Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The 20 greatest Twins Sports Illustrated Covers

20. 3/17/03 - I didn't care to read Frank DeFord's article on Kirby Puckett. All I know is that the cover made me extremely sad, and the piece pissed off the Twins so much that no players or executives would ever talk to DeFord again. You can read a really good critique of the article here.
19. 7/5/82 - The Twins were certainly awful their first year in the dome, losing 102 games. But Hrbek was the face of that great bunch of rookies (Gaetti, Brunansky, Viola) who would become the nucleus of the '87 championship team. And you gotta love that red batting helmet.
18. 7/18/77 - A hokey shot of Ted Williams with Rod Carew. I guess it would have become a legendary cover if Carew had hit .400 that year, but he finished at .388. This is a dumb cover because all of Ted Williams' attempts at analyzing hitting turned out to be stupid, wrong and ego-driven. I hope Rodney completely ignored him.

Carew also graced the cover of TIME magazine that summer, which probably has stood the test of time much better than this.
17. 6/29/09 -Tom Verducci is a hack. Can't a national sportswriter find a Joe Mauer angle that doesn't include tired Minnesota cliches? Surely Mauer is interesting enough to find something else. Wait, what?
16. 7/29/69 - Billy Martin doesn't look particularly fiery in this picture. But that attitude would end his only year managing the Twins after he punched out his own player, Dave Boswell. The Twins would win the AL West that year, but were swept by the Orioles in the first ever ALCS.
15. 10/4/65 - I guess this is their attempt at being artsy. That's AL MVP Zoilo Versalles. Or his hands, anyway.
14. 4/10/78 -  Rod Carew and George Foster. Photographer: "alright, give my the good baseball player bad baseball player routine." Carew: "can I be the good one?"
13. 10/19/87 - Twin killing. Gagne turning a double play. I get it. Major League copied this headline when the fictitious Indians went on their amazing winning streak in montage form.
12.  5/15/61 - The Twin Cities are officially Big Time. Well, sorta. Manager Cookie Lavagetto looks like he's just taking a break from painting his house. Which he had plenty of time to do later that summer, because he was fired just five weeks after this issue hit the newsstands.
11. 7/1/74 - When this photo was snapped, Rod was on his way to the third of four consecutive batting titles. How did he do it? Until this cover, no one knew.
10. 8/7/06 - Did he win American Idol that year? I didn't watch the show, so I can't say for sure.
9. 8/23/65 - Going into the 1965 season, the Yankees had won the AL pennant 14 of the past 16 seasons. (!!!!) This cover helped tell the world that the dynasty was over.
8. 4/6/92 - This is a cheesy shot, but it's a sentimental favorite. This picture was also used on his '93 Topps.  It's too bad Mickey Hatcher and his giant glove were long gone by then. They could have had some fun.
7. 10/21/91 - This was the start of three straight weeks of Twins covers. Brilliant headline here, twisting the title of a David Lynch TV series, and sealing the deal with the "American League Pinnacle" line.
6. 11/4/91 - This isn't as great a shot as the 1987 championship pile, but I like how they let the picture speak for itself by not including a pointless headline. I can't imagine SI doing something so minimalistic nowadays.

Fun fact - almost no issues of this magazine exist in Minnesota, because they were destroyed in The Perfect Storm/ halloween blizzard.
5. 10/28/91 - Ohhh Danny Gladden. That's a classic shot, although I think this one is better.
4. 10/26/87 - The Twins were on the cover for three straight weeks in '87 as well. I love it. In 2010, I can't imagine baseball going for three weeks straight during football season. (cover #13 was came first, then Gladden, then...
3. 10/2/87 - The Champs! That's a good photograph. You feel like you're right in the middle of the pile. Kent Hrbek is under there somewhere. A lesser man would have been crushed.
2. 4/30/01 - This is my favorite because I remember buying it and staring at it in pure amazement. Of course, the Twins could only hold on for about four more months, but the foundation was laid.
1. 9/27/10 - I don't need to tell you why this cover is great, but I will anyway. The Minneapolis skyline, the blue sky, the great Thome swing while wearing that throwback. The Garrison Keillor reference. The stadium. And it's a fantastic article written by a fantastic writer (and the inspiration for this piece). Of course, this cover will look even better if Thome indeed brings October magic to Minnesota.


TwinsWin83 said...

I remember sitting around the lunch table as juniors in high school and reading that SI with Matt Lawton on the cover. Pure, unadulterated joy.

Daymonster said...

That's a great post. I actually like the first cover a lot... too bad there was an article attached to it?

Anonymous said...


That one is my personal favorite

haasertime said...

How did I miss that one? Thanks bjeyestone.