No. 1 Harmon Killebrew-1961
In all honesty, catapulting Harmon Killebrew to the top of the list is in part because it is a cool story. Killebrew was named to the All-Star team during the franchise’s first season in Minnesota. What an exciting moment it had to be for those who were cheering on the Twins in that inaugural season.
While the circumstance is cool, that shouldn’t take away from what still stands as one of the best first halves by a Twins hitter. Killebrew slashed .335/.451/.696 with a 1.250 OPS. Of his 88 hits, he had 26 home runs, nine doubles, and 68 RBIs. Killebrew’s All-Star birth was also at a time when the squads played two games so fans had two opportunities to see the best in baseball on the same field.
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In both games, Killebrew started the game on the bench. In the first game, Killebrew entered the game as a pinch hitter and went 1-for-2 with a home run. Then while on the roster for Game 2 of the All-Star series, Killebrew didn’t make an appearance in the Fenway version of the game.
Killebrew finished the 1961 season in strong fashion. His final slash line was .288/.405/.606 with a 1.012 OPS and Killebrew finished by hitting a total of 46 home runs. The season ends up being arguably one of Killebrew’s best statistical seasons even though he didn’t end up with quite the league wide accolades as some other seasons. A guy by the name of Roger Maris might have had something to do with that.
There is the list. Who was missed? There were some close calls and guys to argue for so who might you have put on this list if you were putting it together? Let us know in the comments as it would be great to hear what each of you thinks.