As Miguel Sanó turns 27 on Monday, May 11, let’s jump back to three memorable moments Minnesota Twins fans will forever remember Sanó for.
Today, Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sanó turns 27.
Sanó typically spends his birthdays around the baseball diamond. When healthy, Sanó has been a popular attraction at Target Field known for punishing baseballs with his “Sanó-doubters” over the fences. This year is a change up with MLB baseball postponed amidst the Coronavirus pandemic dubbed COVID-19. While spectators have not been able to see Sanó in action for quite sometime, they can still reminisce.
After being called up to the Twins in July of 2015, Sanó has produced quite a few memorable moments thus far in his career. While he turns 27, let’s rewind the clock back to three memorable moments.
Triple Play: June 1, 2017
A triple play is one of those rare moments you see in baseball. Even for a diehard fan, it could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness one in person. Thanks to Sanó, he’s helped this play come alive for the Twins in the 2010’s. It all started on June 1, 2017 when the Twins faced the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on the road.
Sanó was at third base when he caught a ball off a one-hop. He stepped on the bag, threw to Brian Dozier for an out at second, who threw to Joe Mauer at first base to complete the 5-4-3 triple play. This was the Minnesota Twins 13th triple play in franchise history and their first since a home game against the Seattle Mariners May 27, 2006.
Sanó made sure it wouldn’t take another 11 years for a triple play. In 2019, the Twins had two triple plays in one season. Sanó played a role in both. Against the Braves, he initiated the 5-4-3 triple play playing at third base. Against the Yankees, he was the first baseman who completed the 5-4-3 triple play. Both of those occurred at Target Field. As far as the 2010s go, the Twins have Sanó to thank for every triple play that occurred that decade.
2017 Home Run Derby
In 2017, Sanó was voted to his first MLB All Star Game. In addition, the slugger participated in his first Home Run Derby. Sanó made it all the way down to the finals where he faced off against Yankees breakout slugger Aaron Judge. Judge would go on to win but Sanó made it an interesting derby.
Sanó came the closest Twin to win the Home Run Derby since Justin Morneau won in 2008. That year, Morneau defeated Josh Hamilton in the final round to win the title.
Sanó Walk-off vs Braves
When a players has a moment reminiscent of the late Twins great Kirby Puckett, then that player is definitely in great company. Sanó did just that August 5, 2019. He made a play that brought back memories to Puckett’s Game 6 World Series walk-off. Most importantly, Sanó’s play came against the Braves.
In the bottom of the ninth inning the Twins had two outs, a runner on first and were tied at 3. Sanó came in to pinch hit. He only needed two pitches that night to put his stamp on the game. That second pitch, he smashed a home run to centerfield traveling 443 feet. One he knew was going out the park the moment he swung.
Sanó’s homer was one of the most iconic home runs for that 2019 Twins squad, a squad that came close to setting the franchise record in regular season wins and set the MLB record for most home runs by a team in a regular season with 307. That season, the Twins were known as “Bomba Squad” and Sanó’s walk-off homer will forever be one of the most, if not the most, iconic bomba for the 2019 Twins.
Sanó celebrated that play with a Gatorade bath and bubble gum dumped on him by teammates, who ran out of the dugout to meet him at home plate. While Sanó is self-distancing in isolation he, just like fans, have life-long memories they can smile back upon.