Greg Gagne (baseball)

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Greg Gagne
Shortstop
Born: (1961-11-12) November 12, 1961 (age 52)
Fall River, Massachusetts
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 5, 1983 for the Minnesota Twins
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 1997 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Career statistics
Batting average .254
Home runs 111
Runs batted in 604
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Gregory Carpenter Gagne (/ˈɡæɡni/; born November 12, 1961 in Fall River, Massachusetts) is a former shortstop in Major League Baseball. He played 10 seasons for the Minnesota Twins from 1983 to 1992, including both of the Twins' World Series championship teams in 1987 and 1991. He was considered one of the American League's best defensive shortstops during his time with Minnesota.

Playing career[edit]

Greg Gagne was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 5th round of the 1979 Major League Baseball Draft and spent the next three seasons in the Yankees' minor league system before being traded to the Twins on April 10, 1982 along with starting pitcher Paul Boris and reliever Ron Davis for the Twins starting shortstop, Roy Smalley. Gagne would then spend all of 1982 and all but 12 games of the 1983 and 1984 seasons in the minors before earning the starting shortstop job in 1985. Gagne would then become a fixture of the Twins' infield for the next eight seasons.

On October 4, 1986 during a Twins' home game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Gagne tied a modern-era major league record by hitting two inside-the-park home runs against the Chicago White Sox.[1] Only 18 players in major league history have performed this feat, with Gagne being only the second since 1930. Both home runs were hit off Chicago starting pitcher Floyd Bannister, who also tied a modern-era major league record by allowing the most inside-the-park home runs in a game. The Twins also went on to win the game, 7-3.

Gagne was a fixture of the Twins drive to their second World Series appearance, and first World Series title, following the 1987 season. During the Twins march to their second World Series crown in four years, Gagne hit a game-winning, three-run homer in Game One of the 1991 World Series off Atlanta's Charlie Leibrandt. Gagne would hit only .213 during the Twins two post-season drives. Despite this low batting average, Gagne would slug five doubles and 4 home runs, along with knocking in 10 runs and scoring 12 times, to maximize those 18 hits.

Gagne left the Twins when his contract was up in the 1992 season; the team had put a great deal of resources into re-signing superstar Kirby Puckett (inking the star centerfielder to a then huge multi-year contract that would pay him $5.3 million in 1993) and with Gagne's replacement, Pat Meares, already on the Major League roster, did not offer Gagne the salary increase that he was looking for. Gagne then signed with the Kansas City Royals, agreeing to a 3-year, $10.6 million contract. Following three years with the Royals in which he put up similar numbers as he did with the Twins, he again entered free agency and signed a contract to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 1996 and 1997 seasons. Gagne retired from baseball following the end of the 1997 season.

Retirement[edit]

During his tenure with the Twins, Gagne lived in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He currently lives in Somerset, Massachusetts and is the former head baseball coach at Bishop Feehan High School.

Gagne continues to be revered by Twins fans. He was a guest at the Metrodome farewell ceremony. During that day's game he sat in the broadcast booth with commentators Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven for a half inning to share his memories of the Dome and time as a Twin. On February 8, 2010, Gagne was elected to the Twins Hall of Fame and was inducted at Target Field on September 4, 2010.

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