|1991 Minnesota Twins|
|World Series Champions|
American League Champions
AL West Champions
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Andy MacPhail|
Midwest Sports Channel
(Jim Kaat, Ted Robinson, Dick Bremer)
|Local radio||830 WCCO AM |
(Herb Carneal, John Gordon)
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The 1991 Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball (MLB) won the World Series, the second time the Twins had won the World Series since moving to Minnesota in 1961. During the 1991 regular season the Twins had an MLB-leading 15-game win streak, which remains a club record. On June 17, 1991, the streak came to an end at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles but not before the Twins moved from fifth place to first, a lead they would not relinquish until winning baseball's championship. The Twins' winning streak of 1991 falls just seven games short of the all-time American League (AL) record of 22 consecutive regular season wins set by the Cleveland Indians in 2017.
The Twins finished 95-67, first in the AL West, which represented a turnaround from 1990, when the team finished last in the division with a 74-88 record. They were the first team to go from a last-place finish to a World Series championship. They and the Atlanta Braves were the first teams to go from last place to a pennant. The Twins defeated the Braves in seven games in a Series which has been considered one of the best to have ever been played.
There was a considerable reshaping of the team in January and February, beginning when third baseman Gary Gaetti left as a free agent on January 25 and signed with the California Angels. Less than 12 hours after Gaetti's departure, the Twins signed free agent Mike Pagliarulo from the New York Yankees as a new third baseman. Two more key free agent signings followed with designated hitter Chili Davis on January 30 and St. Paul native Jack Morris on February 5. The July 1989 blockbuster trade that sent 1988 AL Cy Young Award winner Frank Viola to the New York Mets in exchange for relief pitchers Rick Aguilera and David West and starter Kevin Tapani proved to be pivotal to the 1991 season. There were only seven players still on the roster from the 1987 World Championship team, none of them pitchers: Randy Bush, Greg Gagne, Dan Gladden, Kent Hrbek, Gene Larkin, Al Newman, and future Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett. Into this framework, young stars were blended successfully, including Scott Leius to platoon with Pagliarulo at third, Shane Mack in right field, Scott Erickson, a 20-game winner with a 12-game winning streak, and A.L. Rookie of the Year second baseman Chuck Knoblauch.
2,293,842 fans attended Twins games, the eighth highest total in the American League.
The club moved spring training operations from Orlando's Tinker Field, where the franchise had trained since 1936, to the Lee County Sports Complex in Ft. Myers.
For the second time in his career, Kirby Puckett had a six-hit game on May 23. This was an eleven-inning game; the previous time in 1987 was in nine innings.
The highest paid player on the team was Jack Morris at $3,700,000; followed by Kirby Puckett at $3,166,667.
Jack Morris, Kevin Tapani, and Scott Erickson were a solid, 1-2-3 punch in the team's rotation. The fourth and fifth spots were less certain, with Allan Anderson, David West, and Mark Guthrie starting over 10 games. Rick Aguilera was a solid closer, earning 42 saves.
The regular lineup included Kent Hrbek at first base, rookie Chuck Knoblauch at second, Greg Gagne at shortstop, Brian Harper at catcher, and Kirby Puckett, Shane Mack, and Dan Gladden in the outfield. Mike Pagliarulo and Scott Leius platooned at third. Junior Ortiz was the backup catcher, and Al Newman was a reliable utility infielder.
|Chicago White Sox||87||75||0.537||8||46–35||41–40|
|Kansas City Royals||82||80||0.506||13||40–41||42–39|
Sources:              
|1991 Minnesota Twins|
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
See 1991 American League Championship Series and 1991 World Series.
Seven players and five of the coaching staff from the 1987 World Champions repeated as 1991 World Champions.
Only one man has been a part of each of the three Minnesota Twins World Series teams: Tony Oliva. An outfielder in 1965, he was the hitting coach on the 1987 team and bench coach in 1991.
See also: Minor League Baseball
|AAA||Portland Beavers||Pacific Coast League||Russ Nixon|
|AA||Orlando Sun Rays||Southern League||Scott Ullger|
|A||Visalia Oaks||California League||Steve Liddle|
|A||Kenosha Twins||Midwest League||Joel Lepel|
|Rookie||Elizabethton Twins||Appalachian League||Ray Smith|
|Rookie||GCL Twins||Gulf Coast League||Dan Rohn|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Orlando
It was his play in Game 6 of the '91 Series against Atlanta that cemented his legacy in Twin Cities sports history. After robbing the Braves' Ron Gant of a home run in the field, Puckett hit an 11th-inning homer off Charlie Leibrandt to force a seventh game that the Twins eventually won in what some baseball historians consider the greatest World Series ever.
The 1991 World Series is easily the best World Series ever played, with three games being won in the final at-bat and four coming down to the final pitch. Kirby Puckett's heroics in Game 6 allowed the Twins to stay alive and eventually win Game 7.
No. 10: 1991 World Series, Game 6: This is the game where Jack Buck exclaimed "And we'll see you tomorrow night!" In addition to Puckett's extra-inning heroics, the Twins' bullpen held the Braves scoreless for the last four innings of the game, allowing just three singles, two of which were erased by double plays.
No. 6: 1991 World Series, Game 7: The Senators franchise moved to Minnesota in 1961; 30 years later, the team played two of the most excruciatingly exciting World Series games on consecutive nights. It's the only Series I'm honoring here with a pair of games. This one featured a 10-inning shutout thrown by Minnesota's Jack Morris while the Twins were leaving 12 men on base, finally scoring the game-winner on Gene Larkin's bases-loaded single with one out in the bottom of the 10th.