After a rough end to the 1990s, the team bounced back to competitiveness in the early 2000s, winning multiple division titles. While some of the players are just starting to retire, they’re certainly worth honoring as they do retire.
A Canadian with a goalie’s mentality at third base, Koskie came up with the Twins in the 1998 season after being a 26th round draft pick in 1994 out of college.
Koskie brought a blend of power and speed along with gritty defense and an arm that was inconsistent at times, but could rifle the ball across the diamond, bringing memories of Gary Gaetti to mind in Twins fans with his hard-nosed play on both sides of the ball, though he was a much better athlete than Gaetti was.
Over 7 seasons with the Twins, Koskie hit .280/.373/.463 with 101 home runs and 66 stolen bases.
The only truly active player mentioned here, Mauer has definitely cemented his place already in the team’s honor roll, while some other players could be on their way soon.
The St. Paul native was the #1 overall selection in 2001 and made his way to the major leagues in 2004. Mauer had his biggest season in 2009, winning the MVP as he led the league in batting average, on base, AND slugging, pounding out 28 home runs.
Mauer’s accomplishment list is incredible, with 6 All-Star games, 5 Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, and 3 batting titles. He has transitioned from catcher to first base, and he is in the last year of his contract in 2018.
If he returns to the Twins to finish his career after 2018, he would have a chance to be the Twins leader in an incredible amount of categories by the time he retires.
Morneau was one of two we’ll mention here that has officially announced his retirement this offseason, and he certainly was one of the keys to the Twins success in the latter half of the 2000s.
Morneau was the impetus to trading away fan favorite Doug Mientkiewicz, and he quickly showed he was worth that move, hitting 19 home runs in just half a season after Douggie Baseball was traded away.
Morneau would go on to have 3 30 home run seasons in his Twins career, winning the 2006 MVP and finishing as the runner-up in the 2008 MVP voting while being selected for 4 All Star games.
He finished with a .278/.347/.485 line over 11 seasons with the Twins, hitting 221 home runs.
Nathan retired in 2017, which makes him a natural selection for the 2019 Hall, though he’s not the only former Twin who did that, which could make a crowded ballot.
The Twins acquired Nathan from the San Francisco Giants when they traded A.J. Pierzynski out west to give Joe Mauer the full time job behind the plate. Nathan exploded on the scene in Minnesota, saving 44 games in his first season in 2004, with a 1.62 ERA and 89 strikeouts over 72 1/3 innings.
He would be essentially the only reliever in the era to challenge Mariano Rivera‘s dominance as the best reliever in the game.
Nathan left the Twins after 2011 season as the all-time saves leader with the Twins. Over 7 season with the Twins, he saved 260 games with a 2.16 ERA, striking out 561 hitters over 463 1/3 innings.
Originally a Stillwater graduate, Perkins was the Twins’ 1st round selection in 2004 out of the University of Minnesota. The former Gopher worked his way to the big league club for a pair of late season auditions before spending most of the 2008 season in the rotation.
Perkins would move to the bullpen and return to the Twins in 2011, taking over as one of the few left-handed closers in the league in 2012. He finished his Twins career with 120 saves and a 3.88 ERA over 624 1/3 innings. He made 3 All-Star games.
On Wednesday, to address rumors that he would be retiring that had leaked out, Perkins tweeted this:
Good luck to you, Perk, in retirement!
Now, to the management who deserve consideration…