No. 1– 1977 Corner Infield
The 1977 Twins were a middle of the road team. A team that those of us fans who just endured season after season of 100-plus losses would have loved to watch. The ’77 team finished 84-77 and finished 4th in the American League West. In current playoff formatting, they would have finished just outside of securing that second Wild Card position.
Third Baseman Mike Cubbage was in his first full season with the Twins after coming over to the team from the Texas Rangers with Roy Smalley in exchange for Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson. Cubbage slashed .264/.321/.391 and hit 9 home runs and scored 60 runs.
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Hopefully, you aren’t too shocked that Cubbage’s counterpart at first base was non-other than Rod Carew. Carew put together a slash line of .388/.449/.570 and hit 14 home runs, 38 doubles, 16 triples for 239 total hits and 128 runs scored. He led the league with an OPS of 1.019 and also led the league in batting average, OBP, triples, hits, and runs scored. That gave him yet another All-Star appearance as well as the Most Valuable Player award. It also gives us Carew’s inclusion at number one for the second time as a part of this series.
Carew’s 1977 performance and 9.7 WAR is the best by any corner infielder in Twins history. Combined with Cubbage’s 2.3 WAR that gives the pair the best-combined WAR of any Twins middle infield at 12.0 WAR. That is a full 2.7 WAR better than number two on this list!
Hope you have enjoyed yet another look through some of the best season performances in Twins history. Stay tuned for the next group in this series.