Minnesota Twins Spring Training Countdown: 14, Twins batting titles
The Minnesota Twins are just 14 days away from spring training. As we celebrate the end of the blustery temps and the return of the game we love, let’s look at team history surrounding that number.
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 spring training from now until pitchers and catchers report on February 13th.
The Minnesota Twins have had players lead the league in a host of statistical categories over the years. One area that the Twins have always seemed to have a champion is in the area of batting average. The 14 batting titles won by Twins players is what we celebrate with 14 days left to pitchers and catchers reporting!
Rundown of the champions
Tony Oliva won the first title for the team in 1964. It would be the first of his three batting titles. Oliva won in 1965 and 1971 as well.
Rod Carew won the first of his seven batting titles with the Twins in 1969. In 1972, he started on one of the most dominant stretches of batting average hitting in the past 50 years, as he won every American League batting title from 1972 to 1978 except for 1976.
Though he was frequently on the leaderboard at the end of the season, Kirby Puckett won just one batting title with the Twins, in 1989.
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Joe Mauer went on his stretch of dominant hitting in 2006, winning the first of his three batting titles (2006, 2008, 2009). He has also finished in the top 5 three other times.
In all, the Twins have had 14 batting titles won by four players. However, the team has frequently had a player in the top 5 of the batting title race.
In all, the Twins organization has seen 22 other top 5 finishes on top of the 14 batting titles. Those top 5 finishes have involved seven more players that never won a batting title as a Twin.
The most impressive season was in 1971, when the Twins had 3 of the top 5, with Oliva winning the title, Cesar Tovar finishing 4th, and Carew finishing 5th.
The Twins have seemingly bred such a culture of quality hitting that their players continue to chase titles after leaving Minnesota. In back to back seasons in 2013 and 2014, Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau won National League batting titles while playing for the Colorado Rockies.
Next: Who next goes into the Twins team HOF?
For 14 days to spring training, we remember the 14 times a Minnesota Twins player has finished with the highest batting average in the league!
Come soon, spring!!