Puckett’s Pond faces off two notable Minnesota Twins players and you decide which one was greater
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Puckett’s Pond is enlisting your help in deciding who the greatest Minnesota Twins in history are at each position. Eventually we’ll square off each position against the others and wind up with the greatest Minnesota Twin, as selected by you. The first position we’ll be selecting is catcher. We’ll only be counting literal Minnesota Twins and not the pre-1961 Washington franchises. Players also will need 700 PAs as a Twin to qualify. We ask you to consider the player based solely on his time as a Twin and at the position specified.
With Joe Mauer chosen as the greatest Twins catcher, we move on to first base. Harmon Killebrew, Kent Hrbek, Justin Morneau, Don Mincher, Doug Mientkiewicz, Craig Kusick, Ron Jackson and Rich Reese are the candidates. We’ll begin with a Rich Reese vs Ron Jackson match-up.
Reese played 10 seasons with the Twins from 1964 to 1973. Part of 1973 was spent with the Tigers but they released him and Reese went back to the Twins to finish off the season and his career. He was the Twins primary first baseman in the 1969 and 1970 seasons. Killebrew played 3rd those seasons. The rest of Reese’s Twins career was spent as a backup and part time outfielder. Rich’s best season came in 1969 when he slashed .322/.362/.513 over 451 PAs. He posted a 3.1 WAR that season. As a Twin he put up a .711 OPS, a -4 defensive WAR and 3.2 bWAR. Curiously, he is tied for the major league record of most pinch hit grand slams with 3.
Jackson played three seasons in Minnesota from 1979 to 1981. The Twins acquired him and Danny Goodwin for Dan Ford. Jackson got off to a great start with the Twins and had his best season in the uniform. He had a .766 OPS and 2.2 bWAR in 1979. He posted a -0.4 defensive WAR, .734 OPS and 2.8 bWAR in his Twins career. He played his last game with the O’s in 1984.
Who was the greater Twins first baseman? Have your say:
Feel free to leave your reasoning in the comments. Check back here for the rest of the match ups in round one and to see who moves on.