The Pride of Minnesota: The Twins in the Turbulent 1960s

The Pride of Minnesota: The Twins in the Turbulent 1960s

by Thom Henninger
The Pride of Minnesota: The Twins in the Turbulent 1960s

The Pride of Minnesota: The Twins in the Turbulent 1960s

by Thom Henninger


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The 1960s were a heady time to come of age. The British Invasion transformed pop music and culture. The fledgling space program offered a thrilling display of modern technology. The civil rights movement and Vietnam War drew young people to American politics, spurring them to think more critically about the state of the nation. And the assassinations Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 shook the United States to the core. During these turbulent times the Minnesota Twins were the pride of the North Star State—an elite team that advanced to the World Series in 1965 and played in dramatic pennant races in the years thereafter.

After an uneven 1964 season the Twins set themselves up for a turnaround that would last the rest of the decade. At the end of his playing career with the Twins, Billy Martin was hired as third base coach in 1965, giving them a more aggressive base-running style. Mudcat Grant became the first African American pitcher to win at least twenty games in the American League, and Tony Oliva won his second batting title to help lead the Twins to the World Series, which they lost in seven games to the Dodgers. In 1967 rookie Rod Carew joined the Twins as they engaged in a historic pennant race but finished second to the Red Sox during their “Impossible Dream” season. In 1969 Martin took over as manager, and both Carew and Harmon Killebrew led the Twins to the American League Championship Series, only to lose to the Orioles, after which Martin was fired in part for a now-legendary bar fight. Bill Rigney took the helm in 1970 and steered the Twins to a second-straight division title and ALCS loss to the Orioles.

In The Pride of Minnesota Thom Henninger details these pennant races, from the key moments and games to the personalities of the players involved, in the context of state and world events. Although the Twins won only one AL pennant in this stretch and failed to win the World Series, these memorable seasons, played in remarkable and compelling times, made for an important first decade in the team’s early history.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496227119
Publisher: Nebraska
Publication date: 05/01/2021
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 990,159
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Thom Henninger is the editor of Baseball Digest magazine. He is the author of Tony Oliva: The Life and Times of a Minnesota Twins Legend.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations    
Introduction: A Contender Emerges in Troubling Times    
1. A New Day        
2. The Fast Start    
3. Taking Flight on a Bumpy Ride    
4. An All-Star Summer    
5. A Pennant Race in a Rocking New World    
6. The Stretch Run    
7. Beating the Best    
8. Too Much Koufax, Not Enough Contact    
9. Plymouth Avenue on Fire    
10. Change in the Air    
11. The Summer of Love Heats Up    
12. Getting Better    
13. Down to the Wire    
14. A Difficult Year to Forget    
15. Billy Ball Brings the Twins Back to Life    
16. Killer, Carew, Two Twenty-Game Winners, and the Men on the Moon    
17. Peace, Love, and a Division Title    
18. In a Game of Inches, Twins Swept Away    
19. Four Dead in Ohio    
20. Dutch Treat Pays Dividends    
21. Baseballs and Bombs    
22. Twins Claim Second AL West Crown    
Epilogue: What Happened to the Twins?    

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