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We’re Gonna Win, Twins!

2010
Author:

Doug Grow

We’re Gonna Win, Twins!

From open air to the Dome to blue sky again in 2010, a half century of Twins baseball

In 1961, the Twins brought major league baseball to the upper Midwest. In We’re Gonna Win, Twins! longtime sports reporter and columnist Doug Grow chronicles a half century of Twins baseball, season by season, from the scrappy stars of Metropolitan Stadium through two World Series in the Metrodome to the opening of a new era at Target Field.

Throughout his career, Doug Grow has always found the true meaning in stories large and small. This account of the history of Minnesota Twins baseball is filled with that kind of personal understanding. There will always be people who say that baseball is just a game—until they read this book.

Don Shelby, WCCO-TV

“Bill Dailey, Won’t You Please Come In.” Billy Ball. The Lumber Company. Ten Acres of Roof. Homer Hankies. Bobblehead dolls. Piranhas. Twins Territory. In 1961, the Twins brought major league baseball to the upper Midwest, becoming the first team to claim with its name not just a city but a region. In We’re Gonna Win, Twins! longtime sports reporter and columnist Doug Grow chronicles a half century of Twins baseball, season by season, from the scrappy stars of Metropolitan Stadium through two World Series in the Metrodome to the opening of a new era at Target Field.

Beginning each chapter with a snapshot of events in the world and in baseball, inviting fans to remember where they were when, Grow shows how teams were built and managed, from the arrival and departure of key players like Harmon Killebrew, Frank Viola, David Ortiz, and Torii Hunter to the unintended scouting trip that brought Kirby Puckett to the Twins. He profiles great players and great seasons—from the matchup of Koufax and Kaat in the 1965 World Series to the unlikely contenders of 1979 to perhaps the best World Series ever in 1991. Bringing fans behind the scenes, he shares the camaraderie and occasional scuffles in the clubhouse and tells the stories that animated even lackluster seasons, including the 1968 game when Cesar Tovar played every position. Taking us through two eras of owners, Grow captures the changing economics of baseball and vividly portrays the characters that defin ed the times—from the “holy cow” of original radio color man Halsey Hall to the sweet moments and struggles of players like Zoilo Versalles, the first Latin MVP, to the 2006 season when the major leagues’ batting title, MVP, and Cy Young Award all went to Minnesota Twins.

As the franchise moves back out under the open air and into its fifth decade in the major leagues, the incredible insider view and stunning photographs of We’re Gonna Win, Twins! celebrate the year-in, year-out texture of the game, the oh-so-satisfying triumphs, and the angst that indelibly mark the true fan.

We’re Gonna Win, Twins!

Doug Grow covered the Minnesota Twins as a sports columnist from 1979 to 1987, and as a metro columnist he wrote about the 1987 and 1991 World Series as well as the long debates over stadium funding. He is currently a journalist working for the online publication MinnPost.

We’re Gonna Win, Twins!

Throughout his career, Doug Grow has always found the true meaning in stories large and small. This account of the history of Minnesota Twins baseball is filled with that kind of personal understanding. There will always be people who say that baseball is just a game—until they read this book.

Don Shelby, WCCO-TV

Doug Grow’s writing has always been about people and lives, not numbers, and that’s why We’re Gonna Win, Twins! is a winner.

Charley Walters, Former Twins pitcher and St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist

Congratulations, Doug! What a delightful trip down memory lane. It was wonderful how you were able to describe the essence of each season and make it feel like I was right there in the clubhouse again. Thanks for all your hard work and passion for the Twins legacy. We’re Gonna Win, Twins! is something every Twins fan will want to add to their memories about their beloved home team. Twins win again!

Gary “The Rat” Gaetti

We’re Gonna Win,Twins! is a winner for Twins fans! Great behind-the-scenes tales from every era of Twins baseball. It invoked great memories for me and a lot of laughs as well. Stories about the tightfisted ways of Calvin to the ‘championship era’ started by Tom Kelly in ‘87. It’s a fun read!

Jim Kaat

It’s a fun and enlightening read, a handy reference to the team and its heroic, often quirky personalities.

Grand Forks Herald

This collection of stories, which includes many obscure tales not often written about, is a must-read for passionate Twins fans of every age.

Duluth Budgeteer News

This is a very good baseball book, particularly for those who’ve followed the Twins closely for an extended period of time. It brought back a host of fond memories, from the radio voice of Herb Cameal to the forgotten names of Craig Kusick and Dave Goltz. It’ll be an ideal companion when the first rainy day hits Target Field.

Duluth Budgeteer News

A loving tribute to the home team. . . In Grow’s treatment, the team comes off as a humble Midwestern ball club that never got too big for its britches. And while there’s a slight tone of mourning for the days before the multi-million dollar contracts and stadiums, Grow still considers baseball in Minnesota to be on a community level.

The Downtown Journal

You’ll love We’re Gonna Win, Twins!, Doug Grow’s heart-tugging history of the team from its first year in Minnesota, 1961, to the heartbreak of last season’s playoffs as Joe Nathan stared into his glove while Alex Rodriguez rounded the bases. The book is more than a history. It’s an evocation of half a century, lavishly illustrated with such out-of-left-field photos as the cover of the ‘Win Twins Polka’ to the late great Kirby Puckett, adorned in a full-length fur coat, waving to fans at the 1987 World Series parade.

Star Tribune

The book is more than a history. It’s an evocation of half a century, lavishly illustrated with such out-of-left-field photos as the cover of the ‘Win Twins Polka’ to the great Kirby Puckett, adorned in a full-length fur coat, waving to fans at the 1987 World Series Parade.

Star Tribune

Anyone interested in Twins baseball will find great pleasure and the ability to remember their favorite Twins team from reading this book. From the casual fan caught in the excitement surrounding this season, to a fan since the 1965 World Series team, there is something for everyone.

Roseville/Little Canada Review

Pictures flood the book with great effect. Seeing pictures of the Met or of the parade that polluted the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul are ineffable. Especially for a fan that wasn’t alive (or wasn’t old enough to remember) either.

Bleacher Report

Readers will be impressed with Grow’s detailed look at how past Twins teams were built and where players came from. He doesn’t merely explain the World Series teams of 1987 and 1991 and American League Central Winning teams in the past decade. Instead he foreshadows in earlier chapters future stars and role players who made these memorable teams possible.

New Brighton-Mounds View Bulletin

Anyone interested in Twins baseball will find great pleasure and the ability to remember their favorite Twins team from reading this book. From the casual fan caught in the excitement surrounding this season, to a fan since the 1965 World Series team. There is something for everyone.

New Brighton-Mounds View Bulletin

It’s an entertaining read, especially for those of us who weren’t actually around for most of Twins history — especially for the years of the Twins that get so little coverage.

TwinkieTown.com

Grows is the book that I kept finding myself picking up, almost compulsively, the way one picks up a good novel. The chapters build on each other, foreshadows each other, drive one to keep reading. That’s a remarkable achievement considering that most of the readers know how this particular story proceeds.

TwinsGeek.com

This book’s absolutely essential reading for anyone already a Twins fan but, for those looking to plant their fan flag on a good mountain this book could be a great, great intro.

Corduroy Books

Grow’s fantastic book, along with a ticket to the state fair, should be a necessity for every Minnesotan.

Corduroy Book

For anyone who’s followed the Twins over the years, this is a terrific collection of memories, one you’d hope some of those brand new Target Field fans would pick up—just as a reminder of how good they’ve got it right now.

Minneapolis Observer Quarterly

Sure, the 1965 World Series run against the mighty Dodgers was a wonder, and the 1987 and 1991 championships truly magical (and the enduring competitiveness of the recent small-budget Twins amazing), but it is images such as that of the old-school Mauch that summon the working-class sensibilities of the Twins. And that staunch, frugal, midwestern motif is the joyful sub-theme that Grow creates.

Books & Culture

This is a comprehensive chronicle that moves through the half-century, replaying the ups and downs with candor. More than a play-by-play, Grow’s book briefly ties each season to world events and conveys the changing economics of the games, along with stars, controversies, and other landmark events.

Minnesota History