The Twins announced that pitcher Eddie Guardado and former executive Tom Mee have been selected to be inducted into the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame at Target Field on June 16 prior to the Twins vs Detroit Tigers game. Guardado and Mee will become
the 25th and 26th members of the Twins Hall of Fame.
The January 25th Minnesota Twins press release stated that “Guardado was elected by a 56-member committee consisting of local and national media, club officials, fans and past elected members, using rules similar to those necessary for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. The 56-member committee annually considers “player” personnel for induction into the Twins Hall of Fame. Guardado was the top vote getter, followed by Chuck Knoblauch, Cesar Tovar and Dan Gladden. Mee was elected through the Veterans Committee ballot, which consists of 18 voters; voting participants include all living Twins Hall of Famers, current Twins President and General Manger and two Minnesota Baseball historians. The 18-member committee votes every other year on “non-player” personnel for induction into the Twins Hall of Fame”.
The 42-year old Guardado was born in Stockton, California and was the Twins 21st round selection in the 1990 June amateur draft but he did not sign with the team until May 23, 1991. Guardado started his pro career with Elizabethton and pitched in Kenosha (A), Visalia (A+), and Nashville (AA) before the Twins called and said they needed his help in the big leagues.
On June 13, 1993 Eddie made his major league debut at the Metrodome as the Twins starter against the Oakland A’s but it was not a propitious beginning as Eddie gave up a home run to Terry Steinbach who was batting second in the A’s batting order in the top of the first inning. The Twins came back with four of their own in the bottom of the inning and led 4-1 after one inning. Guardado left with a 4-3 lead after pitching 3.1 innings and giving up 5 hits, 3 walks while striking out 3 but the Twins relievers could not hold the lead and the Twins lost 7-6. Guardado pitched in 19 games starting 16 of them in 1993 but as time went along it became apparent that Eddie’s true calling would be in the bullpen. “Everyday Eddie” soon became a bullpen fixture and pitched for the Twins from 1993-2003 and returned for 9 games in 2008. Guardado became the Twins closer in 2001 and saved a league leading 45 games in 2002 and had 41 saves in 2003 and was selected to the All-Star team both years. Guardado became a free agent after the 2003 season and signed with the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners traded Guardado to the Cincinnati Reds in June of 2006 and “Every Day” Eddie pitched there for two season before playing for the Texas Rangers and the Twins again in 2008 and then finishing his active big league career as a Ranger once again in 2009. During his stay in Minnesota Guardado had a 37-48 record with 116 saves and is the Twins all-time pitching leader in games appeared with 648 throughout his career, recording at least 60 appearances in eight different seasons. Additionally, he is the Twins all-time leader in innings pitched (579.0) as a reliever and stands third on the Twins all-time saves list with 116.
St. Paul native Tom Mee is widely regarded as the Minnesota Twins first employee and he served in a variety of roles in the Twins organization including radio/TV broadcaster, public address announcer but was best known for serving as Director of Media Relations for 30 years. After retiring in 1991, Mee went on to be the teams official scorer and he performed those duties until he left that post in 2007.
Mee received the Robert O. Fischel award for Public Relations excellence in 1988 and in 2007 he became the second ever recipient of the Herb Carneal Lifetime Achievement Award. The Tom Mee Library, which is located in the Baseball Communications office at Target Field, is named in his honor
A number of fans seemed surprised and disappointed at Eddie Guardado’s selection to the Twins Hall of Fame stating that the bar has been lowered but if they took the time to look at what he accomplished in a Twins uniform they would see that he is fully deserving of the honor that the Twins will bestow on him this summer. Although Guardado was not blessed with the greatest physical abilities he proved over the years that he was one of the Twins best.
- Third on the franchise all-time saves list behind Joe Nathan and Rick Aguilera with 116.
- Third on the franchise strikeouts per 9 innings ranking behind only Johan Santana and Francisco Liriano.
- Second in franchise history in games appeared by a pitcher behind only Hall of Famer Walter Johnson.
- Only “Iron Mike” Marshall appeared in more games in a season than Guardado did.
- Only Nathan and Aguilera finished more games than Eddie did in franchise history.