The votes are in and Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez will forever be known as baseball Hall of Famers. The trio was named Wednesday to the 2017 Cooperstown class.
The three certainly earned their inductions. In 7,195 combined games the trio put up some gaudy numbers. Bagwell clubbed 449 home runs. Raines stole more than 800 bases. And Rodriguez was a 14-time All-Star behind the plate.
Some digging on baseball-reference.com revealed a chunk of those accomplishments came against the Minnesota Twins.
Though Bagwell spent his entire career with Houston in the National League, he did appear in 14 games against the Twins during interleague play. He hit .333 with five home runs in those games including two homers in a three game series in 1999 (both on 3-2 counts). Only the White Sox (nine) surrendered more American League home runs to Bagwell in his career.
They wrote it: The best example of a player having a great season that has the greatest positive impact on his team is Houston's Jeff Bagwell. He leads the league in walks, runs and on-base percentage, is second to [Larry] Walker in slugging percentage, and is among the leaders in homers and RBI.
Playing for a team expected to sorely miss Moises Alou, a team written off by many when it lost Randy Johnson in the offseason, a team decimated by continuing injuries, a team that would be powerless without him, Bagwell has merited this [midseason] MVP vote.
- Star Tribune baseball writer Jim Souhan, 7/11/99
Raines played 13 seasons with Montreal but another 10 with the White Sox, Yankees, A's and Orioles. He earned the majority of his Hall of Fame credentials with the Expos before interleague play, but in 68 games against the Twins in the second half of his career he managed 66 hits, 29 RBI and stole 15 bases. Raines feasted on Twins' pitching in 1993. In 11 games he had 10 RBI, or 18.5 percent of his season total. Chicago opened the season at the Metrodome that April. Raines led off with a single and added a three-run homer.
They wrote it: After the Twins took that 4-3 lead, the festive buzz that went through the crowd went dead rather quickly. The White Sox scored six runs in the fourth inning, punctuated by a monstrous three-home run by Tim Raines down the right field line.
If Chris Webber had been here, he would have asked for a timeout.
- Star Tribune columnist Dan Barreiro, 4/6/93
Pudge played 178 games against the Twins in his career, mostly with the Rangers. He amassed 208 hits in those games with 29 home runs - the most against any opponent - and 94 RBI. In 1997, Rodriguez hit six of his 20 home runs against the Twins with 14 RBI. Three of those came in one game: two off Brad Radke and another off Eddie Guardado. It's the only three-home run game of his career and was part of a 40-game stretch, from 1996-1999, that Rodriguez enjoyed a .364 batting average against Minnesota with 59 hits, 12 home runs and 30 RBI. Radke served up eight home runs to Rodriguez, the most of any opposing pitcher.
They wrote it: Texas had gone 15 innings without scoring a run before Ivan Rodriguez hit a 1-0 changeup from [Brad] Radke over the center field fence in the third, giving Texas a 2-0 lead. In the sixth Rodriguez hit a misplaced Radke sinker over the left field wall to make it 4-0.
For his career, Rodriguez is batting .476 with four homers in 21 at-bats against Radke.
"He's a good hitter, and he certainly hits mistakes," Radke said.
- Star Tribune baseball writer Jim Souhan, 9/11/97