|HRBIE WAS A DECEPTIVELY GOOD PLAYER.|
|AVERAGED 21 HOMERS DURING HIS CAREER.|
DEFINING THE PLAYER
- Born in Bloomington, Minn., first baseman Kent Hrbek starred exclusively for the hometown Twins and served as mascot/slugger for 14 years and two World Series titles. Hrbek hit 293 homers and was a middle-of-the-order presence during the 1987 and '91 world championship clubs. Roly-poly but surprisingly nimble around the bag, Hrbek seemed to embrace being a hometown hero.
- The Twins led the Cardinals 6-5 in the sixth inning of Game 6 of the '87 World Series on Oct. 24. Trailing in the series 3-2, Hrbek guaranteed a seventh game by hitting a grand slam off Ricky Horton en route to an 11-5 victory.
- Hrbek's near-MVP season in '84 kept the surprising Twins in the hunt for the AL West title. He hit 27 home runs, drove in a career-high 107 runs and had a slash line of .311/.383/.522. Minnesota was 81-81 but finished only two games back of the Royals for the division.
FIVE FINAL FACTS
- Hrbek was taken in the 17th round by the Twins in the '78 draft.
- Finished second to another hometown hero, #96 Cal Ripken Jr., for '82 AL Rookie of the Year, hitting 23 homers, driving in 92 and hitting .301.
- Edged for AL MVP in '84 by Tigers closer Willie Hernandez, who also won the Cy Young.
- It was Hrbek's defense that might have saved the Twins in Game 7 of the '91 World Series. The Braves loaded the bases in the eighth with no score and one out when Sid Bream hit a grounder to Hrbek, who began a 3-2-3 double play to end the threat.
- Hrbek retired after the players strike in '95 and hit .270 with 10 homers and 53 RBI in his final season in '94.