Minnesota Twins: Top 3 Players to wear Number 42 in Team History
With today being Jackie Robinson Day, we take a look back at all the Minnesota Twins and Washington Senators who wore the number before it was retired.
Today, April 15th, is Jackie Robinson Day, a day designed to celebrate Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, the first player to break baseball’s color barrier. Robinson was a star player who led by example and opened the door for some of baseball’s greatest players.
Robinson’s number was retired by every team in baseball on April 15th, 1997, putting an end to all players wearing the number 42. In honor of Jackie Robinson Day, we took a look at the three best players to wear the number in Twins history. No player wore it for more than a year, making this a short list.
No. 3: Minnesota Twins’ Butch Huskey (2000)
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Butch Huskey played just 64 games with the Twins in 2000, but because of the short list of just eight players to wear the number, Huskey lands on the list. In 2000 (over the full season), Huskey hit .261 with 9 homers and 45 RBI. He was traded midway through the season with Todd Walker for Todd Sears.
Huskey was one of the players grandfathered in after the number was retired in 1997. Players who were already wearing the number were allowed to continue wearing the number through their careers, and Huskey was included in that.
No. 2: Washington Senators’ Cass Michaels (1950)
In 1950, Cass Michaels was in the middle of his best career season, hitting .312 and was on pace to set a career high in homers. The infielder had just made his second straight All-Star game and was playing well when he was traded to the Senators in the middle of the year.
Al Kozar (another wearer of the number 42) was sent to the White Sox in the deal, and Michaels struggled a bit after the trade. He finished the season with a .266 batting average, 8 homers, and 66 RBI. It’s not a great year, but it earns him a spot on this list.
No. 1: Minnesota Twins’ Mike Jackson (2002)
Mike Jackson was another player who was grandfathered in after Robinson’s number was retired in 1997. He only played one season in Minnesota and is the last player in team history to have the number.
Jackson was 37 by the time he arrived in Minnesota, but he was a productive member of the bullpen that helped the team make the American League Championship Series. He pitched in 55 innings over 58 games and had a solid 3.27 ERA and 29 K.
With all players on every team wearing Jackie Robinson’s number each April 15th, it ensures that Robinson’s influence won’t fade anytime soon. Jackie Robinson’s impact on Major League Baseball and America as a country is massive, and he is a true American hero and baseball legend. Happy Jackie Robinson Day!