Battle in the Central: Cleveland Guardians Vs. Minnesota Twins Rivalry

Kevin Smith

twins vs guardians

The rivalry between the Cleveland Guardians (formerly the Cleveland Indians) and the Minnesota Twins is a storied and intense competition that has spanned decades.

These two American League Central division teams have a history of facing off in thrilling matchups, captivating fans with iconic moments, and showcasing the best of baseball.

From World Series clashes to memorable regular-season games, the Guardians and Twins have built a passionate and dedicated fan base that eagerly anticipates their meetings.

This introduction sets the stage for exploring the rich history, iconic moments, and fervent fan bases that define the Cleveland Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins rivalry.

History: Cleveland Guardians Vs Minnesota Twins

Establishment and Name Changes

  • Cleveland Guardians: The franchise was established in 1901 as the Cleveland Blues, later renamed the Cleveland Naps in honor of their star player Nap Lajoie.
    In 1915, the team became the Cleveland Indians, and in 2021, it was announced that the name would change to the Cleveland Guardians starting in the 2022 season.

  • Minnesota Twins: The franchise was originally founded as the Washington Senators in 1901. In 1961, the team moved to Minnesota and became the Minnesota Twins, paying homage to the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, and St. Paul.

World Series Championships

  • Cleveland Guardians: The Guardians have won two World Series titles in their history. The first championship came in 1920, and the second in 1948.

  • Minnesota Twins: The Twins have won three World Series titles. They achieved their first championship in 1924 when they were still the Washington Senators. After relocating to Minnesota, they won the World Series in 1987 and 1991.

Fanbase: Cleveland Guardians Vs Minnesota Twins

Cleveland Guardians

The Cleveland Guardians have a dedicated and passionate fan base. The team’s history dates back over a century, and they have a loyal following in the city of Cleveland and its surrounding regions.

The team’s fan base is known for its strong sense of tradition and pride in their baseball history. They have endured both highs and lows with the team and have remained devoted supporters through thick and thin.

Cleveland has experienced significant success at various points in its history, which has helped to solidify and expand the team’s fan base.

The 1990s were particularly memorable for the Guardians, as they achieved multiple playoff appearances, including two World Series appearances in 1995 and 1997.

These successful runs further endeared the team to its fan base and generated renewed enthusiasm for the franchise.

Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins also have a passionate and dedicated fan base, known as “Twins Territory.” The team’s move to Minnesota from Washington, D.C., in 1961 brought major league baseball to the Upper Midwest and quickly earned the affection of Minnesotans.

The Twins have since become an integral part of the state’s sports culture.

Like the Guardians, the Twins have experienced periods of success, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s.

The team won World Series titles in 1987 and 1991, further solidifying their popularity and fostering a deep connection with their fans.

Iconic Moments: Cleveland Guardians Vs Minnesota Twins Rivalry

Game 7 of the 1997 Alcs

In the 1997 American League Championship Series, the Guardians and the Twins faced off in a decisive Game 7. With a spot in the World Series on the line, the game went into extra innings.

In the 11th inning, Tony Fernandez of the Guardians hit a walk-off homer, sending Cleveland to the World Series.

Asdrubal Cabrera’s Grand Slam in 2009

In a crucial late-season matchup during the 2009 season, the Guardians and Twins were battling for the division title.

The game went into extra innings, and in the 12th inning, Asdrubal Cabrera of the Guardians hit a grand slam, securing a dramatic victory for Cleveland and adding to the intensity of the rivalry.

2017 Wild Card Game

In the 2017 American League Wild Card Game, the Guardians and the Twins faced off in a one-game playoff to determine who would advance to the ALDS.

The Twins took an early lead, but the Guardians staged an impressive comeback, fueled by home runs from Brian Dozier and Edwin Encarnacion.

Cleveland ultimately won the game 8-4, advancing to the next round.

Pitchers’ Duel in 2019

In a June 2019 matchup, Mike Clevinger of the Guardians and Jose Berrios of the Twins engaged in a thrilling pitchers’ duel. Both pitchers delivered dominant performances, keeping the game scoreless through the ninth inning.

It took a walk-off home run by Jason Kipnis in the 10th inning to decide the game in favor of the Guardians.

Back-to-back-to-back Homers in 2020

In a game during the 2020 season, the Guardians and the Twins engaged in a home run spectacle. In the fourth inning, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, and Carlos Santana hit back-to-back-to-back home runs, a rare feat that energized Cleveland’s offense and added to the rivalry’s excitement.

Recent Performance: Cleveland Guardians Vs Minnesota Twins

2021 Season

  • Cleveland Guardians: The Guardians had a solid 2021 season, finishing second in the AL Central with an 80-82 record.
    Although they missed the playoffs, they showcased their offensive prowess with players like Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes having standout performances.

  • Minnesota Twins: The Twins had a disappointing 2021 season, finishing last in the AL Central with a 73-89 record.
    Despite having talented hitters like Byron Buxton and Nelson Cruz, they struggled with pitching inconsistency and injuries.

2022 Season

  • Cleveland Guardians: The Guardians bounced back in 2022, clinching the AL Central division title with an impressive 92-70 record.
    They showcased a balanced roster with strong pitching performances from Shane Bieber and a potent offense led by Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes.

  • Minnesota Twins: The Twins had a challenging 2022 season, finishing fourth in the AL Central with a 77-85 record.
    Injuries to key players like Byron Buxton and underperforming pitching staff contributed to their struggles.

Cleveland Guardians Vs Minnesota Twins Rivalry

1997Oct 15Jacobs FieldGuardians1-0 (11)
2009Sep 30Progressive FieldGuardians6-5 (12)
2017Oct 3Progressive FieldGuardians8-4
2019Jun 4Target FieldGuardians5-2
2020Aug 14Progressive FieldTwins8-4
2021Sep 12Target FieldTwins5-4


When did the Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins first start playing against each other?

The Cleveland Guardians (previously Cleveland Indians) and the Minnesota Twins first started playing against each other in 1961 when the Twins relocated from Washington, D.C., to Minnesota and joined the American League.

How many World Series titles have the Cleveland Guardians and the Minnesota Twins won?

The Cleveland Guardians have won two World Series titles (1920, 1948), while the Minnesota Twins have won three World Series titles (1924 as Washington Senators, 1987, 1991).

Which ballpark is the primary home venue for the Cleveland Guardians and the Minnesota Twins?

The Cleveland Guardians play their home games at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The Minnesota Twins play their home games at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

What is the most iconic moment in the rivalry between the Cleveland Guardians and the Minnesota Twins?

One of the most iconic moments in the rivalry occurred in the 1995 American League Championship Series (ALCS) when the Guardians staged a thrilling comeback in Game 6 and won the series to advance to the World Series.

How often do the Cleveland Guardians and the Minnesota Twins face each other during a regular season?

As part of the American League Central division, the Cleveland Guardians and the Minnesota Twins typically play each other 19 times during the regular season, with the number of games split evenly between home and away matchups.

To Recap

The rivalry between the Cleveland Guardians and the Minnesota Twins has been characterized by passion, iconic moments, and a rich baseball history. With dedicated fan bases on both sides, the competition on the field has been fierce, producing unforgettable games and moments etched in baseball lore.

From historic World Series battles to dramatic walk-off victories, this rivalry has captivated fans and exemplified the spirit of America’s pastime.

As two storied franchises with multiple championships and legendary players, the Guardians and Twins continue to fuel excitement, anticipation, and an enduring love for baseball.

Their matchups remain a highlight of the baseball calendar, showcasing the enduring magic of this iconic rivalry.

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Kevin Smith

I am a dedicated learner who is constantly pursuing my dreams in many areas of life. I am a Finance major at the University of Maryland, a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and the owner of my personal brand, Elevate Baseball. I hope to inspire younger learners of all sports and interests to tirelessly pursue their dreams, whatever that may be. LinkedIn