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Knoblauch to be inducted into Twins HOF

Club will honor 1991 Rookie of the Year and four-time All-Star on Aug. 23

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chuck Knoblauch is heading to the Twins Hall of Fame.

The four-time All-Star and 1991 American League Rookie of the Year is set to become the 27th member of the Twins Hall of Fame on Aug. 23, when he is inducted during a special on-field pregame ceremony before the Twins host the Detroit Tigers at Target Field.

It will mark Knoblauch's first return to the Twin Cities since his playing career ended in 2002. It's also his first appearance at Target Field, as he was one of just five players who weren't in attendance at the 20-year reunion of the 1991 World Series title team in 2011.

"The Pohlad family and the entire Minnesota Twins organization would like to congratulate Chuck Knoblauch on election to the Twins Hall of Fame," Twins president Dave St. Peter said. "Chuck's stellar play during his Rookie of the Year season was instrumental in helping our franchise secure the 1991 World Series championship. Moreover, his on-field play throughout the course of his seven-year Twins career earned him a reputation as one of the AL's best players. The Twins' organization looks forward to welcoming Chuck and his family back to Minnesota for this summer's induction ceremony."

Knoblauch, 45, burst onto the scene as a rookie with the Twins in 1991, hitting .281/.351/.350 with 25 stolen bases in 151 games to help lead the Twins to a World Series title. He followed that up by being named an All-Star in '92, and was again an All-Star in '95 and '96-97. He also won the Silver Slugger Award in '95 and '97, and a Gold Glove Award in '97.

But Knoblauch voiced his frustrations with the Twins' organization late during the 1997 campaign after the club had struggled for several years, and he was traded to the Yankees after the season.

Twins fans were slow to forgive Knoblauch, and it culminated in an ugly episode at the Metrodome in 2001, when fans threw hot dogs, beer bottles and quarters at him, causing the game to be delayed twice and nearly forfeited by the Twins.

Knoblauch played his final season in 2002 with the Royals and has mostly stayed out of the public eye since then. But Knoblauch confirmed in a statement that he will be returning to Target Field with his family to be officially inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame.

"I am humbled and honored with the news of my election to the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame," Knoblauch said. "Thank you to the members of voting committee -- especially the Twins Hall of Famers and Twins fans everywhere -- for this unbelievable recognition. It was a privilege to be part of the Twins' organization, and I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity the Pohlad family, Andy MacPhail, Terry Ryan, Tom Kelly and so many others provided me. The time I spent in Minnesota will always hold a special place in my heart, and my family and I are excited about returning to the Twin Cities for the induction ceremony."

Knoblauch finished his Twins career with a .304/.391/.416 line with 43 homers, 210 doubles, 51 triples and 276 stolen bases in 1,013 games. He also won three World Series while with the Yankees in addition to his title in '91 with the Twins.

He was elected by a 62-member committee consisting of local and national media, club officials, fans and past elected members, using rules similar to those necessary for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

The 62-member committee annually considers players for induction into the Twins Hall of Fame. Knoblauch was the top vote getter, followed by Dan Gladden, Jim "Mudcat" Grant and Cesar Tovar.

The Twins Hall of Fame membership is permanently displayed in the Hall of Fame Gallery on the Target Field suite level as well as on Target Plaza.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.
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