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The naming of Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield to Baseball's Hall of Fame last week was appropriate and none too soon.

The selections might have erased any feelings of depression in Minnesota by sports fans after the 41-0 loss the Vikings suffered to the Giants. Just like the Bills, the Vikings have yet to win a Super Bowl after four tries.

The Twins, however, won two World Series titles over a five-year period, 1987 and 1991, led by Puckett and several players who "returned home to Minnesota" later in their careers.

While free agency has changed the way some teams are built now, the drafting of the Minnesota native Kent Hrbek, along with Frank Viola, Gary Gaetti, and Tim Laudner in 1981 helped a "returning" Bert Blyleven capture the 1987 Series.

Four years later, Puckett, Hrbek and Gaetti helped the team go from worst to first in one season when Jack Morris came home to pitch Game Seven against the Braves.

Players like Winfield, Hall of Famer Paul Molitor and catcher Terry Steinbach have been the team's leaders in more ways than just on the field since. Keeping the Twins in Minnesota is more important.

Last season, the team's 40th in the Twin Cities, former players like Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva and Rod Carew were selected on an anniversary team, but all three take a backseat to Puckett, voted the most popular player in franchise history. His home run in Game Six of the '91 Series is considered the team's best highlight.

It's too bad Puckett's career was cut short by glaucoma. Who knows to what heights he could've taken the game. Is he just Minnesota's little secret? Or can we all learn from him?

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