No. 10: Bullet Joe Bush
Birthplace: Brainerd, MN
Joe Bush, nicknamed Bullet Joe, was a fixture for some of the winningest teams in baseball over his seventeen year career. Bush played in a stellar five different World Series with three teams: the Philadelphia Athletics (twice), the New York Yankees (twice) and the Boston Red Sox (once).
Bush also put together a 26 win season in 1922 and finished with 196 wins and a 3.51 ERA. He is in the top five among Minnesota players in wins, games pitched, innings pitched, and pitcher WAR, landing him in the tenth spot over Rube Walberg.
No. 9: Terry Steinbach
Birthplace: New Ulm, MN
Arguably one of the greatest Minnesota Gopher baseball players ever, Terry Steinbach went on to have a very productive career in the majors that saw him become a three-time All-Star, one time All-Star game MVP and a World Series champion with the Athletics before finishing his career with the Minnesota Twins.
Steinbach is fifth among Minnesota natives in homers, sixth in RBI, twelfth in average, and eleventh in WAR. Despite all those accolades with the Gophers and A’s, it’s only good enough to bring him to ninth on this list.
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No. 8: Jerry Koosman
Birthplace: Appleton, MN
One of the top three pitchers on this list, Jerry Koosman built a nineteen year career as a winner, as the two-time All-Star won a World Series in 1989 and won 19 or more games three times, including a twenty-win season with the Twins in 1979.
Koosman is first in innings pitched and pitching WAR while placing second in games and wins among Minnesotan pitchers. However, every player ahead of him either had their number retired or is in the Hall of Fame keeping Koosman down here.
No. 7: Roger Maris
Birthplace: Hibbing, MN
Yankee legend Roger Maris is only at seven?!? Yep. Maris was incredible during his three-year run where he set the homer record at the time (61), won two MVP awards, a Gold Glove, and was an All-Star all four years. Outside of that, his other eight years weren’t very good, as he never hit better 28 homers and 80 RBI the rest of his career.
However, his number 9 is retired by the Yankees, as his chase with Mickey Mantle to break Babe Ruth’s homer record is legendary. Maris is third among Minnesota hitters in homers and fifth in RBI, helping land him here, but he doesn’t top the next hitter on this list.
No. 6: Kent Hrbek
Birthplace: Minneapolis, MN
Putting the Minneapolis native and beloved Twins icon Kent Hrbek in sixth feels criminal, as one of the top 10 Twins players is a huge reason the Twins have two World Series titles. However, if we’re going on purely career excellence, Herbie falls just behind four Hall of Famers (and one possible candidate).
Hrbek ranks second among Minnesotans in homers, third in RBI, and sixth in batting average. He also ranks seventh in WAR and is one of only ten Minnesota hitters to play in an All-Star game, helping him top Maris. Unfortunately, he falls outside the top 5.