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11/30/11

The best to ever play for the Twins by letter

Turning my attention off the shimmering off-season hot stove, a couple of days ago, I created a subjective list of the best baseball people to ever wear a particular Twins’ uniform number.

In the same spirit, I am presenting a list of the best Twins’ players whose last names begin with a particular letter.Unlike the previous list, this list includes players only. So the ABCs are slightly different than the 123s.

The premise is similar: who is the best (i.e. best overall performance as a player, not only as a Twin) to ever play for the Twins and his last name starts with a particular letter. The complete list of all the Twins' players can be found here. It also includes all Washington Senators players as well as players who were in the Twins’ 40-man roster even if they did not play a single inning in the majors (but these players are not included in the list below - but, if you wait, a whole player ranking - and that will be objective - in the Franchise Series is coming up either this weekend or next week).

Here is the list (I use the parenthesis to indicate close seconds and specifics about the particular letter like how many players’ last names started with that letter. No Twin -or Senator for that matter- had a last name that started with the letter X) Asterisks denote MLB Hall of Fame members, the positions and years with the Twins' Franchise are indicated. I am sure that there are some surprises, and I do encourage discussion:

A - Bob Allison (OF) 1958-1970
B - *Bert Blyleven (P) 1970-1976, 1985-1988
C - *Rod Carew (IF) 1967-1978 (close over P *Steve Carlton)
D - Chili Davis (OF/DH) 1991-1992
E - Scott Erickson (P) 1990-1995
F - Brian Fuentes (P) 2010
G - Gary Gaetti (3B) 1981-1990
H - Kent Hrbek (1B) 1981-1994
I - Riccardo Ingram (OF/DH) 1995 (only 2 players; the other C Hank Izquierdo)
J - Jacque Jones (OF) 1999-2005, 2010
K - *Harmon Killebrew (IF) 1954-1974
L - Francisco Liriano (P) 2004- (close over OF Matt Lawton)
M - *Paul Molitor (DH) 1996-1998
N - Joe Nathan (P) 2004-2011
O - Tony Oliva (OF) 1962-1976 (close over 1B/DH Dave Ortiz)
P - *Kirby Puckett (OF) 1984-1995
Q - Frank Quilici (IF) 1965-1970 (only 3 players; others: 3B Tom Quinlan & 3B Luis Quinones)
R - Brad Radke (P) 1995-2006
S - Johan Santana (P) 2000-2008
T - Jim Thome (DH) 2010-2011
U - Ted Uhlaender (OF) 1965-1969 (only 2 players; the other 1B Scott Ullger, yes that Scott Ulger)
V - Frank Viola (P) 1982-1989 (close over Zoilo Versalles)
W - *Dave Winfield (OF) 1993-1994
X - no players
Y - Delmon Young (OF) 2007-2011 (only 2 players; the other P Rich Yett)
Z - Geoff Zahn (P) 1977-1980 (only 3 players; others: P Bill Zepp, C Jerry Zimmerman)

Pretty good 24 man roster; what do you think?

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