Monday, February 24, 2014

Final Standings: Most Iconic Twins Moment

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a poll wondering what was the most iconic moment in Twins history after Kirby Puckett's dramatic walk-off home run in the 1991 World Series. The Sporting News had just named the most iconic moment for every organization and this was the easy pick for the Twins.

There have been other important moments in the organization's history and I set out to find what would rank as some of the other top moments. I asked my Twitter followers for suggestions of other iconic moments. There were plenty of responses and I narrowed down the list to a top eight.

As part of the original post, fans were asked to rank my list of eight iconic moments. Here are the results of that poll with some analysis along the way.
1. Kirby Puckett's Catch, Game 6 (1991): 52 1st Place Votes, 25 2nd, 12 3rd
If Kirby hadn't hit his walk-off home run, the most iconic moment in team history might have been his wall-scaling catch earlier in the same game. His tremendous defensive effort earned him enough first place votes to double up the second place finisher to make him the landslide victor.

2. Gene Larkin's Walk-Off Hit, Game 7 (1991): 26 1st, 18 2nd, 13 3rd
Walk-off hits made up a good chunk of the team's iconic moments and this moment ended what many consider the best World Series in baseball history. The game belonged to Jack Morris and there might not have been anything more iconic than him jumping out of the dugout to meet Dan Gladden at home plate after this hit.

3. Kent Hrbek's Grand Slam, Game 6 (1987): 4 1st, 20 2nd, 21 3rd
The Twins first World Series didn't have as many iconic moments but Hrbek's grand slam in a pivotal game helped to push the team towards victory. This moment didn't get a lot of first place votes but it only trailed Puckett's catch when it came to second place votes and it lead all moments in third place votes.

4. Metrodome's ALCS Celebration (1987): 9 1st, 9 2nd, 14 3rd
5. Kent Hrbek tags Ron Gant, Game 2 (1991): 2 1st, 10 2nd, 16 3rd
For Twins fans, each of these moments stirs up different emotions. The ALCS celebration is one of the most iconic moments for Twins players as they were astounded to find the Dome filled to the top when they arrived home from Detroit. Hrbek's tag of Gant still brings up some bad feelings in Atlanta and it even got it's own bobblehead in Minnesota.

6. Alexi Casilla's Walk-Off Hit, Game 163 (2009): 6 1st, 7 2nd, 9 3rd
7. Harmon Killebrew's 520-foot HR (1967): 1 1st, 7 2nd, 11 3rd
8. Bob Allison's Catch, Game 2 (1965): 0 1st, 4 2nd, 4 3rd
The biggest surprise to me was Casilla's walk-off hit in Game 163. It didn't crack the top five and it had a hard time staying in front of some of the older moments on this list. My guess is there were few fans of the early Twins who filled out this survey and that's why there wasn't a lot of love for Killebrew and Allison. These were still iconic moments but it's hard to compare them to some of the others on this list.

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