In Official Proclamation, Mayor Jacob Frey Credits Twins with 3rd World Series Title in 1997

Photo: Mayor Jacob Frey - Twitter

The 1997 Minnesota Twins finished with a 68-94 record, good for 4th in the AL Central and an empty Metrodome in October. But don’t tell that to current Minneapolis Mayor, Jacob Frey, who put out an official “Proclamation” on Saturday, officially making October 7 “MN Twins Division Series Day”. Really rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

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Mayor Jacob Frey credits the Minnesota Twins with 1997 World Series win

But it was what lay within the first paragraph of Frey’s incredibly inspiring, and very official government document, where he congratulates the Twins for their first postseason series win in 21 years and wishes them luck in trying to capture the franchise’ 4th World Series title, to go along with their championships from 1987, 1991 and 1997


WHEREAS, the Minnesota Twins have won the World Series three times since the team was first established in 1961 — winning in 1987, 1991 and 1997; and

WHEREAS, between 1997 and 2023, Minnesota Twins fans across the state have remained hopeful for postseason luck; and

WHEREAS, on October 3, 2023, the Minnesota Twins defeated the Toronto Blue Jays in their first postseason win in the best-of-three wildcard series; and

WHEREAS, on October 5, 2023, the Minnesota Twins clinched a spot in the American League Division Series, defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0 at home at Target Field; and

WHEREAS, this is the first time in 21 years that the Minnesota Twins have won a postseason series, a momentous time in history for all Minnesota sports fans;

Official Proclamation – Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

The mid-late 1990’s will forever live in Minnesota Twins lore, which we will get into momentarily. But one thing they definitely did not do, is get anywhere near winning the franchise’s 3rd World Series. Believe who you want but Baseball-Reference has the Florida Marlins defeating the Cleveland Indians 4-3 in the 1997 World Series.

Dark history of mid-late 1990’s Minnesota Twins

I was baptized in Twins fandom during the 1991 World Series, at 3-years-old. So I can tell you first hand that being a Twins fan in the late 90’s was tough. Your championship high had worn off 3 years ago and, little did we know, it wasn’t going to get better anytime soon.

Following their miracle run in ’91, the baseball gods took full-aim at the Twins, punishing them with a decade-long run of impossibly bad luck and ineptitude that netted a total of ZERO postseason games.

GBPlayoffsRRAAttendanceTop PlayerManagers
2002Minnesota TwinsAL Central1619467.5841 of 5Lost ALCS (4-1)7687121,924,473J.Jones (5.5)R.Gardenhire (94-67)
2001Minnesota TwinsAL Central1628577.5252 of 56.07717661,782,929J.Mays (6.6)T.Kelly (85-77)
2000Minnesota TwinsAL Central1626993.4265 of 526.07488801,000,760B.Radke (6.2)T.Kelly (69-93)
1999Minnesota TwinsAL Central1616397.3945 of 533.06868451,202,829B.Radke (6.5)T.Kelly (63-97)
1998Minnesota TwinsAL Central1627092.4324 of 519.07348181,165,976B.Radke (5.2)T.Kelly (70-92)
1997Minnesota TwinsAL Central1626894.4204 of 518.57728611,411,064C.Knoblauch (6.8)T.Kelly (68-94)
1996Minnesota TwinsAL Central1627884.4814 of 521.58779001,437,352C.Knoblauch (8.7)T.Kelly (78-84)
1995Minnesota TwinsAL Central1445688.3895 of 544.07038891,057,667C.Knoblauch (6.7)T.Kelly (56-88)
1994Minnesota TwinsAL Central1135360.4694 of 514.05946881,398,565C.Knoblauch (4.1)T.Kelly (53-60)
1993Minnesota TwinsAL West1627191.4385 of 723.06938302,048,673C.Knoblauch (3.6)T.Kelly (71-91)
1992Minnesota TwinsAL West1629072.5562 of 76.07476532,482,428K.Puckett (7.1)T.Kelly (90-72)
1991Minnesota TwinsAL West1629567.5861 of 7Won WS (4-3)7766522,293,842K.Tapani (6.8)T.Kelly (95-67)

Outside of the 1992 season, in which they finished 2nd (of 7 teams) in the AL West, and the 2001 season, where a young and upcoming squad finished 2nd (of 5 teams) in the AL Central, the 1990’s Minnesota Twins were putrid. Much of it wasn’t their fault, but that doesn’t make the memories any better.

Kirby Puckett’s jaw was broken by a fastball at the end of 1995 and he woke up on one of the last days of Spring Training, in 1996 (March 28), and couldn’t see out of his left eye, abruptly ending his MLB career and dashing lofty expectations for the team that season.

Related: Minnesota Twins Fight Back but Fall Short in Game 1 Loss vs Houston Astros

The mid-90’s Chuck Knoblauch Saga…

From 1993 to 1997, especially after Puckett was forced into retirement, Chuck Knoblauch was probably Minnesota’s best player. He batted .310 with a .842 OPS and his defense was arguably better than his offense. He won a Gold Glove in 1997, to go with his two Silver Sluggers and three All-Star appearances in those 4 years.

But after the 1997 season, Knoblauch requested and was granted a trade to the New York Yankees. Fans were pissed. When Chuck returned to the Metrodome with the Yankees, he was incessantly booed and one game had to be stopped so Tom Kelly could beg fans in left field to stop throwing beer and hot dogs on their once beloved 2nd baseman.

Knoblauch was playing left field because he quickly forgot how to play baseball, after landing in New York. It started with his defense. Suddenly he could not throw from 2nd base to 1st base. Not kidding. Soon, his hitting betrayed him too.

The once perennial Silver Slugger candidate hit just .235 with a .652 OPS in his final two big league seasons. When he retired in 2002, Knoblauch was just 33 years old. Ironically, 2002 was the first time the Minnesota Twins made the playoffs since their 1991 World Series win.

No World Series in 1997 but the Twins did get better in the 2000’s

Little did we know, as the Twins were popping champagne in 2002 following an ALDS series win over the “Moneyball” Oakland Athletics, that it would be the last time the Twins would advance in the MLB postseason for 21 years, until the 2023 team beat the Toronto Blue Jays last week.

Still, the Ron Gardenhire led 2000’s teams did win the AL Central in 6 of 9 seasons from 2002 to 2010, which was a far cry from the what fans suffered through in the mid to late 90’s, back when the Minneapolis Mayor remembers watching World Series parades…

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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