Minnesota Twins: Reminiscing on a Happier Time, back in 1991
By Greg Simbeck
As this disappointing Minnesota Twins seasons rolls to its eventual conclusion, it is easy for us to wax nostalgic and think of happier times in Twinsville. Thoughts linger back to the days when the stands were full, multiple All-Stars took the field every day, and our home team was contemplating a long playoff run.
We could even dream of another World Series title. That sounds real nice right about now. Well, let’s go back to that happier time. Imagine it. We are in the stands cheering on Hrby, Puck, Pags, and Jack Morris. Yes folks, we are going back to the week of September 15th, 1991, when all things were possible in our baseball universe. Follow me back, and you won’t regret the ride.
Disappointment in Texas
The week started in a disappointing fashion as our Twins lost to the Texas Rangers 4-2 on a hot afternoon in Arlington Texas. Pitcher Allan Anderson, in his last year with the team, got roughed up to the tune of six hits and four walks.
Catcher Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez and Ruben Sierra each contributed 2 RBI for the Rangers while pitcher Jose Guzman gave up two runs in the first inning before settling down after that to earn his twelfth win of the year.
The Minnesota Twins ended a short road trip to Kansas City and Texas with a record of 3-4. They returned home that night to start a three-game series the next night at the Metrodome. Their record at that point in the season stood at 86-58. Good for a seven and half-game lead over the Chicago White Sox (that sounds really nice in 2021).
Homestand against the Royals
The Twins came roaring back the next night with a resounding 9-0 win over the Royals. Offensive heroes for the evening were catcher Brian Harper (who blasted a homer and had 3 RBI) and third baseman Mike (Pags) Pagliarulo (who drove in two runs on a hit and a sacrifice fly).
Kevin Tapani pitched seven and one-third innings of magnificent baseball, only surrendering three hits and zero walks for his fifteenth win of the season. The team was happy to be back on home turf.
The next night, the home team could not repeat their performance as they fell to the Royals 4-1. George Brett led the Royals with a home run and an RBI off of a struggling Jack Morris. First baseman Paul Sorrento paced the Minnesota Twins with two hits including a ninth-inning double off of closer Jeff Montgomery.
The Twins dropped another one to the Royals 10-4 in a day game at the Dome the next day. Twins’ starter Scott Erickson got absolutely shelled, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits and one walk for only his seventh loss of the season. Pagliarulo led the Twins again offensively with two hits and two runs driven in, but the Minnesota Twins’ lead was now down to six games over the White Sox.
Sweep the Rangers
After a much-needed day off, the Twins remained at home for a three-game series with the Rangers. The Twins broke open 4-4 game in the bottom of the eighth inning thanks to a single by Kirby Puckett that drove in two runs. Gary Wayne earned his first win of the year in relief and Rick Aguilera recorded his 40th save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.
The Minnesota Twins got their revenge on Jose Guzman in this Saturday night tilt, tagging the Rangers starter with eight earned runs in six and two-thirds innings and propelling the Twins to an 8-4 win over Texas.
First baseman Kent Hrbek, Brian Harper, and third baseman Scott Leius provided the offensive fireworks driving in two runs each. Kevin Tapani scattered eight hits and pitched a complete game for his sixteenth win of the season.
The Minnesota Twins defeated the Rangers 9-4 to sweep the series in a resounding fashion. Pagliarulo once again led the Twins offensively with two hits and two runs driven in while shortstop Greg Gagne also added three hits.
Jack Morris went seven innings for the win and Wayne and Terry Leach pitched two innings of mop-up duty. When the game ended, The Tom Kelly-led Twins were in front of the second-place White Sox by eight games.
Back to the 2021 Minnesota Twins Reality
There, didn’t that make all of you Minnesota Twins fans feel better? Reminiscing about the days when the Twins were a force and were running away with the division offers the positive reminder that there will be brighter days ahead. We have to believe that because we are Twins fans.
Now if you are lucky, you will fall back to sleep before today’s game starts and immediately start dreaming about the 1987 season too. Goodnight Twins territory.