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Minnesota North Stars All Time Team 

 Catcher


Jose Almonte
Years Active: -2 to 11
Years with North Stars: 0-11
Claim to fame: 1,496 consecutive games played (Capra record)
Awards: All-Star (1, 4), Silver Slugger (4)

Almonte was an on-base machine, with 7 seasons of .400 OBP or better. That was also his career mark and he had 7 100-walk seasons. He also scored 92 or more runs each of the first 5 seasons of Capra, and hit 38 doubles in season 4. A forearm nerve injury ended his record games-played streak, particularly impressive considering he was a catcher.


Wesley Wilson
Years active: 27-41
Years with North Stars: 36-41
Claim to fame: 98 RBI on a dismal 96-loss team in 37

Wilson had a long career and finished it with 3 straight seasons hitting over .300 with the club. His .322/.381/.547 slash line at age 34 was impressive.


Jeffrey Brow
Years active: 3-13
Years with North Stars: 3-10, 13
Claim to fame: 166 pinch hits (Capra record)

 Brow got so many pinch hits as the backup to Almonte, about as busy at catcher as the Maytag repair man. He had 56 pinch hits over seasons 6 and 7. Brow also unsuccessfully pitched 5 games in the middle of his career with a 30.86 ERA.

 First Base


Rudy Lombardi
Years active: 2-22
Years with North Stars: 2-6, 11-22
Claim to fame: 725 HR, 2000 RBI
Awards: Rookie of the Year (3), All-Star (4, 5, 11), Silver Slugger (RF 4, 1B 11), Gold Glove (1B 12), Hall of Fame (24)

 Lombardi was a hitting machine, accumulating the 3 best home run totals in team history (68, 59, and 53 dingers in seasons 4, 13, and 11 respectively). He has 83 more homers as a North Star than the next highest total and slugging .561 is also a team best. Among the collector accolades Lombardi owns, he is second in hits (1,876), games (2,190), and plate appearances (7,156). He is 3rd in at bats (6,358) and his .295 average is 4th as are 270 doubles he picked up over his time in the green and yellow. Lombardi's .368 OBP is 5th. He was a second-ballot hall of fame inductee in 24.


Travis Barrett
Years active: 21-37
Years with North Stars: 31-37
Claim to fame: 259 RBI playing in every game of seasons 33 and 34

Barrett had several good years, slugging over .500 each of the first 4 seasons with the team. 41 home runs and 133 RBI in 33 were high-water marks.


Bruce Harper
Years active: 8-27
Years with North Stars: 15-19
Claim to fame: 2 of the top 5 OBP seasons out of only 3 that qualified; 3rd best slugging percentage, 3rd best RBI, 5th best home runs all in season 17
Awards: Silver Slugger (17) Most Valuable Player (18), Hall of Fame (29)

 Harper had 3 of the best seasons in team history in his only full ones with the team. In the middle of his prime, he hit for average and power while drawing close to 100 walks. First-ballot hall of famer.


Darren Owens
Years active: 7-23
Years with North Stars: 19-21
Claim to fame: Surefire HoFer just doing his thing
Awards: Most Valuable Player (20), All Star (20), Silver Slugger (20), Hall of Fame (25)

Owens was one of the mega-stars in the league and took his show to the Twin Cities for 3 seasons at the tail end of his career, but he was still great. Season 20 was amazing: 201 hits, 138 RBI, 116 runs, 105 walks, 52 home runs, 39 doubles, .362 average, and 1.184 OPS. 19 was only slightly off from that pace, and 21 was a good season.

Second Base


Justin Nelson
Years Active: 31-39
Years with North Stars: 31-39
Claim to fame: 50+ steals each of first 3 seasons
Awards: Gold Glove (32, 36)

Nelson was the typical table-setting middle infielder, stealing bases and scoring runs while playing above-average defense. He played his whole career with the team after a season 30 trade.


Curt Shea
Years active: 20-31
Years with North Stars: 20-28
Claim to fame: Averaged 29 home runs per season over 9 seasons with club

Shea was a force at second base, with at least 47 extra-base hits each season and 5 seasons of 30+ home runs. He showed off his shortstop-caliber arm with 53 plus plays at second.


Virgil Reynolds
Years active: 37-44 (active)
Years with North Stars: 37-43
Claim to fame: .354 career OBP
Awards: All Star (39, 40)

 Reynolds was a good 2- or 3-slot hitter with a patient eye, quick base running, and some power.


Dmitri Stafford
Years active: 11-26
Years with North Stars: 11-19, 25-26
Claim to fame: 50 doubles in 14, 11 triples in 16
Awards: All Star (16, 17, 18, 26)

Stafford was an all-around very good player who hit a lot of doubles and could do just about everything well. He played over 600 games at second and 900 in center.  


Harry Unamuno
Years active: -4 to 4
Years with North Stars: -1 to 4
Claim to fame: Big seasons in early Capra

 Most of Unamuno's career was before the world started, but his first three on record were memorable. He had 142 RBI and 109 runs in the first season. Season 2 was also very good.

Third Base


Bud Gardner
Years active: 26-38
Years with North Stars: 26-38
Claim to fame: 74 extra-base hits and 104 runs in 30
Awards: All Star (30, 31), Silver Slugger (29, 30, 31)

 Gardner had a long, consistent career with one team and was a competent 3- or 4-hitter, driving the ball into the gaps and stealing teens of bases annually. He played every game in 31, 32, and 33 and missed only 17 games from 28 to 36 (9 seasons).


Jose Roque
Years active: -2 to 9
Years with North Stars: 1-9
Claim to fame: One of the best seasons in franchise history in 2
Awards: All Star (2)

 Roque was the team's first star and had a year for the record books in 2: .321/.388/.612, 37 doubles, 40 home runs, 109 runs, and 110 RBI. 5 seasons over .870 OPS proved it wasn't just a flash in the pan. Another bright spot was his .340 batting average in 5.


Keith Brumfield
Years active: 7-19
Years with North Stars: 7-11
Claim to fame: 143 RBI in season 10
Awards: All Star (10)

Brumfield had two big years back-to-back in 9 and 10, .353/.419/.589 in 9 followed by one for the ages in 10.

Shortstop


Jamie Cairncross
Years active: 29-40
Years with North Stars: 29-39
Claim to fame: Awards: All Star (31)

 Cairncross played 8 straight seasons (30-37) without missing a game. While doing so he wrapped up the 4th-best shortstop fielding percentage in franchise history. Season 34 was his best year at the plate: .291/.358/.441 and 23 doubles.


Enrique Espinoza

Years active: 20-29
Years with North Stars: 20-28
Claim to fame: Awards: All Star (22)

"Shades" Espinoza was a highly-touted IFA who needed a season to get up to speed at the big leagues before putting out 4 pretty good years in the next 5. In 22 he was at his best: .293/.350/.416, 20 doubles, 16 home runs, 72 runs, 83 RBI, and 9 plus plays. Over his career he made 43 plus plays and is 5th in fielding percentage for the franchise.

A.J. Daniels
Hardball Dynasty's
A.J. Daniels


A.J. Daniels
Years active: 10-20
Years with North Stars: 10-16
Claim to fame: 5 powerful seasons to start career punctuated with a big year in 12

 I don't know if he just had a slow start or if two other NL shortstops were better, but season 12 was one for the ages and Daniels wasn't even an all-star. Are 49 home runs and 114 RBI record territory for a shortstop?


Luis Lee
Years active: 14-26
Years with North Stars: 14-20
Claim to fame: Became an on-base machine in 17-19
Awards: All Star (18)

Third in fielding percentage for the franchise, not a lot was outstanding about Lee but he had 46 good plays during his tenure and those three good years.

Left Field


Dennis Hernandez
Years active: 14-23
Years with North Stars: 14-23
Claim to fame: Awards: All Star (22), Gold Glove (18), hit for cycle (17)

 Hernandez spent his whole career with Minnesota and picked up 4 years of .820 OPS or better. Being on some good teams, he did not have as many RBI chances as he could have otherwise. Life was good in 17: 32 doubles, 8 triples, 22 home runs, 98 RBI, 23 stolen bases, and a .283 average.

Center Field


Doc Munson
Years active: 5-14
Years with North Stars: 5-13
Claim to fame: Remarkably consistent spark plug
Awards: All Star (7)

 A top-of-the-order maestro, Munson scored 100+ runs in 7 of 8 years and stole 275 bases over his stay. 43 doubles and 38 stolen bases in 11 led to 105 runs and 75 RBI.


Alex Donnels
Years active: 31-40
Years with North Stars: 31-39
Claim to fame: Averaged 31 doubles over his first 8 seasons
Awards: All Star (34, 36), Silver Slugger (34)

 Donnels was lights-out over 33 and 34. In the latter year he had a .325/.386/.522 slash line, 37 doubles, 6 triples, 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 91 runs, and 18 stolen bases. He had 57 plus plays in his career and 19 in that two-year span.


Paul Clemens
Years active: -2 to 9
Years with North Stars: 1-7
Claim to fame: Just about 200 hits in season 5
Awards: All Star (5)

 Clemens played shortstop, then center field, then third base for the club and was a standout performer no matter where he was. He had several excellent seasons but his best was 5: .346 average, 98 RBI, 198 hits, and 43 doubles. There aren't many shortstop seasons with .935 slugging but he did that, too.

Right Field


Santos Flores
Years active: 8-28
Years with North Stars: 8-28
Claim to fame: Leads just about every offensive category
Awards: All Star (9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 19), Gold Glove (13), Silver Slugger (15), Hall of Fame (31)

 "Mr. North Star" was the first big international free agent signing and the Cuban right fielder lived up to expectations. In his long career playing only for the North Stars, he hit more triples than anyone and had at least 1 each season (2 at age 41!). Season 12 was some of his best work. ML Leader in At-Bats (+117), Games (+64), Doubles (+45), Triples (+4);  2nd in Plate Appearances (-366), Runs (-117);  3rd in Hits (-116), Pitches Seen (-2,393).


Catfish Goulet
Years active: 20-34
Years with North Stars: 29-34
Claim to fame: Big season 32
Awards: Hit for the Cycle (32)

 Goulet played 6 seasons in right field following Flores and 5 were pretty good. In 32 he played every game for the second straight year and produced a .315/.379/.534 line, 40 doubles, 30 home runs, 101 runs, and 95 RBI.

Starting Pitchers

Kelly Grace
Years active: 7-22
Years with North Stars: 7-15, 22
Claim to fame: Dominant pitcher for an era
Awards: Rookie of the Year (7), All Star (10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18), Cy Young (15), Hall of Fame (29) 

Grace shares the team record for wins (23) and laid out 9 initial seasons before he left for 6 seasons, but when he came back he didn't miss a beat in his farewell tour. His tenure with the North Stars was characterized by ERAs in the 2s and 3s and lots of wins: 23, 18, 16, 15, 14, 12, 11, 11, and 10. His 16 complete games, 8 shutouts, and 3.29 ERA are still team records. His 1.20 WHIP makes him the team's career leader and he holds the highest K/BB ratio and lowest OBP against.


Davey Shaw
Years active: 26-42
Years with North Stars: 26-41
Claim to fame: Franchise leader in many important categories
Awards: Rookie of the Year (26), All Star (26, 29, 31)

 Shaw took it on the chin with a 20-loss season but won 13 or more games 7 times. He had 8 seasons with at least 232 innings but a short season was arguably his best: 16-5, 2.82 ERA, 1.12 WHIP as a rookie. North Stars Leader in Wins 179, Strikeouts 2,184, Quality Starts 273, Innings 3,261, Starts 562 (second in games pitched), Batters Faced (13,942).


Rudy Ewing
Years active: 16-31
Years with North Stars: 16-25, 31
Claim to fame: 45 wins over 18 and 19 seasons
Awards: All Star (17, 18, 19)

Probably the only Capra pitcher to win 22 games and then lose 20 the next season, Ewing threw 5 straight seasons of at least 258 innings and 7 consecutive with 245 or more. He also won 18, 16, and 15 games and made 208 quality starts.


Dusty Masterson
Years active: 33-44 (current)
Years with North Stars: 33-44 (current)
Claim to fame: Won 17 games in back-to-back seasons
Awards: All Star (34, 39) 

Season 34 was a gem for Masterson: 233 IP, 18-10, 3.17 ERA, 1.17 WHIP. Being consistently ready to go pitch will ensure he will build on his 130 wins and continue climbing up the list.


Craig Schwartz
Years active: 1-16
Years with North Stars: 1-8
Claim to fame: Team's first long-term ace
Awards: All Star (5)

 Schwartz won 108 games with the team and pretty much owned the record book when he left but some new ones have been written above his in several categories. Even so, he still won 57% of his decisions. He won 15 games 3 times and also won 18, when he threw 206 innings with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.


Enos Garciaparra
Years active: 9-23
Years with North Stars: 10-14
Claim to fame: 21-6 Cy Young campaign
Awards: Cy Young (12), All Star (12, 14)

Garciaparra went 38-16 over seasons 11 and 12. Arguably he was at his best for the North Stars, although he had some other bright spots the rest of his career. His 76-50 is the second-highest winning percentage in team history. Interestingly, Garciaparra was traded for a young Rudy Ewing so he paid dividends twice.


Bennie Andrews
Years active: 1-7
Years with North Stars: 1-6
Claim to fame: Hardest pitcher to hit
Awards: All Star (1)

 Andrews didn't have a lot of innings or decisions in any given season, but he posted a 54-37 record good for the 4th-best winning percentage in team history. His deft employment of a heavy sinker and wicked slider also helped produce the second-lowest ERA. When Andrews did take the hill, suffice it to say that hits and therefore runs were hard to come by.

Honorable Mention

Evan Smalley
Years active: 18-31
Years with North Stars: 18-25
Claim to fame: 28-17 over first two seasons
Awards: All Star (25)

 Smalley had some good seasons, particularly his first two.


Jaime Harris
Years active: -3 to 7
Years with North Stars: -3 to 3
Claim to fame: Threw out the first pitch
Awards: All Star (1)

Harris emerged from spring training as the staff leader and went 15-7 that first season, 36-25 overall, before leaving as a free agent.

Relief Pitchers


Alex Clark
Years active: 19-34
Years with North Stars: 19-32
Claim to fame: Highest winning percentage in franchise history
Awards: All Star (29)

Clark's unique ability to pitch 2 good innings every other day gave him lots of chances to win or lose a game and he took full advantage, winning 61.5% of his decisions and compiling a 120-75 record over 14 seasons. Season 23 was pretty memorable: in 75 games he threw 185 innings, going 14-5 and picking up 7 saves and compiling a 2.43 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.


Rafael Cruz
Years active: 20-36
Years with North Stars: 20-29
Claim to fame: 3 seasons with ERA below 3

 Cruz had a long career and several fine seasons were spent with the club. He had 59 saves over the 26/27 seasons.


John Gong
Years active: 28-39
Years with North Stars: 28-34
Claim to fame: 2 seasons with ERA below 2.20

 Gong was a high-innings type reliever who seemed to avoid the trap of the year or two of being awful.


Melvin Wall
Years active: 23-37
Years with North Stars: 28-37
Claim to fame: Actually got to be a closer
Awards: Fireman of the Year (32), All Star (29)

 For some reason I let Wall close games and he got a lot of saves. He broke the single-season record by 8 in season 32 and finished second on the career list.


Timothy Roundtree
Years active: 30-42
Years with North Stars: 36-42
Claim to fame: 2 seasons under 2.70 ERA

 Roundtree had 92 innings of 2.55 ERA relief in 38, picking up 34 saves.

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