Even though this was the worst team in the major leagues, the team was loaded with rookies that would lead them to the 1987 World Series title. Among the players who were seeing their first significant playing time were future all-stars Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky, Frank Viola, Tim Laudner, and Gary Gaetti. So brighter days were ahead for the Twins.
Also of note for the Twins in 1982, was that this was the first year playing in the Metrodome.
This was a tough call as Gary Ward and Kent Hrbek were ranked one and two in all major categories.
Let's see the team leaders:
BA - Hrbek (.301)
HR - Ward (28)
RBI - Hrbek (92, 1 more than Ward)
Runs Scored - Ward (85)
Stolen Bases - Ward (13)
Hits - Ward (165)
OBP - Brunansky (although Hrbek was 2nd, Ward 4th)
Slugging - Ward (.517)
Ward led in more categories, so I will give him the award for this team.
This was the worst team in the American League pitching wise. Only two pitchers had an ERA below 4.00 and only one of those would've qualified for the ERA title anyway, and that was Bobby Castillo. He also had a 13-11 record for this team that lost 102 games. Even though he was a solid pitcher in 1982, he was out of baseball after the 1985 season. 1982 was by far his best season in the majors. Castillo was also supposedly the pitcher that taught Fernando Valenzuela how to throw the screwball.
Rookie Card of the Year
This goes to the Twins only representative in the all-star game for 1982, Kent Hrbek. He went on to have a pretty solid career, playing for the Twins for his entire career, lasting through 1994. He was 2nd in MVP voting in 1984. But believe it or not, 1982 marked his only all-star game appearance.
Most Interesting Non-Topps Card
Before Joe Mauer, there was another all-star catcher with Minnesota roots playing at catcher, and that would be Tim Laudner. He also played his entire career through 1989 with the Twins. His solo rookie card is in this Donruss set.
Other Card Notes
Bobby Mitchell came over to the Twins in the same deal that brought over Bobby Castillo. His only card in any of the 1982 sets, he is shown as a member of the Dodgers in the Fleer set. Since he only played with the Twins in '82, I am putting his card on this team in the checklist.
In 1982, Larry Milbourne played in 14 games with the Yankees, was traded to the Twins in a May deal that sent Butch Wynegar to the Yankees, then he played in 29 games with the Twins. In early July he was traded to the Tribe and played in 82 games with them. Milbourne has a card in the regular Topps set showing him as a member of the Yankees, and a card in the traded set with bad airbrushing typical of the era showing him as an Indian.
What is interesting with Milbourne's traded card is that it marks the latest transaction made in 1982 that shows up in the traded set. The Twins-Indians trade was made on July 3, and no other trades after that show up in the traded set, which shows that the traded set came out sometime past July 3.
The card showing Milbourne as an Indian is listed under the Indians checklist, and his regular Topps card will be listed with this Twins team since he had more playing time as a Twin that as a Yankee in 1982.