Minnesota Twins: Best Player In Each Decade Since 1961

Jul 2, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; A general view at Target Field between the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 2, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; A general view at Target Field between the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /
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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers
May 16, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Rod Carew attends an interleague MLB game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

 1970-1979: Rod Carew

Rod Carew may have been the best Twins player in the 1960s had it not been for the incredible decade Killebrew had. Carew, however, made a big impression on Twins franchise history in the 1970s.

During that decade, he played nine seasons for the Twins (he played 1979 with the Angels). In those nine seasons, he made nine All Star teams, won six batting titles and was named the AL Most Valuable Player in 1977.

He hit .388 during his MVP season, one of five seasons he hit over .350 in the decade. The lowest batting average he had during the 1970s was .307, an average any good big leaguer would be proud of. He is the Twins all-time leader in batting average and second in hits and stolen bases.

The Twins teams of Carew’s 1970s era were always close to the playoffs, finishing 3rd in their division many times and always hovering around .500. He was never a real home run threat, but is known as one of the best contact hitters in history. His .328 career average shows that.

Carew would be the second Minnesota Twins player to wear a Twins hat on his Hall of Fame plaque when he was inducted in 1991. He made it on the first ballot. Carew’s number 29 was the second number the Twins retired. Killebrew’s number three was the first.

After Carew left the Twins in 1979, it would be a few years before their next big star would come forward. He didn’t do too bad either, becoming arguably the best in Twins history during his time in parts of the next two decades.