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Vote Twins’ greats to Pepsi Max Dream Team

July 22, 2011

Two of them grew up in St. Paul, the other is one of the greatest Twins of all time. All three — Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield and Rod Carew — were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

What more could a Twins fan ask for when building their very own dream team?

Molitor, who went to Cretin-Durham Hall High School as well as the University of Minnesota, played the majority of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers before spending three years with the Toronto Blue Jays and the final three with the Twins.

In his first season with Minnesota, Molitor collected his 3,000th career hit, and he remains a special assistant to the general manager for the Twins.

Winfield, who attended Central High School in St. Paul and the University of Minnesota, split the majority of his career between the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees. Near the end of his career, Winfield spent two seasons with the Twins.

Like Molitor, Winfield also collected his 3,000th career hit with the Twins, three years earlier to the day.

Carew spent the first 12 years of his career in Minnesota, earning American League Rookie of the Year honors in 1967 and winning the 1977 AL MVP Award. Carew picked up his 3,000th hit against the Twins in the final year of his career with the Angels, and was the second Twins player to have his number retired.

All three players could be part of a dream team that could square off against you and 10 of your closest friends as they represent the Twins in a once-in-a-lifetime contest.

From now through Aug. 31, vote up to 25 times a day for your favorite living legends and help create the Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams Team. All-time greats have been nominated at each position, from catcher to reliever. For each ballot cast, you will be entered to win the chance to take on the winning Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams Team with 10 of your friends on your home turf next spring, surrounded by family, fans and media.

Between the three of them, Molitor, Winfield and Carew have 37 All-Star Game appearances, two World Series titles, 10 Silver Slugger awards, an MVP Award and a World Series MVP. In addition to the Twins retiring Carew’s number, he also had his No. 29 retired by the Angels, while Molitor’s No. 4 was retired by the Brewers and Winfield’s No. 31 by the Padres.

Each of the three was a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection, with Carew entering in 1991, Winfield in 2001 and Molitor in ’04.

Carew won seven AL batting titles with the Twins, while also leading the league in hits three times. Molitor also led the league in hits three times and in runs three times as well. Winfield was known more for his power than the other two, finishing with 465 career home runs and 1,833 RBIs, which rank him 31st and 17th, respectively, on the all-time lists.

During his MVP season of 1977, Carew batted .388, which was the highest since Ted Williams hit .406 in ’41 for the Red Sox.

Molitor is one of just four players with at least 3,000 hits, a .300 career batting average, and 500 stolen bases. Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Eddie Collins are the other three to have accomplished the same feat. Molitor is the only one of the four to also hit 200 career home runs.

Winfield was a two-sport star in college, playing both baseball and basketball for the Gophers. He was the fourth overall pick by the Padres in the 1973 Draft, and also was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks, Utah Stars (ABA) and Minnesota Vikings before choosing baseball.

These three former Twins may not be as fast or as strong as they once were, but fans could have the opportunity to see these three Twins greats play together for the first time.

So, what are you waiting for? Cast your ballots for these legends now, and you could end up playing against them in your own backyard.

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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