Minnesota Twins: 5 best corner infield pairs in Twins history

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 25: Miguel Sano
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 25: Miguel Sano /
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No. 2– 1969 Corner Infield

Rich Reese and Harmon Killebrew

In 1969 with Billy Martin at the helm, the Twins went 97-65 finishing first in the American League West. The Twins finished 9 games ahead of the next closest team in the AL West the Oakland Athletics. They then ran into the 109 win Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship and lost 3-0.

First baseman Rich Reese spent the good part of a decade with the Twins. After becoming a regular in 1967 he put together his best season in 1969. Reese slashed .322/.362/.513, 16 home runs, and 24 doubles.

Harmon Killebrew in 1969 split time between the two corner infield positions and turned in arguably his best season next to his 1967 season. Killebrew played all 162 games and hit .276/.427/.584, 49 home runs, 20 doubles and 140 RBIs. Both home run and RBI numbers lead the league and were or tied for his career best in each of those stat categories. His 1969 season also landed him with Most Valuable Player award.

As stated earlier, 1969 was arguably Killebrew’s best season and it is WAR that would argue with that fact as the 1969 season was his second best season according to WAR. In 1969 Killebrew was credited with a 6.2 WAR, just behind his 6.5 WAR for 1967. Killebrew’s 6.2 WAR ranks third all-time amongst Twins corner infielders. That combined with Reese’s 3.1 WAR ties them with the 1964 duo for a combined 9.3 WAR. It is Killebrew’s league dominating performance that gives the 1969 pair the edge for second on our list.