|The Minnesota Twins were led by their hometown fans waving 'Homer Hankies' and responded by playing 56-25 at the Metrodome. Although the Twins ended the season first in the American League West, their season record was only 85-77, their road record of 29-52 was third worst in baseball. |
The playoffs and World Series seemed like a new season for the Twins. They beat the Detroit Tigers in four games in the playoffs and then took the World Series in seven games over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals had played in the World Series 2 times in the last 3 years but lost both times. Third baseman Gary Gaetti was the Twins leader in the clutch, in his blue-collar, hard aggressive way.
After the series, Gaetti said it all, "This year, when it counted we were the best team in baseball. I have the right to say that now, because we went out and we won."
In spring training, before the 1987 season even started, pitching mound-master Frank Viola challenged his Twins' teammates. Viola told them, "The management has stuck with us for a long time. If we don't do something this year, something's going to have to be broken up as far as the nucleus is concerned. I think this is the year to put up or shut up."
Four Minnesota Twins' player hit over 20 home runs and three whacked over 30. Kent Hrbek, 34 HR's, 90 RBI's; Gary Gaetti, 36 doubles, 31 HR's, 109 RBI's; Kirby Puckett 32 D's, 5 T's, 28 HR's, 99 Rbi's; Tom Brunansky 32 HR's, 85 RBI's. The Twins main catcher, Tim Laudner hit 16 HR's, Roy Smalley hit .275 and shortstop Greg Gagne was the defensive star. The main pitchers were Frank Viola 17-10, 2.90 ERA; Bert Blyleven 15-12, 4.01; Les Straker 8-10, Joe Niekro Combined for a 7-13 with N.Y and Minnesota. In the bull-pen Jeff Readon took all honors with 8-8, 31 saves; Keith Atherton 7-5, Dan Schatzeder and Mark Portugal.
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