Minnesota Twins: The 40 Best Players In Team History (No. 26-30)
No. 26: Earl Battey (17.5 WAR)
The first catcher in Minnesota Twins history was a darn good one who played for them from 1961 to 1967. Earl Battey was one of the best at his position during his playing days, and to this day is recognized as a Twins great.
During his time with the Twins, Battey was a decorated star. He was selected to five All-Star teams and won two Gold Gloves for his work behind the plate. On two separate occasions, he received MVP votes while playing in Minnesota.
He had four straight seasons of double digit home run totals from 1961 to 1964, including a career-best 26 in 1963. That year, he batted .285 and drove in 84 runs to go along with his home run total. His best year in the WAR column was also that year, when he tallied 4.7 and went on to place seventh in the MVP voting.
Battey was a valuable part of the pennant winning Twins team of 1965, finishing tenth in the MVP race while driving in 60 runs and recording 3.2 wins above replacement. Being a valuable part of that team forever put Battey in the history books as a Twin.
Next: Top 40 All-Time Best Twins 31-36
Battey would eventually be enshrined in the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2004. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Minnesota Twins in 2010, seven years after he passed away from cancer. While there have been other good Twins catchers after him, Battey will forever be the original.