Justin Morneau Headed To Twins Hall of Fame
The Minnesota Twins annouced Friday that Justin Morneau would be headed to the Hall of Fame, and honor that is very well-deserved, but we can only wonder what could have been.
There is no doubt that Justin Morneau was one of the best players to put on a Twins uniform in the 2000s. The first baseman was placed in the heart of the lineup as one of the few people in the lineup that was a threat to put the ball in the seats, but one play still hurts to see.
Morneau was 25 when he won the AL MVP award in 2006, after hitting .321 with 34 home runs and 130 RBI. He beat out the great Derek Jeter to lockdown the award. For the next three years, Morneau remained a staple in the Twins lineup and was one of the best hitters in baseball.
Then, just before the all-star break in 2010 Morneau was forced to leave a game against the Blue Jays due to a concussion. At that point, he as hitting .341 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs. He was on a torrid pace and a big reason why the Twins were in first place in the AL Central. The Twins ended up winning the division but were swept in the playoffs by the Yankees.
That injury played a crucial role in the rest of Morneau's career. It was a great career, but it is hard to not think about what could have been if Morneau wouldn't have been affected by concussions.
Morneau was one of my favorite players to put on a Twins uniform and watching him and Joe Mauer play throughout the 2000s and into the 2010s was a treat every time I turned on the radio, TV or went to the ballpark.
It is a well-deserved honor, and it is too bad that we may have had one of the best individual performances in a Twins season taken away from us. He was a joy to watch, a great defensive player, an excellent hitter, and a staple in the middle of a Twins lineup for years. It is too bad that we could have seen more from one of the most talented players to put on a Twins uniform from 2003-2012.
Congrats, Justin Morneau. A well-deserved honor.