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Glen Perkins of the Minnesota Twins pitches to Michael Bourn of the Cleveland Indians during the ninth inning of a baseball game at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Sunday, June 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

Phil Long • Associated Press,

Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer struck out in the ninth inning against the New York Yankees, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Thursday, July 4, 2013. Yankees won 9-5. (Kyndell Harkness/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT) ORG XMIT: 1140657

Kyndell Harkness • kharkness@startribune.com,

Rand: Our Andy Murray moment: To put Wimbledon win in perspective, think of Twins

  • Article by: Michael Rand
  • Star Tribune
  • July 8, 2013 - 6:31 AM

Andy Murray became the first British men’s singles champion at Wimbledon since 1936 on Sunday, a wonderful straight-sets victory over Novak Djokovic punctuated by one of the most dramatic final games you could ever imagine seeing in a major championship.

Much of the postmatch coverage focused on the historical aspect of the achievement. Murray was having difficulty putting the sentiment into words, but watching the fans and admirers both in the stadium and behind the scenes painted a powerful picture.

Coupled with the news over the weekend that Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins — both Minnesota natives, of course — had made the AL All-Star team, it started us down a path wondering what exactly the local equivalent of Murray’s achievement would be.

Here is what we settled on:

Let’s say it’s 2016. The Twins, led by the next generation of standouts like Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Oswaldo Arcia, have won the AL Central. Not only that, but they have managed to vanquish the Yankees on the way to playing in the World Series.

But we’re not even close to finished. While Sano and Co. are the new stars, Mauer and Perkins, both 33, are wily veterans and still key contributors. It has reached a Game 7 at Target Field — the Twins have home-field advantage thanks to Mike Trout’s game-winning home run in the 2016 All-Star Game — but the home team is down 5-3 in the bottom of the eighth.

There are two on and two out when Mauer steps to the plate. Not known for being a home-run hitter, and in fact criticized during his career for not going deep (particularly in the clutch), the St. Paul kid turns on one and crushes a go-ahead three-run homer. Perkins then comes on and strikes out the side in the ninth, setting off pandemonium in downtown Minneapolis and across the state.

But: Let’s add to this a Vikings-like history for the Twins. Though at this point it will have been 25 years since their last World Series title, it is hardly a purple-esque drought. Let’s say the Twins have never won a World Series in their entire time in Minnesota.

That is probably what it was like at Wimbledon, in London, on Sunday. Can you even imagine?

MICHAEL RAND

 

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