Josh Willingham: A Power For The Minnesota Twins
Since the Minnesota Twins became the Minnesota Twins in 1961, a Twins player has hit 35 or more home runs in season 10 times. Eight of those times belong to the Hall of Fame, stamp seeking, legend that was Harmon Killebrew.
That leaves two others. One was Bob Allison. The other was Josh Willingham, who announced his retirement on Monday.
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Josh Willingham hit a lot of home runs for the Minnesota Twins. Willingham only played two and a half and half seasons with the Twins and slugged out a total of 61 home runs. Over half of those coming in his first year 2012 when he reached the 35 homer plateau.
The Twins haven’t had a long history of power hitters by any means, but the Hammer’s 61 home runs is good for being tied for 40th all-time in Twins history. That’s more than David Ortiz did in a Twins uniform. And Matt LeCroy.
For comparison, Joe Muaer is 17th overall with 109. The Killer is first by a mile with 559. Kent Hrbek is second on the list with 293. Only seven Twins have hit over 200 home runs, the most recent being Justin Morneau. Torii Hunter could join the group if he re-signs with the Twins as he sits with 192 in his Twins’ career.
The Hammer was not a great defensive player, by any stretch of the imagination. What should you expect from a former catcher playing in the outfield? But he supplied power while being a class act. It might have gotten a little ugly by the end, but I’ll never be ashamed of having Josh Willingham in the Twins’ history books.
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