Senators, since that team became the Twins, but for this exercise, I decided to stick with just the Twins.


Here then is a roster of players, a starting nine, a few others of note, a complete five-man rotation, and a bullpen made up of some of the best players who played for both the Twins and the Yankees.  Included are some relevant lifetime stats and brief facts about each player.

You know, this would be a pretty good team!


C - Butch Wynegar: .255 (2-time All-Star, runner-up for Rookie of the Year, 1976)


1B - Doug Mientkiewicz: .271 (Gold Glove)


2B - Chuck Knoblauch: .289 (4 time All-Star, 2 Silver Sluggers)


3B - Graig Nettles: 390 lifetime homers, 6 time All-Star (Led AL in WAR as a position player two times)


SS - Roy Smalley: .257/163/694 (1-time All-Star)


LF - Cesar Tovar: .287, 226 stolen bases (MVP votes in 5 consecutive seasons)


CF - Roberto Kelly: .290 (2 time All-Star)


RF - Dave Winfield: 3,110 hits, HALL OF FAME


DH - Gary Ward: .276/130/597 (2-time All-Star)


Also:  Chili Davis:  3 time All-Star

          Don Baylor : 1979 AL MVP

          Josh Donaldson:  2015 AL MVP


SP - Jim Kaat: 283 lifetime wins, HALL OF FAME


SP - Luis Tiant: 229 lifetime wins (led the league in ERA two times, 3-time All-Star)


SP - Joe Niekro: 221 lifetime wins (1-time All-Star)


SP - Scott Erickson: 142 lifetime wins (Runner-Up Cy Young Award, 1991)


SP - John Candelaria: 177 lifetime wins (Led NL in ERA, 1-time All-Star)


RP - Jeff Reardon: 367 saves (4-time All-Star)


RP - Ron Davis: 1 time All-Star (Once struck out 8 consecutive batters)


RP - Dave LaRoche: 2 time All-Star


RP - Steve Howe: (Rookie of the Year, 1-time All-Star)


RP - Phil Hughes: (1-time All-Star)


Did I miss anyone who should be on the team?  Was a better player left off my roster?


(I'm wondering if one day I'll have to look up all the players who played for the minor-league Binghamton Triplets...)

***

Dr. Paul Semendinger, a proud grandpa, is the author of 365.2: Going the Distance, From Compton to the Bronx, The Least Among Them, Scattering the Ashes, and more.  Paul runs the Yankees site Start Spreading the News.  You can find Paul on Twitter @DrPaulRSem 

3 Comments


Eddy Smith
Eddy Smith
Jun 20

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jeff
Jun 15

Here is another one. Eric Soderholm, who played 3B for the Twins and was a DH when he joined the Yankees, because Graig Nettles was still with the team. Eric Soderholm, whenever he got into a slump, used the services of a hypnotist to put himself in a trance and take him back to a time when he was red hot at the plate, re-experience that, and then, lo and behold, once out of the trance, he would become red hot at the plate again in real time! He got the idea from Rod Carew, when he and Rod were teammates with the Twins, who also used hypnosis to get out of slumps. Carew shared his hypnotist with man…

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jeff
Jun 15

I would add Sonny Gray, who may not have had a great Yankee career, but was the ace of the Minnesota Twins when he was there. Also, Gary Sanchez who had several decent years with the Yankees before he regressed. Gio Urshela could at least be a utility player. Billy Martin could be the manager.

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