February 11, 1985: Hrbek Cashes In

The Twins sign 1978 Bloomington Kennedy High School grad Kent Hrbek to a new five-year, $6 million contract, making him the first player in team history scheduled to make a million dollars a year. I say “scheduled” because Hrbie’s annual salary wouldn’t actually exceed $1 million until the 1986 season, and the Twins traded for Bert Blyleven, making well over $1 million a year, during the 1985 season.

Hrbek celebrated by going ice fishing outside his Lake Minnetonka home.

Hrbek was coming off of what would be the best season of his career in 1984, hitting .311 with 27 home runs and 107 RBI. He finished runner-up in American League MVP balloting to Detroit closer Willie Hernandez, who also won the AL Cy Young Award. Kansas City closer Dan Quisenberry came in third in MVP balloting and second in Cy Young balloting. Quisenberry finished second or third in Cy Young balloting four straight seasons from 1982 to 1985.

Next time you see Hrbie, ask him how he feels about pitchers receiving MVP votes.

Read the Complete Twins Almanac for February 11–17 on Twins Daily.


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