Chart: Twins center fielders since 1975

  • Updated: February 16, 2013 - 6:38 PM


Twins Opening Day center fielders since 1975:

Lyman Bostock, 1975-77: Budding star left for the Angels as a free agent in 1978. He was murdered on a road trip to Chicago that summer.

Dan Ford, 1978: Nicknamed "Disco" Dan; once jogged backward toward home plate, only to be passed by a baserunning teammate.

Willie Norwood, 1979: Penchant for having trouble following the flight of routine fly balls.

Rick Sofield, 1980: Greatest claim to fame as baseball player was that he turned down a football scholarship offer from Michigan.

Greg Johnston, 1981: Who? He lasted seven games in 1981, batting .125.

Jim Eisenreich, 1982-84: Suffered from a nervous disorder (later diagnosed as Tourette's syndrome), prompting manager Billy Gardner to quip, "He's doomed to become an All-Star."

Kirby Puckett, 1985-1990, 1992-93: Hall of Famer stopped the merry-go-round in center.

Shane Mack, 1991: One of Mack's 16 starts in center field that year. Puckett started 143.

Rich Becker, 1994, 1996-97: Pegged as a cornerstone of the Twins' 1990s rebuilding phase. Eight consecutive losing seasons says it all.

Alex Cole, 1995: Was batting .360 when he broke his right leg on May 30 attempting a diving catch. His downhill slide included 18 months in prison for drug conviction.

Otis Nixon, 1998: Twins' idea of a high-profile free-agent signee, the negatives being he was 39 and could barely throw the ball to second base.

Torii Hunter, 1999-2007: The two-time All-Star here made a team-record nine Opening Day starts in center before departing as a free agent.

Carlos Gomez, 2008-09: One of four players obtained from Mets for Johan Santana; now with the Brewers, he is still trying to find plate discipline.

Denard Span, 2010-12: Traded to the Nationals in the offseason, opening the door for a new Twins Opening Day center fielder in 2013.


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Kansas City 6 Bottom 8th Inning
Cleveland 2
Toronto 5 Bottom 8th Inning
Boston 5
Chicago WSox 0 Postponed
Baltimore 0
Tampa Bay 1 Top 7th Inning
NY Yankees 3
Washington 1 Top 7th Inning
Atlanta 5
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: S. Cishek 1
Milwaukee 2 Bottom 6th Inning
Cincinnati 7
Pittsburgh 0 Bottom 4th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
Seattle 2 Top 1st Inning
Texas 0
Detroit 5 Bottom 3rd Inning
Minnesota 1
Philadelphia 0 Top 4th Inning
St. Louis 1
Colorado - T. Matzek 8:40 PM
Arizona - C. Anderson
Houston - C. McHugh 9:10 PM
San Diego - J. Shields
San Francisco - T. Lincecum 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - B. Anderson
Atlanta 101 4th Qtr 2:19
Brooklyn 99
Milwaukee 52 3rd Qtr
Chicago 49
Memphis 9:30 PM
Tampa Bay 3 3rd Prd 16:49
Detroit 2
NY Islanders 0 3rd Prd
Washington 1
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