The Minnesota Twins announced today that former Twins manager and coach Ron Gardenhire, former outfielder and radio broadcaster Dan Gladden and former infielder/outfielder César Tovar have been elected to the club’s Hall of Fame. This will mark the first induction class of at least three since the Twins’ inaugural class of six in 2000. Gardenhire, Gladden and Tovar will become the 35th, 36th and 37th members of the Twins Hall of Fame when they are inducted during separate, on-field pregame ceremonies on August 20 and 21 at Target Field, as Minnesota hosts the Texas Rangers.
The Twins Hall of Fame, which honors players, managers, coaches and off-field personnel who have contributed to the organization’s growth and success since Minnesota broke into the major leagues in 1961, was created as part of the club’s 40th Season Celebration in 2000. The inaugural class of Twins Hall of Famers — Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett and Calvin Griffith — was inducted on August 12, 2000. Other inductees include: pitcher Jim Kaat and broadcaster Herb Carneal (2001); pitcher Bert Blyleven and manager Tom Kelly (2002); longtime public address announcer Bob Casey and outfielder Bob Allison (2003); catcher Earl Battey (2004); pitcher Frank Viola (2005) and owner Carl Pohlad (2005); shortstop Zoilo Versalles (2006); third baseman Gary Gaetti (2007) and farm director Jim Rantz (2007); pitcher Rick Aguilera (2008); pitcher Brad Radke and farm and scouting director George Brophy (2009); shortstop Greg Gagne (2010); pitcher Jim Perry (2011); pitcher Camilo Pascual (2012); pitcher Eddie Guardado and director of media relations Tom Mee (2013); second baseman Chuck Knoblauch was elected in 2014 but not inducted; outfielder Torii Hunter and radio broadcaster John Gordon (2016); outfielder Michael Cuddyer and former general manager Andy MacPhail (2017); pitcher Johan Santana (2018); pitcher Joe Nathan and former club president Jerry Bell (2019); and, first baseman Justin Morneau (elected in 2020 and inducted in 2021).
“The Minnesota Twins are thrilled about the election of Ron Gardenhire, Dan Gladden and César Tovar to the Twins Hall of Fame,” club President & CEO Dave St. Peter said. “All three are most deserving of this honor and their impact – from the dugout to the broadcast booth and beyond – in the Twins organization and across Twins Territory has been felt for generations.”
Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons from 2002-14 and compiled a record of 1,068-1,039 (.507), marking the second-most wins in club history, trailing only fellow Twins Hall of Famer Tom Kelly (1,140-1,244, .478). Prior to becoming the skipper of the Twins, “Gardy” held the post of third base coach for 11 seasons, including during the team’s 1991 World Series Championship run. The Butzbach, Germany native managed the club to 90-plus wins five times and won the American League Central title in six of his 13 seasons (2002, ’03, ’04, ’06, ’09 and ’10). He was named the American League Manager of the Year in 2010 and finished as runner-up for the award in 2003, ’04, ’06, ’08 and ’09. He was also named Baseball America AL Manager of the Year in 2008 and The Sporting News AL Manager of the Year in 2010.
Gladden has spent 28 seasons with the Twins organization in several capacities, including five as a player from 1987-91 and 22 as a radio broadcaster since 2000. The fiery leadoff hitter was a key member of the 1987 and 1991 World Series Championship teams and ranks first on the club’s all-time Postseason list in runs scored (17) and stolen bases (7) and is tied for first in games (24), while ranking second in hits (29), doubles (6) and RBI (15). He scored one of the most iconic runs in Twins history, the championship-winning tally in the bottom of the 10th inning in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. The San Jose, California native hit .268 (661-for-2,470) with 117 doubles, 26 triples, 38 home runs, 238 RBI, 358 runs scored and 116 stolen bases in 644 career games with Minnesota. After his playing career, he joined the Twins radio broadcast team in 2000 and 2021 marked his 19th season as the full-time analyst. He is the fifth-longest tenured radio or television broadcaster in club history, behind Herb Carneal (46 seasons from 1961-2006), Dick Bremer (38 seasons from 1983-2021), Bert Blyleven (26 seasons from 1995-2020) and John Gordon (25 seasons from 1987-2011).
Tovar played eight seasons with the Twins from 1965-1972, hitting .281 (1164-for-4142) with 193 doubles, 45 triples, 38 home runs, 319 RBI, 646 runs scored and 186 stolen bases in 1,090 games. The utilityman, who passed away in 1994, is third on Minnesota’s all-time list in stolen bases, seventh in triples, 11th in hits and at-bats, tied for 11th in runs scored, 13th in doubles and 15th in games played. A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Tovar led the American League in doubles (36) and triples (13) in 1970 and hits in 1971 (204). He also finished seventh in the AL Most Valuable Player voting in 1967, after hitting .267 (173-for-649) with 32 doubles, seven triples, six home runs, 47 RBI and 98 runs scored in an MLB-leading 164 games. On September 22, 1968, he became the second player in AL/NL history to play all nine positions in the same game, doing so in the Twins’ 2-1 victory over Oakland. Tovar played in six Postseason games with Minnesota from 1969-70, going 6-for-26 with one triple, one RBI, two runs scored, one walk and one stolen base.
Gladden and Tovar were elected by a 67-member committee consisting of local and national media, club officials, fans and past elected members, using rules similar to those necessary for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Gardenhire was elected by a smaller “Veterans Committee,” consisting of living Twins Hall of Famers, Twins executives and local historians, and using the same rules as the player ballot committee.
The Twins Hall of Fame membership is permanently displayed in the Hall of Fame Gallery on the United Healthcare Suite Level at Target Field, as well as on Target Plaza and in the Minor League Clubhouse at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida.
(info courtesy to Twins)