1979 Minnesota Twins season

1979 Minnesota Twins
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Calvin Griffith (majority owner, with Thelma Griffith Haynes)
General manager(s) Calvin Griffith
Manager(s) Gene Mauch
Local television KMSP-TV
(Bob Kurtz, Larry Osterman)
Local radio 830 WCCO AM
(Herb Carneal, Joe McConnell)
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The 1979 Minnesota Twins season was a season in American baseball. The team finished 82-80, fourth in the American League West.


In January 1979, the Twins attempted to trade first baseman Rod Carew to the New York Yankees in exchange for Chris Chambliss, Juan Beníquez, Dámaso García, and Dave Righetti, but were unable to finalize a deal.[1] Carew would instead be traded to the California Angels on February 3.

Notable transactions

Regular season

Three Minnesota Twins homered in the May 15 win over Texas, the sixteenth straight Minnesota game with at least one Twins homer. The streak will end on May 16. Nine players homered 28 times during the club's record-setting streak.

Only one Twins player made the All-Star Game: shortstop Roy Smalley. Smalley hit 24 HR, drove in 95 runs, and scored 85 runs, all team-leading totals. Ken Landreaux, acquired in the Carew trade, batted .305 with 15 HR and 83 RBI. Ron Jackson, acquired in the Dan Ford trade, hit 14 HR and collected 68 RBI.

Reliever Mike Marshall continued as manager Gene Mauch's all-purpose reliever, pitching in a league-leading 90 games, racking up 10 relief wins along with a league-leading 32 saves. Veteran Jerry Koosman won 20 games. Dave Goltz (14-13) and Geoff Zahn (13-7) had double-digit wins.

Smalley turned 144 double plays this year, setting a major league record for shortstops. The team total of 203 double plays set a new season record.

Third baseman John Castino shared the AL Rookie of the Year award with Alfredo Griffin of the Toronto Blue Jays. Each received 7 first place votes.[7]

1,070,521 fans attended Twins games, the fourth lowest total in the American League. It was only the second time since 1970 the team attracted over one million fans.

Season standings

AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
California Angels 8874 0.543 49–32 39–42
Kansas City Royals 8577 0.525 3 46–35 39–42
Texas Rangers 8379 0.512 5 44–37 39–42
Minnesota Twins 8280 0.506 6 39–42 43–38
Chicago White Sox 7387 0.456 14 33–46 40–41
Seattle Mariners 6795 0.414 21 36–45 31–50
Oakland Athletics 54108 0.333 34 31–50 23–58

Record vs. opponents

1979 American League Records

Baltimore 8–59–38–38–57–66–68–58–45–68–410–26–611–2
Boston 5–85–75–66–78–58–48–49–35–89–38–46–69–4
California 3–97–59–46–64–87–67–59–47–510–37–65–87–5
Chicago 3–86–54–96–63–95–85–75–84–89–45–811–27–5
Cleveland 5–87–66–66–66–66–64–98–45–88–47–55–78–5
Detroit 6–75–88–49–36–65–76–74–87–67–57–56–69–4
Kansas City 6–64–86–78–56–67–55–77–65–79–47–66–79–3
Milwaukee 5–84–85–77–59–47–67–58–49–46–69–39–310–3
Minnesota 4–83–94–98–54–88–46–74–87–59–410–34–911–1
New York 6–58–55–78–48–56–77–54–95–79–36–68–49–4
Oakland 4–83–93–104–94–85–74–96–64–93–98–52–114–8
Seattle 2–104–86–78–55–75–76–73–93–106–65–86–78–4
Texas 6–66–68–52–117–56–67–63–99–44–811–27–67–5
Toronto 2–114–95–75–75–84–93–93–101–114–98–44–85–7

Notable transactions


1979 Minnesota Twins
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Player stats

= Indicates team leader


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
1BRon Jackson159583158.2711468
SSRoy Smalley162621168.2712495
LFKen Landreaux151564172.3051583

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Willie Norwood7627067.248630
Bombo Rivera11226374.281231
Dave Edwards9622957.249835
Bob Randall8019949.246014
José Morales9219151.267227
Danny Goodwin5815946.289527
Glenn Borgmann317014.20008
Craig Kusick245413.24136
Jesús Vega470.00000


Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Jerry Koosman37263.220133.38157
Dave Goltz36250.214134.16132
Paul Hartzell281636105.3644
Geoff Zahn261691373.5758
Roger Erickson241233105.6347

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Pete Redfern40108.1733.4985
Darrell Jackson2469.1444.2843
Gary Serum2064136.6131

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Mike Marshall901015322.6581
Mike Bacsik314204.3933
Ken Brett90004.973
Jeff Holly60007.115
Kevin Stanfield30006.001
Terry Felton10000.001

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Toledo Mud Hens International League Cal Ermer
AA Orlando Twins Southern League Roy McMillan
A Visalia Oaks California League Tom Kelly
A Wisconsin Rapids Twins Midwest League Rick Stelmaszek
Rookie Elizabethton Twins Appalachian League Fred Waters


  1. United Press International (January 30, 1979). "Yankees, Twins still dickering". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved June 19, 2009.
  2. Dave Johnson at Baseball-Reference
  3. Dan Ford at Baseball Reference
  4. Jerry Koosman at Baseball Reference
  5. Mike Marshall at Baseball Reference
  6. Rod Carew at Baseball Reference
  7. "Baseball Awards Voting for 1979". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  8. Randy Bush at Baseball Reference
  9. Mike Kinnunen at Baseball Reference
  10. Rudy Meoli at Baseball Reference
  11. Craig Kusick at Baseball Reference


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