MINNEAPOLIS - It was a historic day on Saturday in Cooperstown, New York, as three former players with Minnesota Twins connections got inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva and David Ortiz are all a part of the 2022 Hall of Fame class, and each now have their spot cemented among the best in baseball with a placard. All three also got a chance to take the podium, make a speech and hand out thank you’s to everyone who helped them get there.
Kaat played 24 seasons in Major League Baseball, and was a part of the first Minnesota Twins team in 1961. He played 15 seasons between the Twins and Washington Senators, collecting 1,851 strikeouts and 190 wins over that time. Kaat recently had his No. 36 jersey retired at Target Field as a member of the Twins’ Hall of Fame.
Oliva spent 15 seasons with the Twins, and like Kaat, got into the Baseball Hall of Fame through the Golden Days Era Committee. Oliva, 83, played his entire career with the Twins and was an eight-time All-Star. He hit .305, won Rookie of the Year and finished second in MVP voting in 1965 after helping lead the Twins to their first World Series appearance. He finished with 1,917 career hits, including 597 extra base hits.
Ortiz spent his first six seasons with the Twins before being released, and eventually going onto a historic career with the Boston Red Sox. He explained Saturday he wore a No. 34 jersey with the Red Sox to pay tribute to former Twins great Kirby Puckett.