Minnesota Twins Spring Training Countdown: 7, Greg Gagne
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins are just 7 days away from spring training. As we celebrate the return of the game we love, let’s look at the #7’s place in team history.
The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectations after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card team. We will be highlighting numbers from team history that represent the number of days until spring training from now until pitchers and catchers report on February 13th.
The Twins currently stand as deep as they have in a long time at the shortstop position. Jorge Polanco is set to start again at shortstop at the big league level. Nick Gordon will get a chance to prove himself with an invite to major league camp during spring training. Royce Lewis and Wander Javier are popping up all over in top prospect rankings as well.
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On this day we want to reminisce about a shortstop from Twins history that wore the #7, Greg Gagne. Gagne began his career with the New York Yankees after they drafted him in the 5th round of the 1979 draft. After spending 3 seasons in the Yankees minor league system, Gagne was traded to the Twins on April 10, 1982 with Paul Boris and Ron Davis for Roy Smalley.
In 1985 Gagne began to establish himself as a regular with the Twins, and in 1987 Gagne really seemed to find his groove. He played in 137 games that season and slashed .265/.310/.430 with a .740 OPS. Gagne also hit 10 home runs and 28 doubles. Of course, as Gagne hit his stride in 1987 so did the Twins as they went on to win the World Series.
1989 was arguably Gagne’s best season of his career as he hit .272/.298/.424, a .721 OPS, 9 home runs and 29 doubles for a 4.1 WAR. Along with some good offensive seasons, Gagne always had a reputation of being a solid defender at shortstop. While Gagne put up solid numbers in his time with the Twins that isn’t likely why so many fans look back fondly on him.
Twins fans continue to remember Gagne for his role in helping bring not only the 1987 World Series championship to Minnesota but also the 1991 World Series crown as well. Very specifically fans may never forget Gagne’s infield hit which gave the Twins a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 6th inning of game 7 of the 1987 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Next: Who goes into the Twins HOF next?
For 7 days until Spring Training we remember Greg Gagne! Do you have any memories of the shortstop that stand out to you?