Guest Author - Lynn McMonigal
In 1961, Minnesota joined Major League Baseball with the inaugural season of the Minnesota Twins. Within four years, the Twins played in their very first World Series, losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 7 games. Their next two trips to the Fall Classic turned out much differently—The Twins beat the St. Louis Cardinals in 1987 and the Atlanta Braves in 1991. Each time, the Series went to 7 games. Some notable players for the Minnesota Twins are Kirby Puckett, Torii Hunter, David Ortiz, and Paul Molitor.
The Minnesota Vikings have been playing football since 1961. In 1969, they won the NFL Championship, one year before the NFL and the AFL merged into one league. Since the merger, the Vikings have played in 4 Super Bowls, but they have yet to win a Super Bowl title. Notable Minnesota Vikings include Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, Randy Moss, Dante Culpepper, and Brett Favre.
One of the oldest professional women’s football teams in the United States is based out of Minnesota. The Minnesota Vixen began playing together in 1998.
Professional basketball has a long history in Minnesota, even though the current NBA team, The Minnesota Timberwolves, have never appeared in the NBA finals. The Timberwolves came into being in 1989, with Kevin Love, Kevin Garnett, Ricky Rubio, and Stephon Marbury as notable players over the years. Before the Timberwolves began, the Minneapolis Lakers won 5 NBA championships, in 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, and 1954. The team moved west, though, and since 1960, they have been known as the Los Angeles Lakers.
Minnesota is also home to a team in the WNBA. Started in 1999, the Minnesota Lynx won the WNBA championship in 2011. One if the team stars, Seimone Augustus, has been featured in national ads for the league.
Perhaps no professional sport has as much history in Minnesota as hockey. The Minnesota North Stars played together in the NHL from 1967 until the team moved south in 1993. They are now known as the Dallas Stars. Seven years later, the NHL opened another franchise, the Minnesota Wild.
Though the team has yet to appear in a Stanley Cup Final, the love of hockey runs deep in this state. But the state’s love of hockey is evident by the US Hockey Hall of Fame, located in Eveleth, Minnesota. Hockey’s roots run deep. Significant numbers of Minnesotans played on the silver medal winning teams in the 1956 and 1972 Winter Olympics. The 1960 gold medal winning Olympic team consisted of 18 players who called Minnesota home. In 1980, the Miracle on Ice gold medal winning Olympic team not only featured 11 players from Minnesota, they were coached by Minnesotan Herb Brooks.