Best Players in Twins History: Pre-Minnesota
The Twins are the midst of potentially one of their worst seasons of all time. They are stuck waiting for their young players to make it to the big leagues and produce so that the Minnesota faithful can enjoy a title they haven't seen since 1991.
So to bring some positives up for Twins fans and to recant on the good days of the past I will take a look at the top five players, in Twins history, decade by decade, over the course of the next few weeks.
Since the Twins didn't move from Washington D.C. to the Cities until the 1961 season, the Washington Senators players will be grouped into this one post to kick things off. So, without further ado, the top five players for what became the Minnesota Twins from 1901-1960.
Any list involving players who played for the Senators/Twins franchise, has to include "the Big Train." Walter Johnson's career spanned 21 seasons, from his first season in 1907 at the age of 19 to his final in 1927 at the age of 39.
Johnson is one of the greatest pitchers of all time and was a part of the first Hall of Fame class in 1936. Johnson is second all time in career victories with 417, second in career WAR at 152.3, third in innings pitched at 5.914.3, fifth in complete games with 531 and first in shutouts with an insane 110.
He also led the league in strikeouts twelve times, finishing his career with 3,509 total, good for ninth all-time.
He won the MVP twice and his greatest season came in 1913 when he went 36-7 with a 1.14 ERA and 243 strikeouts to win the pitching Triple Crown to go along with leading the league in over ten total statistical categories.
Johnson was tortured for the majority of his career by being a one of the greatest pitchers of his era, and of all time, and playing on a team that consistently struggled to compete and never won a World Series. After not making it to the World Series for almost the entirety of his career, Johnson finally broke through and took the title in the 1924 season for his lone World Series.
Rice is not as big of a name as Johnson, but he also had a Hall of Fame career and was elected to the Hall in 1963 by the Veteran's committee. Rice was with the Senators for 19 seasons, appearing in 2,307 games. For his career with the Senators, Rice had all but 98 of his 2,987 career hits, with 498 doubles, with 351 stolen bases. In addition he had a career batting average of .322 with his highest coming in 1925 when he hit .350 for the season. His best season came in 1930 when he hit .338 with 211 hits and 63 stolen bases to lead the league.
Goslin, had some higher impact years than Rice, but Rice's longevity put him higher on this list but Goslin was a Hall of Famer in his own right when elected to the Hall by the Veteren's Committee in 1968. Goslin played the first nine years of his career with the Senators where he finished in the top ten in MVP voting three times. The best season in Goslin's career with the Senator's came in 1928 when he produced a slash line of .379/.442/.614 to go with 36 doubles 10 triples, 17 home runs, 107 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and only 19 strike outs. In his Washington career he hit .323 with 1659 hits 289 doubles, 125 triples, and 127 home runs.
Manush was already into his eighth season when he was dealt by the St. Louis Browns to the Senators 49 games into the 1930 season. Over the next five and a half seasons, Manush, the longest tenure with one team, had over 1000 hits to go along with 215 doubles, nearly 500 RBIs and a .328 batting average. Manush finished in the MVP voting twice with the Senators, each time finishing in third. His best season came in 1933 when he hit .336, with a league leading 221 hits, and 17 triples. However his best slash line year came the following year in 1934 when he hit .349/.392/.523 to go along with an OPS of .915. Manush was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Senator in 1964 by the Veterans Committee.
The last player on our list is the only one not to be elected to the Hall with the Senators as his primary team. Cronin was elected by the BBWAA in 1956 as a Boston Red Sox. Cronin, a doubles machine had four seasons with 40+ doubles, his highest being a league-leading 45 in 1933. He also drove in 100+ runs five times in a Senators uniform, and had double digit triples three times. His highest average as a Senator came in when he hit .346 with a .422 on-base percentage. Cronin also had three top 10 MVP finishes with best finish coming in 1933 when he finished second.
That's it for the top five players to play for the Washington Senators before they moved to the Cities and became the Twins. Look in the coming weeks for the Twins top five players during the 1960s starting with a man nicknamed "The Killer."