Minnesota Twins Opening Day Countdown: 66, 1979 Twins steals

benjaminchase
KISSIMMEE, FL - JANUARY 28: Baseballs and a Fungo Bat lie in the dirt during the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring on January 28, 2011 at the Houston Astros Spring Training Complex in Kissimmee, Florida. Jim Evans was a Major League Umpire for 28 years that included umpiring four World Series. Many of his students have gone on to work on all levels of baseball including the Major Leagues. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
KISSIMMEE, FL - JANUARY 28: Baseballs and a Fungo Bat lie in the dirt during the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring on January 28, 2011 at the Houston Astros Spring Training Complex in Kissimmee, Florida. Jim Evans was a Major League Umpire for 28 years that included umpiring four World Series. Many of his students have gone on to work on all levels of baseball including the Major Leagues. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins are just 66 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.

There are many ways to go about scoring a run, but it is rare to find a team that completely bucks typical scoring methods (either hitting for a lot of power or running a bunch, at the most basic) that has scoring success. Yet, the 1979 Minnesota Twins were just that team.

1979 Minnesota Twins offense

The Twins have played 57 seasons in Minnesota at this point. The 1979 Twins are the #21 team in runs per game, but when you break it down, that’s a pretty surprising spot, based on the following ranks:

  • #38 in doubles in team history
  • #43 in stolen bases in team history
  • #44 in home runs in team history

Those would seem like the most natural ways to score runs, wouldn’t they. The 1979 team was led in home runs by Roy Smalley with 24, in stolen bases by Rob Wilfong with 11, and in OPS by Wilfong with an .810 mark.

More from Puckett's Pond

However, that 1979 Twins team scored their runs in a lot of different ways. The team has one of the top 10 team batting averages and is #1 in team history in sacrifice hits.

While only 3 players with 300+ plate appearances on the year hit better than .300, of the 10 on the team that had 300 PAs, only one had a batting average under .270, and that was DH Jose Morales, who hit .267. No team in Twins history has had as many players hit .270 or better.

The team was also one of the best in team history in triples, and while not a single player on the 1979 team had double-digit triples, 5 players had 5 or more triples. Only the 1967 Twins had more players with 5 or more triples.

Next: Twins need to avoid becoming Pirates

As we click to opening day, we remember at #66 a Twins offense that scored plenty of runs without really using home runs or stolen bases, of which they had 66 on the season.

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

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