1997 Minnesota Twins season

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1997 Minnesota Twins
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Carl Pohlad
Manager(s) Tom Kelly
Local television WCCO-TV
Midwest Sports Channel
(Bert Blyleven, Dick Bremer, Ryan Lefebvre)
Local radio 830 WCCO AM
(Herb Carneal, John Gordon)
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The 1997 Minnesota Twins will not be remembered as the strongest team the Twins ever fielded. Manager Tom Kelly's team consisted of a few solid players, but mainly past-their-prime veterans and never-to-be-established prospects. One of the few bright spots was pitcher Brad Radke’s breakout season. The team finished with a 68-94 record, good enough for fourth place in the league’s weakest division.



In 1996, catcher Terry Steinbach had a 35-home run, 100-RBI season with the Oakland Athletics in a contract year. Unfortunately for the Twins, he followed it up with a 12-home run, 54-RBI season with his hometown team. Scott Stahoviak played in half the games at first base but batted only .229. Second baseman Chuck Knoblauch, the team’s lone all-star, had a great year with the Twins, batting .291 and stealing a career-high 62 bases. The contrast between his season and his team’s season led him to demand a trade, a demand the team obliged by sending him to the New York Yankees the following February. Ron Coomer had a competent year at third, hitting .298 with 13 home runs. Pat Meares hit .276, an above-average season for him. The primary outfielders – Marty Cordova, Rich Becker, and Matt Lawton – had mediocre seasons. This was disappointing, because Cordova and Becker were coming off of the best years in their careers. Designated hitter Paul Molitor had a good year, batting .305 with 89 RBI, but it did not match his stellar 1996 numbers. Veterans like Roberto Kelly and Greg Colbrunn performed reasonably well off the bench.

Team Leaders
Statistic Player Quantity
HR Marty Cordova 15
RBI Paul Molitor 89
BA Paul Molitor .305
Runs Chuck Knoblauch 117


Brad Radke had a breakout year, going 20-10 with an ERA of 3.87. Bob Tewksbury and Rich Robertson spent most of the year in the starting rotation, but both had losing records. In the final two spots, LaTroy Hawkins, Scott Aldred, and Frank Rodriguez respectively had 20, 15, and 15 starts. Of these three, Rodriguez was the only one with an ERA under 5. Rick Aguilera had a good year as the team’s closer, earning 26 saves in not very many opportunities. Eddie Guardado, Mike Trombley, Greg Swindell, and Todd Ritchie had competent seasons in the bullpen. At the end of the season, Dan Serafini played well in six games, giving some hope for the future.

Team Leaders
Statistic Player Quantity
ERA Brad Radke 3.87
Wins Brad Radke 20
Saves Rick Aguilera 26
Strikeouts Brad Radke 174


Steinbach played well at catcher, backed up by Greg Myers. Stahoviak played in 81 games at first, with Colbrunn in 64. Knoblauch won a Gold Glove at second base in a season that gave no indication of his future throwing problems. Coomer (third base) and Meares (shortstop) were average at their positions. The three outfielders played well in the field.

Regular season[edit]

Season standings[edit]

AL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Cleveland Indians 86 75 0.534 44–37 42–38
Chicago White Sox 80 81 0.497 6 45–36 35–45
Milwaukee Brewers 78 83 0.484 8 47–33 31–50
Minnesota Twins 68 94 0.420 18½ 35–46 33–48
Kansas City Royals 67 94 0.416 19 33–47 34–47


1997 Minnesota Twins
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Notable transactions[edit]

Player stats[edit]


Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI


Starting pitchers[edit]

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Other pitchers[edit]

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers[edit]

Player G W L SV ERA SO


  • The highest paid Twin in 1997 was Knoblauch at $6,150,000, followed by Molitor at $3,500,000.

Awards and honors[edit]

All-Star Game

  • The lone representative of the Twins in the All-Star Game was second baseman Chuck Knoblauch.

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Salt Lake Buzz Pacific Coast League Phil Roof
AA New Britain Rock Cats Eastern League Al Newman
A Fort Myers Miracle Florida State League John Russell
A Fort Wayne Wizards Midwest League Mike Boulanger
Rookie Elizabethton Twins Appalachian League Jose Marzan
Rookie GCL Twins Gulf Coast League Steve Liddle



  1. ^ Greg Swindell Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  2. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/cuddymi01.shtml
  3. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/n/nixonot01.shtml
  4. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/o/ochoaal01.shtml
  5. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 2007

External links[edit]