The Twins last won a playoff series with a five-game upset of Oakland in a division round in 2002. They received a degree of ridicule when they brought back available members of that team for Opening Day festivities on April 9, 2012, at Target Field.

It was framed as a 10-year reunion for accomplishing little by the cynics, although the Twins labeled it as a chance to remember a unique group.

There is no doubt about the uniqueness when it comes to the durability with that group:

• Center fielder Torii Hunter was 26 and an All-Star for the first of five times in 2002. He also won his second of nine Gold Gloves. Hunter hit 29 home runs with 94 RBI and finished sixth in the MVP voting.

Hunter has played 13 seasons since then — six in Minnesota, five in Anaheim and two in Detroit — with 283 home runs and 1,124 RBI. He’s 40 and probably will play next season.

• LaTroy Hawkins was 29 and put exclusively in a setup role in 2002. He was 6-0 with a 2.13 ERA in 65 games. A year later, the Twins let him leave as a free agent. He’s now 42 and winding up his career in the bullpen of playoff-bound Toronto.

LaTroy has pitched in 749 games since 2002 and with 10 more teams since leaving the Twins after 2003.

• A.J. Pierzynski is the ironman catcher of this new century of baseball. He was 25 and made the All-Star team for the Twins in 2002. He was traded after 2003.

Pierzynski, 38, has been Atlanta’s catcher this season, catching over 900 innings. Earlier, A.J. caught more than 1,000 innings in 12 consecutive seasons.

• David Ortiz was 26 and very popular with teammates. They looked at him as a needed clutch hitter with power for the middle of the lineup.

The Twins released “Big Papi’’ on Dec. 17, 2002, to create roster space for Rule 5 draftee Jose Morban in the dumbest move in franchise history. (Note: We’re including the 60 years in Washington in rating this idiocy as No. 1.)


More on the 2002 Twins and durability:

• Big Papi in 13 years in Boston: 445 home runs, 1,402 RBI, now 27th member of 500-homer club. Also: three World Series titles, 17 HRs, 56 RBI in 15 postseason series.

• Michael Cuddyer played in 41 games for the ’02 Twins. He’s still playing and headed to the postseason with the Mets.

• Kyle Lohse had 31 starts in 2002; 13-8, 4.23 ERA. He’s pitching in Milwaukee, where he had an extra-bad 2015 season.

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