All-Franchise Team: 1971-1980

C Butch Wynegar (1976-1980)
While Wynegar never improved on his hitting after his rookie season, he was a steady performer behind the plate for the Twins.

1B Craig Kusick (1973-1979)
The reality is that Rod Carew could probably hold both the first base and second base slot for the 1970’s Twins – I put him at sec0nd base because he played there more. Behind Carew, the field wasn’t very deep. Kusick had the best numbers as a hitter of the rest, but he compiled most of them as a DH. Still, I think he edges out Ron Jackson for this spot.

2B Rod Carew (1971-1978)
Easy choice – one of the best Twins ever.

SS Roy Smalley (1976-1980)
People my age, whose memories of Smalley are from his second stint with the Twins, are often surprised to discover just how good he was in the 1970’s.

3B Steve Braun (1971-1976)
Braun played just about every position for the Twins but finds a home on this team at third base, where he saw most of his action with the Twins.

LF Larry Hisle (1973-1977)
Hisle was good for his entire Twins career, but his final season as a Twin really stands out.

CF Lyman Bostock (1975-1977)
Had he not been killed at the age of 27 in 1978, Bostock might be a household name.

RF Dan Ford (1975-1978)
Disco Dan was a fan favorite at the Met, and a solid player.

DH Tony Oliva (1971-1976)
The tail end of Oliva’s career came in the 1970’s, but Twins fans were fortunate that the designated hitter rule extended his career by a couple of seasons.

SP Bert Blyleven (1971-1976)
Should be in the Hall of Fame already, probably will be next year.

SP Dave Goltz (1972-1979)
The Pelican Rapids, MN native became the first native Minnesotan originally signed by the Twins to make it the major league roster. He won 96 games with the Twins, all in the 1970’s, and is 17th on the franchise all-time ERA+ list with 112.

SP Jim Kaat (1971-1973)
Kaat finished his Twins career with a few up and down seasons, but was still one of the top performers on the team.

CL Mike Marshall (1978-1980)
Marshall’s ’78 and ’79 seasons were among the best seasons for a closer in Twins history. In 1980 he gave way to Doug Corbett, who also had a great seasons closing for the Twins.

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