To honor their contributions to the club’s history, nine heroes have had their uniform numbers retired since Major League Baseball arrived in Minnesota in 1961.

On July 16, a week before his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Jim Kaat will become the ninth member of that select fraternity. Two local youngsters into franchise icons and the only championship-winning manager in club history will warmly greet him. Here are their tales:

Harmon Killebrew #3

May 4, 1975
Killebrew hit 559 of his 573 career home runs with the Twins/Senators, including 475 with Minnesota. He was a 13-time All-Star, six-time American League Home Run Leader, and 1969 AL MVP. When he retired, he was second only to Babe Ruth in American League home runs. In 1984, he was elected to the Baseball Hall.

Tony Oliva #6

Retired: 14 July 1991
From 1962 through 1976, Oliva spent his entire 15-year career with the Twins, receiving the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1964 and his first of three AL batting crowns. A Gold Glove winner in 1966, he was a seven-time All-Star. Until his Golden Days Era Committee vote in the Class of 2022, he was regarded one of the finest players not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Joe Mauer #7

15 June 2019
Mauer was a hometown hero. After graduating from Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Twins drafted Mauer with the first overall choice in 2001, and he reached the Majors in 2004. Not to mention the 2009 AL MVP Award, six All-Star selections, five Silver Slugger Awards, and three Gold Glove Awards, he is the first catcher in AL/NL history to win three batting crowns. He spent his final five seasons at first base due to concussion difficulties and retired with 2,123 hits, a.306 average, and an.827 OPS in 15 seasons with his hometown team.

Tom Kelly #10

8 September 2012
Kelly managed the Twins from 1986 to 2001, winning two World Series in 1987 and 1991. In 1991, he earned AL Manager of the Year. His teams were 16-8 in the postseason and he led the organization with 1,140 victories. Kelly coached the Twins’ minor league system from 1978-86 and played in the majors in 1975.

Kent Hrbek #14

Retired: August 13, 1995
From 1981 until 1994, Hrbek spent his entire 14-year career with the Twins, including two World Series victories. He was a rookie All-Star in 1982 and finished second in the AL MVP voting in 1984.

Bert Blyleven #28

16 July 2011
A 149-game winner with a 3.28 ERA and 2,035 strikeouts in 2,566 2/3 innings, Blyleven spent 11 of his 22 seasons with the Twins. All-Star in 1973 and 1985. He played with the Twins from 1970-1976 and 1985-1988, winning the World Series in 1987. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011.

Rod Carew #29

Retired: 19 July 1987
Carew spent his first 12 years with the Twins, receiving the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1967 and the AL MVP in 1977. He was an All-Star for 11 seasons in Minnesota, earning seven batting crowns. His 3,053 hits included 2,085 with the Twins. In 1991, he was elected to the Baseball Hall.

Kirby Puckett #34

25 May 1997
With 12 years in Minnesota, Puckett was a standout for the Twins, starting with four hits in 1984. 10x All-Star, 6x Gold Glove Award, 1989 AL Batting Champ. The Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991 thanks to his clutch postseason performances. Erasing a home run by Ron Gant in the 11th inning of Game 6 of the 1991 World Series. He retired as Minnesota’s all-time leader in hits, doubles, total bases, at-bats, and runs (1,071). Forcing him to quit before the 1996 season owing to a deteriorating retinal ailment. The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted him in 2001.

Jim Kaat #36

To be retired on 16 July 2022. 

Born in Minnesota, Kaat played for the Washington Senators from 1959-61. Kaat was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Golden Days Era Committee in the Class of 2022. Erasmo had a 283-237 record with a 3.45 ERA over 4,530 1/3 innings in 898 career games thrown, including 12 Gold Glove Awards with the Twins.

A day after the Twins retired No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, the whole MLB retired it.


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