No. 4: Minnesota Twins’ Dan Gladden
Years with the Minnesota Twins: 1987-1991 (5 Seasons)
Key Stats with the Minnesota Twins: 644 G, 661 H, 358 R, 38 HR, 238 RBI, 116 SB, 169 BB, .268 BA, 5.7 WAR, -1.4 dWAR, 1987 and 1991 World Series
If you look at stats alone, Dan Gladden isn’t even close to this list. His thirty-eight home runs are nothing special. His hits (661) and games (664) don’t come to close to placing in the top fifty in team history.
His WAR of 5.7 isn’t good, and his dWAR of -1.4 is average for a left fielder. He scored 359 runs and had a .268 batting average. Neither one of those numbers is good. But now that we’ve gone over what Gladden wasn’t the best at, let’s talk about why he’s on this list.
Gladden was fast. Over just five seasons, Gladden stole 116 bases. That number is good enough for eighteenth in team history, which is impressive for just five seasons. But not even his speed was his best contribution to the Minnesota Twins organization. That contribution is this:
Or how about this:
Gladden played for the Twins over a five-year period where the team won two World Series titles, playing playoff hero both years. In 1987, he hit one home run and had 12 RBI in 12 games, hitting over .300 over the course of the playoffs.
In 1991, Gladden added three more RBI and hit a leadoff double in the 10th inning before scoring the World Series-winning run three batters later. Gladden may not be the most skilled player in team history, but his playoff contributions earn him a spot on this list.