Minnesota Twins Opening Day Countdown: 70, Killebrew’s 1962 XBH

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: The Minnesota Twins remember Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew on May 17, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Harmon Killebrew passed away today at the age 74 in Scottsdale, Arizona after a battle with esophageal cancer. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: The Minnesota Twins remember Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew on May 17, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Harmon Killebrew passed away today at the age 74 in Scottsdale, Arizona after a battle with esophageal cancer. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins are just 70 days away from opening day in Baltimore. As we near that day, we will tap into Twins history related to each number as we get closer!

The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectations after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card. We will have bring out numbers from team history that represent the number of days until opening day on March 29th in Baltimore.

The Minnesota Twins hit the ground running with an excellent team when they arrived in the Twin Cities. At the heart of that lineup was “Killer”, Harmon Killebrew. Interestingly, the team’s second season in Minnesota was one where Killebrew led the league in home runs and RBI and finished third in the MVP voting in spite of hitting just .243. It’s his league-leading extra base hits from that season that are the focus today, however, as he clubbed out 70 extra base knocks.

Killebrew’s 1962

Killebrew had received minimal time from 1954 to 1958 with the Senators before taking hold of a starting job and immediately establishing himself, leading the league in home runs in 1959 and making the All-Star team.

While Killebrew would lead the league in home runs six times in his career, in RBI three times, and in walks four times, but 1962 is the only time that Killebrew led the league in extra base hits.

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Killebrew hit .243/.366/.545 in 1962 with 21 doubles, a triple, and 48 home runs. He scored 85 runs and drove in 126 runs with a 106/142 BB/K ratio. His 70 extra base hits were tops in the American League that season.

Killebrew was playing in his first season as a full-time left fielder. In an uninspiring class for MVP in that season, he received one first place vote. (This writer would have voted for Brooks Robinson, who finished 9th in the voting that season.)

Interestingly, Killebrew made the All-Star game 12 times with the Twins, but the season he led the league in extra base hits, home runs, and RBI was the one season between 1961 and 1971 that he did not make the All-Star team.

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Killer was a superstar already when the team got to Minnesota. He is arguably the greatest hitter in the history of the entire organization, and this was one of the most-decorated seasons of his brilliant career.

We look forward to that first day of the season against Baltimore!

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