The 1987 World Series brought a new generation of Minnesota Twins fans, but the 1991 World Series championship team did have a host of new players that were not part of the 1987 team and had some impressive resumes with the team beyond just that 1991 season.
A veteran catcher who had played in every season since 1981 but never had more than 140 plate appearances, Harper found a starting job when he came to the Twins in 1988. In his first full season as a starter, he hit .325 in 126 games.
Harper would end up being a consummate .300 hitter without a lot of home run power, but plenty of doubles power for his 6 seasons with the Twins.
In his 6 years, he hit .306/.342/.431 with 156 doubles and 48 home runs, all among the top numbers for catchers in Twins history.
A rookie on the 1991 team (that won Rookie of the Year), Knoblauch was a spark plug at the top of the lineup with the Twins for 7 seasons before he was traded away to the New York Yankees, his trade return helping to fuel the team’s return to competitiveness in the early 2000s.
Knoblauch developed into one of the truly elite players in the entire game with the Twins, making 4 All-Star games, receiving MVP votes in three seasons, winning a Silver Slugger, and winning a Gold Glove.
Over his 7 seasons with the Twins, Knoblauch hit .304/.391/.416 with 210 doubles, 51 triples, 43 home runs, and 276 stolen bases, many of which are among the leaders in team history.
Mack was a Rule 5 selection by the Twins before the 1990 season, and he immediately showed that to be one of the best Rule 5 selections in team history (and there have been some tremendous ones) by hitting .326/.392/.460 in 125 games.
In 1991, Mack was actually the Twins position player on the championship team with the highest bWAR on the season, though his best season was 1992, when he hit .315/.394/.467 with 31 doubles, 6 triples, 16 home runs, and 26 steals.
Mack left for Japan in the midst of the 1994 strike, and that likely ended a promising career as he was in his mid-30s before he returned to MLB in 1997 with Boston.
In his 5 years with the Twins, he hit .309/.375/.479 with 67 home runs and 71 stolen bases.
The Minnesota Twins acquired Tapani in the deal that sent ace Frank Viola to the New York Mets. After a solid 1990 season in the rotation, Tapani established himself by having the best bWAR on the entire 1991 team with a 16-9 season over 244 innings with a 2.99 ERA.
That would be Tap’s best season with the Twins, but he was still a consistent quality starter that gave innings each time out until the Twins traded him to the Dodgers in 1995.
Over 7 seasons with the Twins, Tapani won 75 games with a 4.06 ERA over 1,171 1/3 innings.
Now let’s check out the players from the 2000s…