Feature Story

The following appeared in the 2012 edition of The National Pastime , an annual baseball reasearch journal published in conjunction with the Society for American Baseball Reaserch (SABR) annual convention, which was held in Minneapolis that year. The journal was titled "Short but Wondrous Summers: Baseball in the North Star State." 

The Legacy of Twins Legends: Killebrew, Carew, Puckett, and Mauer

 

By Charlie Beattie

 

 

In the latter part of the 1950s, Minnesota’s sports fans, business community and politicians began aggressively agitating for major league professional sports.  Though the state was in the process of losing its only major professional sports team, the Minneapolis Lakers in the (then second-rate) National Basketball Association to Los Angeles, the air was right for sports’ major players, the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) to find a way to place teams in the upper Midwest.

 

And so it was that the Twins and the NFL’s Vikings both arrived in 1961--the Vikings via the expansion route and the Twins through the relocation of one of the American League’s least storied franchises, the Washington Senators. While the nascent Vikings needed a handful of years to establish themselves with quality players, the Twins had the opportunity to seize the moment and gain popular opinion. Contrary to popular belief at the time, they had the players to do just that.

 

Though most Minnesotans were initially disappointed to inherit the Senators and their utterly forgettable history, they landed a team on the rise. In its final season in the nation’s capital, Washington had compiled a 73-81 record, cracking 70 wins for the first time since 1953. The team that arrived in Minnesota featured players such as Jim Lemon, Bob Allison, Earl Battey, and Zoilo Versalles in the field as well as Camilo Pascual and a rapidly emerging Jim Kaat on the mound. It also featured a player who was rapidly becoming the most feared player in the league--on the field, anyway--Harmon Killebrew.

 

Killebrew’s numbers, and their place in the history of the Twins/Senators franchise, are hardly a well-kept secret. He either leads or places second in nearly every statistical category. Only Sam Rice, who plied his trade in a much different time and place and whose deeds are attributed to the long-deceased Senators team, comes close to Killebrew’s statistical accomplishments with the franchise. For “Twins” history, as opposed to Twins/Senators lore, which resets with the 1961 team, Killebrew is not only the standard by which all Twins players are measured on the field. Until his death, he was the president emeritus of the Twins’ on-field fraternity.

The quiet, unassuming Killebrew’s best qualities were thrust back into the spotlight in May of 2011 after his passing due to complications of esophageal cancer. Lauded throughout his career as a “team guy,” he proved this label correct even in death, as his funeral serendipitously coincided with a rare Twins interleague trip to Arizona, allowing the front office staff and current players, many of whom were directly affected both personally and professionally to attend. Joe Mauer called Killebrew “a family member,” right-fielder Michael Cuddyer called him “the most genuine person he ever met,” and team president Dave St. Peter called him the most important player ever to don a Twins uniform. (1)  In the following days, stories filtered out from every corner of the baseball world, extolling the virtues of the deceased slugger. Former Twin Torii Hunter shared perhaps the most common anecdote, echoed by player-turned team broadcaster Bert Blyleven in his eulogy, of Killebrew telling players to autograph baseballs with a legible signature, the better for young fans to read whose name they had.

 

Cynically, of course, it could be pointed out that unconditional praise the recently deceased is the standard, and that even for the worst of humans, the bad memories are filtered out during a mourning period. To apply that thinking to Killebrew, however, seems to be a colossal miscalculation. In a sport that has celebrated all manner of cheats, thugs, carousers, gamblers, and goons, Killebrew never appeared to be anything less than the genuine article.

 

Famously scooped up by the Senators out of his Idaho home at the age of 17 in 1954, as a “Bonus Baby” signing, Killebrew was forced to stay on the Senators active roster for at least two seasons, and he rarely saw the field. After just 11 home runs in his first five seasons (with the final three spent more in the minors than the majors), Killebrew busted out in 1959, slugging 42 and leading the American League. It was just in time for Sports Illustrated to brand him the living embodiment of Joe Hardy (the Senators hero in Damn Yankees), but too late to save the Senators, who were destined to move west.

So, while Washington fans saw just a glimpse of his potential, he arrived in Minnesota a finished product, on and off the field. A quiet, family oriented man, Killebrew was the perfect ambassador for baseball in the Midwest. Killebrew’s early life is straight out of “All-American Boy” cliché. He had reportedly gained his strength by lifting 95 pound milk cans while working on his father’s farm. He lettered in three different sports and was a high school All-American quarterback. His first wife, Elaine (the two were married from 1955 to 1985) was his high-school sweetheart.

 

Assigned to cover a man whose controversial side seemingly didn’t exist, the media embarked on a career-long quest to attach idiosyncrasies where there were none. When Sports Illustrated writer Barbara Heilman asked him if he had any “curious” habits during a 1963 interview, Killebrew replied, “Doing the dishes, I guess.” (2) Nicknames were applied liberally, yet none seemed to capture the man. “Hammerin’ Harmon,” “Harmin’ Harmon,” and “Bombin’ Harmon” were all attempted, as well as the mildly ridiculous (yet oddly fitting) “Charmin’ Harmon.” Early in his career, St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Arno Goethel tried the long-winded “Bashful Basher from Power Alley,” (3) but the only nickname that stuck was perhaps the least flattering of all: “Killer.”

 

After Killebrew’s death, Bob Nightengale of USA Today called the nickname “the most unsuitable nickname in sports.” (4) On a personal level this is true, but of course the moniker had more to do with his ability to destroy a baseball. For a franchise that has long since made its mark as one of the least powerful teams in the league, the ‘60s Twins boasted a lineup of thumpers. The 1962 team featured nine regular starters who hit at least 11 homers, and regular mashers grew from just Killebrew and Allison to include the likes of Jimmie Hall and Tony Oliva by the middle of the decade. Killebrew led the American League in dingers five times in the 1960s and hit more homers than any other major leaguer during that span. More than just volume, many of Killebrew’s homers were memorable for their sheer distance. Though Metropolitan Stadium has long since been replaced by the sprawling Mall of America, the stadium’s home plate, as well as one seat--the destination of Killebrew’s longest home run--remains inside.

 

Rod Carew may have been the greatest pure hitter to put on a Twins uniform. His career average of .334 as a Twin (a still robust .328 over his entire career) is 11 points higher than Joe Mauer’s and 16 ahead of Kirby Puckett. Twice he flirted with .400 deep into the season. In 1977, Ted Williams threw his support behind Carew becoming the first man since The Splinter to eclipse the magical mark, if only so reporters would “stop asking [Williams] if it could be done again.” (5) Though known as a free swinger, Carew’s career on-base percentage was .393, second only to Mauer, and only Chuck Knoblauch stole more bases in a Minnesota uniform. Despite Carew’s electric ability, as further evidenced by his 17 career steals of home, his popularity never reached the heights of Killebrew, Puckett, or Mauer.

 

By 1970, baseball’s internal politics were changing. Players were lobbying for greater employment freedom, which they would gain by the middle of the decade, while baseball’s owners were desperately clinging to the last vestiges over the absolute power over the game’s finances. Fans, already light in the wallet due to a declining economy, thought the owners tyrannical and the players spoiled, a particularly acute problem in Minnesota where the fans grew increasingly frustrated with owner Calvin Griffith. Combined with the Twins falloff as a team Met Stadium became a virtual wasteland.  

 

The sad reality of Carew’s career is that it was played out in front of not just half-empty stadiums but those that were nearly uninhabited. In 1974, the season in which Rod made his first (albeit short-lived) charge at the .400 mark, the Twins drew just 662,401 fans, an average of less than 9,000 per game. Few years in the 1970s were significantly better. Only in 1977, when Carew had a big season, and in 1979, the year after Carew left and the team stayed in contention until late in the season, did the Twins top one million fans during the 1970s.

 

Though Carew was not intentionally an unpleasant person, his public persona did him no favors with the few fans that did come to see him play. In his autobiography, Carew, he describes himself as a player who was “moody, intense, lonely, insecure, quick to anger.” (6) He goes on to mention that his desire to “jump the club” and quit nearly overcame him several times throughout his playing days, often for what could be described as the mildest of slights. Though the knowledge of Carew’s impoverished upbringing in Panama by an emotionally abusive, distant, and often absent father might go a long way towards explaining Carew’s insecurities, his autobiography would not be published until 1979, after his acrimonious departure from Griffith’s Twins, leaving fans without many of the vital details to understand their star.

 

Much of Carew’s lack of popularity, for want of a better term, can be attributed to his battles with Griffith himself. The tightest of fists, even among MLB owners of the day, Griffith often railed against the demise of the reserve clause and would rather sell or trade his established stars than pay them what they were newly worth under the more player-friendly economic structure. Though fans despised Griffith, players like Carew did not escape the notion that while owners may be tyrannical, the players were becoming increasingly greedy. Just as owners could not abide free-agent money being ripped from their pockets, fans increasingly could not understand why players needed hundreds of thousands of dollars to play a game that most would pay to play.

 

The most notable of Carew and Griffith’s many battles was likely their last, which destroyed their relationship (later rehabilitated) and fostered Carew’s exit to California. After many seasons of contract disputes, in which Griffith admitted to Carew that he was underpaid yet refused to up his contract, Griffith gave an (admittedly drunken) speech to a rural Minnesota Lions club in 1978 in which he called Carew a “damn fool” (7) for signing a lower contract. He also claimed that he was glad he found Minnesota because it had “only 15,000 black people,” (8) while claiming that black fans didn’t come to ballgames. An incensed Carew responded by branding Griffith a “bigot” and refusing to be “another slave on his plantation.” (9) He was traded to the California Angels in the ensuing off-season.

 

Carew’s accomplishments did not entirely escape the consciousness of Twins fans. Though he was overshadowed by Killebrew in their overlapping playing days, forced to play the singles-hitting second fiddle to Harmon’s power show, Carew had the attention of the baseball world thrust upon him during his most serious challenge at the .400 mark in 1977. With Time magazine featuring his pursuit and Ted Williams offering his support, fans took notice, especially on June 26th of that year. Entering the game with a .396 average and, in front of a crowd of 46, 463 clad in Twins t-shirts with the number 29 on the back (the stadium giveaway that day), Carew went 4-for-5 and paced the team to a 19-12 drubbing of the White Sox. With the scoreboard detailing his exact batting average after each hit (his last hit put his batting average at .403), the crowd showered him with four separate standing ovations, the last of which lasted until Carew finally doffed his cap in recognition from first base. Carew recognized the magnitude of the moment in his auto-biography, stating, “I had goose bumps, and I kept thinking that the fans had finally accepted me, that they’d finally come over on my side.” (10)

 

Years later, Twins broadcaster Dick Bremer summed up the moment well: “It was the first public acknowledgement that this guy was the best hitter [the fans] were ever going to see”.  (11)

Born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, in 1956, current Twins television voice Dick Bremer has been at the very least a fan of the team as long as the Minnesota Twins have existed. He became a part of the team’s television coverage in 1983, and can reasonably say that he has seen more of Kirby Puckett’s major-league games than any other human being. Therefore, it can be taken on good authority when Bremer calls Puckett “the most electrifying player in Twins history.” (12)

Few who watched Puckett regularly would argue. After the doldrums of the 1970s and early ‘80s, Puckett was the first superstar in the team’s Metrodome era  and the catalyst for their only two championship teams. Flashy, brash, and highly quotable, he was the perfect combination of talent and personality to lead the franchise into the television era, and his madcap style of hitting and defense was made for fans both in the ballpark and on the small screen.

 

Glaucoma robbed Puckett of his playing ability in 1996, but he was already 36 when forced into retirement and had reached the 200-hit mark just once after his 30th birthday. Many forget that Puckett started his professional career relatively late, as he was 22 when drafted out of Bradley University in 1982 and 24 when he debuted in the majors in 1984. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first try in 2001 despite the fact that his 2,306 career hits were unlikely to ever become 3,000.   

 

When discussing Puckett, however, numbers are hardly the first topic of conversation. Few fans may remember that Puckett had four hits in his major league debut, or that his .318 career batting average at the time of his retirement was second only to Joe DiMaggio among AL righties. Puckett was the rare quality offensive player who may be better remembered for his defense. The elastic centerfield fence was his own personal jungle gym for eleven years. Later, when Puckett protégé and fellow multi-Gold Glover Torii Hunter earned the nickname “Spiderman” while patrolling centerfield, each highlight catch brought comparisons to Puckett.

 

The truth of the matter is, Puckett would still be a Minnesota legend even if he had played just one game in a Twins uniform, provided that game was Game Six of the 1991 World Series.  Puckett was not having a good series through the first five games, and his overall stats reveal a .250 average and more strikeouts (7) than hits (6). However, postseason legends are measured lyrically, and Puckett’s Game Six was one of the finest offensive and defensive solo acts in World Series history. Puckett was 3-for-18 entering the game, but ended it a double short of the cycle, and of course extended the series with his 11th inning home run off of Charlie Leibrandt. In the end he was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI in a 4-3 win. In true Puckett fashion, however, his defense in the game may be more famous. His third-inning robbery of Atlanta’s Ron Gant is still a World Series highlight-reel must 20 years on. As Tim Kurkjian put it years later, “It was the kind of performance that elevates a player to legendary status.” (13)

 

What amplifies Puckett’s eternally shining star is not the performance itself, but the details that surround it. First of all Puckett essentially predicted the outcome. Before the game, in what has now become an oft-retold story, Puckett sauntered into the clubhouse and told his teammates to “get on his back” so he could “carry them.” Perhaps less remembered is Puckett’s second prediction of the night. After Puckett’s death in 2006, Terry Crowley (the Twins hitting coach in 1991) shared a story--possibly apocryphal--that Puckett, while Bobby Cox visited the mound before Puckett’s fateful 11th inning at-bat, turned to Crowley and said “If they leave this guy in the game, the game is over.” (14)

 

Perhaps more telling than Puckett’s Joe Namath impersonation is what happened the next night. No one would begrudge an average fan for losing sight of Puckett’s accomplishments after the thrill ride that was Game Seven of the same series, featuring Jack Morris’ timeless pitching performance. It is a testament to Puckett’s performance as well as his celebrity that both games live on in the public consciousness despite the fact that one game won the Series and the other merely extended it.

 

Beyond one box score, Puckett’s impact on the Twins can be measured by the effort the player made to ingratiate himself to the "Minnesota lifestyle.” Puckett made his home in Minnesota from the days of his first call up in 1984. A man who grew up in the predominantly black South Side of Chicago blended himself with a predominantly white public with little difficulty. He developed a love of fishing, though not ice fishing; he once told a reporter “I ain’t gonna die on no ice.” (15) For a populace that has long accepted its place in American culture as a self-contained outpost, far removed from the mainstream consciousness, Minnesotans are quick to adopt outsiders who respect their simple outlook. As Bremer put it, “There’s something very parochial about those of us who live here. We like people who like being here. You don’t have to be from here, but it really matters to fans that you become part of the community.” (16)

 

Puckett’s impact was felt financially, as well. He was, after all, the highest paid player in baseball history when Minnesota made him the league’s first $3,000,000 man. Though Puckett’s reign as baseball’s top earner lasted less than two weeks (Puckett signed his deal on November 22, and California’s Mark Langston signed for $3.2 million on December 1) the impact remains the same. Perhaps more telling is what happened after Puckett’s sudden retirement. With his sudden departure from the game in 1996, the team was left with a void both on the field and at the box office. With no stars, hope of winning, or money, the Twins slid further away from their title winning ways and remained out of contention for several years.

 

Discussing Joe Mauer’s lasting impact and comparison to three of the franchise legends is an awkward proposition at this point in time. For starters, Mauer is a young man (turning 28 early in the 2011 season) with seemingly years to add to or detract from that legacy, but at the time of writing, Mauer’s golden image is being tarnished for the first time in his career. He was labeled “soft” after a slow recovery from offseason leg injuries. Aggressive fans altered his Wikipedia entry to strategically add the word “lazy.” (17) Writers and fans questioned the sanity of those who gave him a $184 million contract that kicked in before the season. One ESPN writer questioned whether or not Mauer had, in one season, gone from one of the game’s most productive and popular player to an albatross in his own clubhouse.

 

Some would take these developments as proof that Mauer is, in fact, not the heir to the legacy of Killebrew, Carew, and Puckett. The fact remains that all of these allegations prove the exact opposite. All superstars are subject to heightened scrutiny, and in the internet age, not to mention the age when advanced metrics are sprayed around to measure a player’s value in ways that previous generations of players did not have to deal with, the arrows come from all angles. Mauer, however, will likely rebound, and when he does, and his career ends, it is likely that his 2011 season will likely become a mere blip on an otherwise uninterrupted trajectory.

 

While the only controversy that can be found surrounding Killebrew is whether or not he is the inspiration for the MLB logo, Carew and Puckett have both felt the backlash in their lives. Critics who point out Mauer’s injury troubles may forget that Carew did not play 140 games in a season until 1971, his fifth big league season, and didn’t top 150 until 1974, his last season as a full-time second baseman.

 

Puckett, of course, fell prey to numerous personal scandals after his career was over, suffering through a highly public divorce from his wife, Tanya, amid various allegations of violence inflicted upon not only his wife but multiple other women he was involved with. Years later, with time to process and heal the wounds suffered by fans that held Puckett up as an icon before his fall, reasonable people who neither condone his private actions nor support his personal choices can separate his failings from his accomplishments that brought them happiness. If Puckett’s baseball legacy can live on, not to mention the on-field legacies of far more flawed men such as Ty Cobb or Pete Rose--at least in the opinion of this author--it is reasonable to assume that Mauer will recover. In a society that struggles to contextualize the present, when Mauer is past he will likely be remembered as the catcher that won at least three batting titles in his career, not the player who suffered from “bi-lateral leg weakness.”  

 

What Mauer’s miniature fall in 2011 illuminates is the staggering nature of his popularity in the years preceding it. Mauer seemed destined for a collision course with the sagging Twins of the late 1990s as his own star began to rise as a sophomore at St. Paul’s Cretin-Derham Hall High School. A brief flirtation with a scholarship offer to play football for Bobby Bowden’s Florida State powerhouse as well as the suggestion that the Twins take Mark Prior, not Mauer with the top pick in the 2001 draft might have derailed Mauer’s eventual appearance on the Twins, but in retrospect his selection by Minnesota was the culmination of an unstoppable three-year magnetism of player and community.

 

Mauer’s actual arrival at the Metrodome required 2 ½  more seasons, but the wait served only to enhance his celebrity as the fans waited for their local savior. Outspoken incumbent catcher A.J. Pierzynski played every day knowing his days were numbered. Though Mauer was not part of the 2002 or 2003 teams that made the playoffs, his arrival in 2004 was part of a wave of young talent that would not crest until the franchise relocated to its modern home of Target Field in 2010, carrying with it the banners of three more Central Division titles as well as a near-miss to the White Sox in 2008.

 

Joining a team that already featured Puckett’s heir, Torii Hunter, in center field as well as star hurler Johan Santana and Justin Morneau, a future AL MVP who debuted a year earlier, Mauer’s celebrity instantly trumped them all. Without the need to ingratiate himself to a public that already knew him intimately, and never indicating that any team apart from Minnesota would be a better option for his career, Twins fans became very protective of their home grown star.  Their support was evident on the backs of replica jerseys on a nightly basis at both home and away ballparks. “He is very much one of us,” (18) Bremer stated succinctly.

 

As Mauer’s statistical totals rose, so did the interest in his personality. Not once but twice he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, characterized as the all-American, hometown neighbor with the unique ability to hit .350 at the most demanding defensive position. When the story broke that Mauer struck out just once in all of his high school games, the local alternative newspaper City Pages sought to track down the pitcher who pulled the trick. They did, and Paul Feiner, unwilling to crow about his victory over Minnesota’s golden child, immediately deflected the attention back to Mauer, pointing out that the catcher both homered and singled off of him in the same game. (19) His trademark sideburns even achieved a personality of its own, in the vein of Rollie Fingers’ handlebar moustache in Oakland in the ‘70s. The team once gave away stick-on replica sideburns at the ballpark as a promotion.

 

Indicative of the impatience to which we submit our sports heroes, anxiety developed over Mauer’s propensity to hit balls off the wall rather than over it.

Despite rarely living up to the promise of his impending power, Joe’s statistical totals still rank with other Twins greats. His career on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) of .874 is higher than Carew, Puckett, and Killebrew. In the only season, 2009, in which he delivered on his long awaited home run promise by smacking 28, his OPS topped the magical 1.000 mark for the only time in his career. Looking back into the statistical archives, one will find that Killebrew reached that mark only twice.

 

With the notion that Mauer will always be more of a Carew than a Killebrew offensively, the debate over Mauer’s positional future still rages. Those who maintain that Mauer’s longevity will be understandably increased via a permanent move to another position clash with those who cite that his new, heightened contract significantly decreases his perceived value elsewhere. From a purely statistical standpoint these arguments are valid, but measuring the value of a star player as merely a player and not an attraction to be connected to by millions of fans who flood the turnstiles is to tell only half of the story. Mauer is the spiritual heir to Killebrew for his humble nature, the statistical heir to Carew through his playing style, and the popular heir to Puckett. As Bremer sums up, “He’s the Ted Williams of catchers. How lucky are [Twins fans] to be able to witness that from the beginning of his career to the end?” (20)

 

 

Anderson, Kelli. “The Perfect Catch.” Sports Illustrated 105, no. 5 (2006): www.sportsillustrated.com.

Bingham, Walter. “The Killer Strikes in May.” Sports Illustrated 10, no. 22 (1959): 55-58.

Brackin, Dennis and Patrick Reusse. The Minnesota Twins, a Complete Illustrated History. Minneapolis: MVP, 2010.

Carew, Rod and Ira Berkow. Carew. Minneapolis: Simon and Schuster, 1979.  

Carry, Peter. “A Head Fit for a Triple Crown.” Sports Illustrated 33, no. 5 (1970): 14-15.

Christensen, Joe. “Goodbye, Kirby.” Minneapolis Star Tribune (2006): www.startribune.com.

Deford, Frank. “The Rise and Fall of Kirby Puckett.” Sports Illustrated 98, no.11 (2003): www.sportsillustrated.com.

Fimrite, Ron. “Hitters of Singular Skills.” Sports Illustrated 41, no. 1 (1974): 14-17.

Heilman, Barbara. “Out of the Park on a Half Swing.” Sports Illustrated 18, no. 14 (1963): 85-92.

Howard, Johnette. “Has Joe Mauer Dragging Twins Down?” www.espn.com (2011).

Kurkjian, Tim. “For 11 Innings, Puckett’s Greatness Took Center Stage.” www.espn.com (2006).

Lenehan. Michael. “The Last of the Pure Baseball Men.” The Atlantic (1981). www.theatlantic.com.

Murphy, Austin. “A Better Set of Twins.” Sports Illustrated 67, no. 4 (1987): 36-38, 59.

Nightengale, Bob. “Appreciation: Harmon Killebrew Recalled as Great Player, Person” USA Today (2011): www.usatoday.com.

O’Keefe, John. “Harmon Killebrew: Twins Slugger.” Sports Illustrated 91, no. 18, (1999):16.

Rushin, Steve. “End of the Fairy Tale.” Sports Illustrated 104, no. 12 (2003): www.sportsillustrated.com.

Rushin, Steve. “Does the Puck Stop Here?” Sports Illustrated 76, no. 24 (1992) :22-30.

Rushin, Steve. “A Series to Savor.” Sports Illustrated 75, no. 20 (1991): 16-27.

Telander, Rick. “Minny’s Mighty Mite.” Sports Illustrated 66, no. 24 (1987): 46-49.

Verducci, Tom. “Joe Mauer Will Serenely, Politely, Crush You. Sports Illustrated 110, no. 26 (2009): www.sportsillustrated.com.

Walsh, Jim. “The Kid who Struck Out Joe Mauer.” City Pages (2006): www.citypages.com.

Williams, Ted, Underwood, John. “I Hope Rod Carew Hits .400.” 47, no.3 (1977): 20-25.

www.baseball-reference.com.

Dick Bremer of Fox Sports North Television was interviewed at Target Field on August 23, 2011.

 

Notes

  1. Nightengale, Bob. “Appreciation: Harmon Killebrew Recalled as Great Player, Person” USA Today (2011): www.usatoday.com.

  2. Heilman, Barbara. “Out of the Park on a Half Swing.” Sports Illustrated 18, no. 14 (1963): 85-92

  3. Brackin, Dennis and Patrick Reusse. The Minnesota Twins, a Complete Illustrated History. Minneapolis: MVP, 2010.

  4. Nightengale, Bob. “Appreciation: Harmon Killebrew Recalled as Great Player, Person” USA Today (2011): www.usatoday.com.

  5. Williams, Ted, Underwood, John. “I Hope Rod Carew Hits .400.” 47, no.3 (1977): 20-25.

  6. Carew, Rod and Ira Berkow. Carew. Minneapolis: Simon and Schuster, 1979.  

  7. Lenehan. Michael. “The Last of the Pure Baseball Men.” The Atlantic (1981). www.theatlantic.com.

  8. Lenehan. Michael. “The Last of the Pure Baseball Men.” The Atlantic (1981). www.theatlantic.com.

  9. Carew, Rod and Ira Berkow. Carew. Minneapolis: Simon and Schuster, 1979.

  10. Carew, Rod and Ira Berkow. Carew. Minneapolis: Simon and Schuster, 1979.

  11. Dick Bremer of Fox Sports North Television was interviewed at Target Field on August 23, 2011.

  12. Dick Bremer of Fox Sports North Television was interviewed at Target Field on August 23, 2011.

  13. Kurkjian, Tim. “For 11 Innings, Puckett’s Greatness Took Center Stage.” www.espn.com (2006).

  14. Christensen, Joe. “Goodbye, Kirby.” Minneapolis Star Tribune (2006): www.startribune.com.

  15. Rushin, Steve. “End of the Fairy Tale.” Sports Illustrated 104, no. 12 (2003): www.sportsillustrated.com.

  16. Dick Bremer of Fox Sports North Television was interviewed at Target Field on August 23, 2011.

  17. Howard, Johnette. “Has Joe Mauer Dragging Twins Down?” www.espn.com (2011).

  18. Dick Bremer of Fox Sports North Television was interviewed at Target Field on August 23, 2011.

  19. Walsh, Jim. “The Kid who Struck Out Joe Mauer.” City Pages (2006): www.citypages.com.

  20. Dick Bremer of Fox Sports North Television was interviewed at Target Field on August 23, 2011.

© 2014 by Charlie Beattie.

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