Minnesota Twins Opening Day Countdown: 68, Steinbach’s doubles


The Minnesota Twins are just 68 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 decade of the 1990s brought home a number of local Minnesota athletes to achieve glory in a Twins uniform. Jack Morris won one of the most famous World Series games in history. Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor collected their 3,000th hits with their hometown team.

Terry Steinbach was the last of the bunch in the decade to return home, though his was more to finish out what had been one of the better catcher careers of the early 1990s.

Steinbach pre-Twins

Out of high school at New Ulm, Minnesota, the Cleveland Indians selected Steinbach in the 16th round. He chose instead to attend the University of Minnesota, where he would then be a 9th round selection in 1983 to the Oakland Athletics.

Steinbach made his way to the majors in 1986, taking over as the A’s starting catcher in 1987. He joined an A’s team primed to do some big things at the time, appearing in three straight World Series, winning the 1989 title. Steinbach was a vital cog, running the pitching staff and hitting .281 in his playoff experience with the A’s.

Steinbach made 3 All-Star games with the Athletics, establishing himself as a gritty catcher behind the plate with punch at the plate. After an incredible offensive season in 1996, where he hit .272/.342/.529 with 35 home runs and his first 100-RBI season, the Twins signed Steinbach to a 2-year deal.

More from Puckett's Pond

Twins career

Steinbach was already 35 when he came to the Twins, and he ended up playing his final three seasons with the Twins.

He struggled to find the same home run power he had displayed in 1996, totaling 30 home runs over his 3 seasons, but he did have good gap power in that time. He averaged 32 doubles per 162 games as a Twin.

Steinbach’s final line with the Twins was .256/.321/.399 with 68 doubles, 7 triples, 30 home runs, and 8 stolen bases.

Over his career, he hit .271/.326/.420 with 162 career home runs over 14 years in the major leagues, pounding out 273 doubles as well in his career. Steinbach was a 3-time All-Star (all while with the A’s), and was selected as the 1988 All-Star MVP.

Next: Twins need to avoid becoming Pirates

Steinbach became another among a group of local greats to finish their career with the Twins in the 1990s. While he wasn’t the same player he’d been with the A’s, he was still a quality catcher who led into another quality hitter in A.J. Pierzynski behind the plate (after a year of Matt LeCroy‘s defense behind the plate – shudder at the memory!).

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