The Twins have called Minnesota home for the past 57 seasons of major league baseball. You might argue that during some of those years the home town bunch wasn’t of major league caliber but the same can be said of some of the opposing teams.
Regardless of how good or bad some of the Twins opponents have played, every team has had players that enjoyed hitting against Twins. These were the guys that killed the Twins in one fashion or another season after season and we hated seeing them step into the batters box because we know the results were not going to be pretty. We hoped that they would retire or be traded to the National League but then inter-league play came into existence and that option went away.
Having said all that, if you are a baseball fan you can look back and say that “he might have been a thorn in the Twins side but he was one hell of a baseball player”. So here is the Twinstrivia.com Minnesota Twins all-opponent team catcher. We are going to do this one position at a time over the next week or two. I am certainly interested in your thoughts and opinions or share a memory or two and thanks for stopping by.
Catcher – Ivan Rodriguez – This Hall of Famer spent 21 years in the big leagues and was an All-Star 14 times, he won 13 Gold Gloves, 7 Silver Slugger awards and was the American League MVP in 1999. His career caught stealing percentage was 46%. Rodriquez spent 13 years with the Texas Rangers but also played for the Tigers, Nationals, Yankees, Astros and Marlins. Rodriquez’s son Dereck was a Minnesota Twins sixth round selection in the 2011 draft as an outfielder but several years into his career the Twins persuaded Dereck Rodriguez to try pitching and this past season he pitched for AA Chattanooga.
So why did he make our Twins all-opponent team? Against Minnesota, “Pudge” played in 160 games, had 640 at bats and hit .313 with an OPS of .854. Rodriguez had 200 hits of which 28 were doubles, 5 triples, 29 home runs and 92 RBI. Runner-up is Carlton Fisk.
SABR article about Ivan Rodriguez by Steve West