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9 must-see Twins artifacts on display at Hall

@ladsonbill24
June 26, 2020

In 1961, the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. The team has had its great moments over the years, winning two World Series titles in 1987 and ’91 under manager Tom Kelly. Let’s not forget the Twins have been to the postseason 13 times in the past

In 1961, the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. The team has had its great moments over the years, winning two World Series titles in 1987 and ’91 under manager Tom Kelly. Let’s not forget the Twins have been to the postseason 13 times in the past 58 years, with the most recent appearance coming last year under manager Rocco Baldelli.

The Twin Cities have witnessed great players over the years, from Harmon Killebrew’s booming bat to Jorge Polanco’s consistency in the batter’s box.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection of more than 40,000 three-dimensional pieces contains artifacts that tell the story of the game’s legendary players, moments and triumphs. Beginning this summer and running through the end of 2020, the Hall of Fame will share some of those memorable artifacts through a new limited time experience: Starting Nine, which features nine artifacts from each of the 30 current MLB franchises. Whether you’ve visited before or you’ve always wanted to check it out, this is another great reason to plan a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum -- the spiritual home of America’s Pastime in beautiful Cooperstown, N.Y.

1) Game-winning ball
Fun facts: This ball is the World Series winner for the 1991 Twins. With the bases loaded in Game 7 of the ’91 Series, Minnesota pinch-hitter Gene Larkin drove this ball to left-center field for a walk-off hit, scoring Dan Gladden and returning the Commissioner's Trophy to the Twin Cities for the second time in five years.

2) Postseason fun
Fun facts: Before fans throughout baseball waved handkerchiefs, Twins fans were the first embraced their white “Homer Hankies.” Conceived by Minnesota Star Tribune promotions manager Terrie Robbins, 200,000 Homer Hankies were originally produced for Minnesota's 1987 postseason run. This is one of some 2.3 million Hankies distributed by the newspaper, birthing a baseball phenomenon and a Twins postseason tradition.

3) World Series bling
Fun facts: After Minnesota won the 1987 World Series, pitcher Bert Blyleven showed Twins president Jerry Bell his 1979 Pirates championship ring, and said, "I want one like this, but with an 'M' on it." The result was this ring, utilizing Minnesota's then-new "M" logo.

4) World Series ball
Fun facts: In Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, Twins ace Jack Morris took the mound and refused to come out of the game, pitching all 10 innings in the Twins’ 1-0 victory over the Braves. Morris used this ball during that extraordinary feat, completing baseball's first "worst-to-first" finish.

5) Johan’s jersey
Fun facts: Twins hurler Johan Santana wore this jersey in 2006, the year he won pitching's Triple Crown in the AL. That meant he lead both leagues in wins, ERA, and strikeouts. He capped the year by being unanimously named the AL Cy Young Award winner.

6) Thome’s ball
Fun facts: Twins slugger Jim Thome joined lofty company when he became the eighth player in Major League history to hit 600 career home runs, launching this ball to left field at Detroit's Comerica Park on August 15, 2011. Only Babe Ruth reached 600 homers in fewer at-bats than Thome.

7) Milestone moment
Fun facts: On April 12, 2018, Twins first baseman Joe Mauer collected his 2,000th career hit while wearing this helmet. The three-time batting champ reached the milestone with a two-run single, ensuring Minnesota’s 4-0 win over the White Sox.

8) A sign to remember
Fun facts: This sign from Metropolitan Stadium directed a generation of Twins fans around the ballpark. The Met hosted the Twins from their arrival in 1961 until the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome opened in 1982.

9) A special ball
Fun facts: On April 12, 2010, Boston's Marco Scutaro lined this ball into center field for the first hit at the Twins' new ballpark, Target Field. Not since 1981, when the club last played at Metropolitan Stadium, had grass stains marked a ball at a Twins home game.

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.