Minnesota Twins Opening Day Countdown: 24, Tom Brunansky
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins are just 24 days away from Opening Day in Baltimore. As we near that day, here is more Twins history related to that number.
The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectation after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card team. We will highlight numbers from team history that represent the number of days until Opening Day on March 29th in Baltimore.
Today as the number of days gets smaller, down to 24 days until Opening Day, the power numbers get bigger. Today’s spotlight player not only produced power as a player but also tried to help players do that same thing as a coach. On this day we celebrate number 24, Tom Brunansky.
Brunansky was drafted in the first round, number 14 overall, of the 1978 MLB draft by the California Angels. He would then make his major league debut on April 9, 1981, at the age of 20. In that game playing alongside former Twin Rod Carew, Brunansky would go 1 for 4 and score a run while playing left field.
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Before the 1982 season, Brunansky would be packaged in a trade to Minnesota along with Mike Walters and cash in exchange for Doug Corbett and Rob Wilfong. He would make himself the Twins regular right fielder as soon as he stepped into the land of 10,000 lakes.
Brunansky joins the Twins
Brunansky would quickly showcase his power with the Twins. In 1984 he would top 30 home runs for the first time hitting 32 in that season after hitting 20 and 28 in the previous two seasons. During the 1985 season, he would earn his lone All-Star appearance and hit .242/.320/.448 along with 27 home runs and 28 doubles.
As does most of Twins Territory, Brunansky must have 1987 circled as one of his best seasons. He again hit 32 home runs with 22 doubles while slashing .259/.352/.489. As the Twins advanced to the playoffs, Brunansky flat out dominated the Tigers in the ALCS. His stat line during that series read as .412/.524/1.000 along with a 1.524 OPS, 2 home runs, and 4 doubles.
The Twins would trade Brunansky to the St. Louis Cardinals the next season in 1988. He would go on to spend time with the Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, and Milwaukee Brewers before retiring from playing in 1994. In 2010, Brunansky would find himself back with the Twins as a minor league coach. In 2012 Brunansky would be named the Twins hitting coach. In part, due to the high praise, he received from several players for helping develop their swings, most notably Brian Dozier.
Next: Predicting the Twins Opening Day starting rotation
The Twins in 2018 should have their own powerful home run hitters and a set of great outfielders. So today we remember one memorable outfielder from the Twins past number 24, Tom Brunansky!