February 5, 2023

What baseball moments would count as Pat Mahomes’ ‘Super Bowl?’

Pat Mahomes’ son Patrick is headed to his second Super Bowl as the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs. But what about his old man? What were the Super Bowl-like moments for the former Twins pitcher who spent five of his 11 major league seasons in Minnesota?

Well, there weren’t many, largely, it appears, because he struggled with his control. For his career, he finished with a winning record (well done) of 42-39, but with an ERA of 5.47. And therein lies the problem because he walked five batters per nine innings during his career, versus a strikeout rate of 5.7 over the same number of frames.

His best season with the Twins was in 1994, finishing the year with nine wins and an ERA of 4.73. His best season overall was with the New York Mets in 1999, completing the season a perfect 8-0 with a 3.68 ERA. That Mets team also was good enough to get to the National League Championship Series before dropping the series in six games to the Atlanta Braves.

But perhaps the highlight of Mahomes’ career came when he was still a rookie for the Twins in 1992. Mahomes was drafted by the Twins in 1988  and later was named the Twins’ minor league player of the year in 1991. Early in the ’92 season he faced the Oakland A’s at home and struck out 10 batters over five innings to get the win in the Twins’ 8-4 victory.

The strikeout totals were impressive, but he also allowed four runs, all earned, with three walks. He got a big hand from Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett who singled, doubled, tripled and scored two runs to pace the Twins.

“I imagine I probably did something like that in the minor leagues,” he said about his performance to the Star Tribune. “But this is the major leagues, so I guess that’s pretty good. I wasn’t unhittable, but I was able to throw the ball where I wanted to and have success.”

Manager Tom Kelly wasn’t as impressed, according to the paper, pointing out Mahomes couldn’t protect a 4-2 lead.

“He starts the inning by throwing a lot of balls (six in seven pitches) and got into immediate trouble,” Kelly said. “When he gets over stuff like that he’ll be pretty good. I’m not saying when it will happen, but it will happen because he has intelligence.”

Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, Newspapers.com


Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.