The Washington Senators franchise moved to Minnesota after the 1960 season and became the Minnesota Twins in 1961. From 1961 through 1969 the Twins had a record of 789-666 and played .542 baseball.
During that time period the Minnesota Twins worst season was their first when the team went 70-90. In 1962 the team improved dramatically and won 91 games but finished second, five games behind the New York Yankees. In 1963 the team won 91 games again but this time finished in third behind the Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. In 1964 dropped off dramatically and finished in 6th place with a 79-83 record and as usual the Yankees won the AL Pennant. In 1965 the Twins roared back with 102 wins, a franchise high that stands to this day and they played the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series but lost in seven games. 1966 found Minnesota winning 89 games while losing 73 but that was only good enough for second place, nine games behind the Baltimore Orioles. 1967 is remembered as one of the greatest pennant races in baseball history and the Twins came up short when the lost their final two games of the season to the Boston Red Sox and finished one game out with a record of 91-71 and tied the Detroit Tigers for second place behind the pennant winning Red Sox. The following season, 1968, saw the Twins fall back to a 79-83 record and seventh place as the Tigers hoisted the AL pennant in Detroit. 1969 saw expansion and the first time that the AL was split into two Divisions. The Twins won the West Division with a 97-65 mark and played the East Division winning Baltimore Orioles who were 109-53 and the Twins came up short in the ALCS losing 3 games to zip. So in nine seasons of play in the 60’s, the Twins had just three losing seasons. During this era pitchers were also hitters, the DH did not come into play until 1973.
So who were the best Twins position players in that era? Let’s look back and see who they were by position.
C – Earl Battey with a WAR of 14.3
1B – Harmon Killebrew with a WAR of 42.7
2B – Rod Carew with a WAR of 10.1
3B – Rich Rollins with a WAR of 11.9
SS – Zoilo Versalles with a WAR of 15.2
LF – Bob Allison with a WAR of 30.3
CF – Cesar Tovar with a WAR of 15.1 (why is this guy not in the Twins Hall of Fame?)
RF – Tony Oliva with a WAR of 31.9
P – Jim Kaat with a hitting/fielding WAR of 4.3
Let’s take a look at Twins pitching in the 60’s. The biggest surprise on this list is Jim Merritt who I always liked but his numbers are better than I remember.
SP – Jim Kaat with a WAR of 23.7
SP – Jim Perry with a WAR of 20.5
SP – Camilo Pascual with a WAR of 18.4
SP – Dean Chance with a WAR of 13.0
SP – Dave Boswell with a WAR of 12.8
SP – Jim Merritt with a WAR of 11.2
RP – Al Worthington with a WAR of 10.0
For more information about Minnesota Twins from the 1960’s, please go to Twins Heroes