World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Tom Kelly (baseball)

Tom Kelly
First baseman, Manager
Born: (1950-08-15) August 15, 1950
Graceville, Minnesota
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
May 11, 1975, for the Minnesota Twins
Last MLB appearance
July 11, 1975, for the Minnesota Twins
MLB statistics
Batting average .181
Home runs 1
Runs batted in 11
Games managed 2,384
Win–loss record 1,140-1,244
Winning % .478

As Player

As Manager

Career highlights and awards

Jay Thomas Kelly (born August 15, 1950) is the former manager of the Minnesota Twins baseball team from 1986 to 2001. Currently, he serves as a Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Twins.

Kelly grew up in Sayreville, New Jersey and attended St. Mary's High School in nearby South Amboy.[1]


  • Biography 1
    • Playing career 1.1
    • Managerial career 1.2
    • 1987 World Series 1.3
    • 1991 World Series 1.4
  • Managerial record 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Playing career

Kelly was drafted by the Toledo Mudhens, spending his last year as a full-time player.

Managerial career

Following the 1978 season, Kelly was sent down to manage the Twins A-affiliate, the Visalia Oaks in the California League, staying there through the 1980 season. After taking a year off, Kelly was named the manager of the Twins AA affiliate, the Orlando Twins, for the 1982 season. In 1983, Kelly was added to manager Billy Gardner's big-league coaching staff where he would remain until being named Twins manager during the 1986 season. Kelly was the 11th manager of the team and his tenure as manager was the longest in team history. Under his tenure, the Twins won two World Series crowns in the span of five years (1987 and 1991); however, from 1994 to 1997 a long sequence of retirements and injuries (including superstars Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett) hurt the team badly, and Kelly spent the remainder of his managerial career rebuilding the Twins.

In 1998, management cleared out the team of all of its players earning over 1 million dollars (except for pitcher Brad Radke) and rebuilt from the ground up; the team went 70–92 and in fourth place in the AL Central, 19 games behind the Cleveland Indians and five games ahead of the Detroit Tigers. A run of eight consecutive losing seasons ended in 2001, when the Twins led the division for much of the year before fading, finishing at 85–77, second to Cleveland. He then resigned at age 51, citing burnout, and the threat of contraction. Kelly was succeeded as manager of the Twins by Ron Gardenhire, and his rebuilding efforts paid off the year after he retired from the Twins, with a repeat of divisional championships in 2002, 2003, and 2004.

The Minnesota Twins announced on January 26, 2012 that they would retire Tom Kelly's jersey number, No. 10, before a September 8, 2012 game.[2]

Tom Kelly's number 10 was retired by the Minnesota Twins in 2012.

1987 World Series

A year after taking over the reins of the Twins from '87 Twins were criticized for being the top team in a weak division (amassing only a .525 record in regular season play, which was the worst winning percentage for an eventual World Champion until surpassed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006), they easily handled the Detroit Tigers in five games, losing only Game 3 of the American League Championship Series to a heartbreaking 8th-inning two-run home run.

The World Series was a well-fought contest between the Twins and the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals, each team winning all of its home games. Games 1, 2, 4 and 6 were decidedly lopsided contests (10–1 Twins, 8–4 Twins, 7–2 Cards, 11–5 Twins), with Games 3, 5 and 7 being much closer contests, each being decided by only two runs (3–1 Cards, 4–2 Cards and 4–2 Twins).

After a 63-year drought, Tom Kelly's leadership helped propel the Twins to their second World Championship (the first coming in 1924 as the Washington Senators).

1991 World Series

After finishing the 1990 season in last place, the Twins dominated the AL West in 1991, finishing 8 games ahead of the second-place Chicago White Sox with a record of 95–67. In the AL Championship, the Twins easily defeated the Toronto Blue Jays in 5 games, winning the right to face the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. Marked by a series of close contests filled with dramatic plays and extra-innings, the 1991 World Series would later be ranked by ESPN as the greatest World Series ever.[3]

Following two closely contested victories at home, the Twins traveled to Atlanta where they suffered three straight defeats. Tom Kelly, prior to the Series' move to Atlanta, infamously suggested that managing without the designated hitter was "right up there with rocket science".[4] Although he was being facetious, the grueling Game 3 proved Kelly prescient as a series of double switches and substitutions emptied the Twins' bench and both teams' bullpens. Kelly was forced to pinch hit Rick Aguilera in the top of the twelfth and was prepared to send outfielder Dan Gladden to the mound if necessary; however, the Braves won in the bottom of the twelfth when David Justice narrowly beat a throw to the plate. After a similarly close Game 4 and a dominating 14–5 Braves victory in Game 5, the Twins had to win the final two games at home.

Game 6 featured two climactic plays by Kirby Puckett who, in the top of the 3rd, made a sensational leaping catch against the center field acrylic glass to prevent a Braves' run. The Twins won 4–3 in the bottom of the 11th when Puckett blasted a home run off Charlie Leibrandt. Game 7 proved to be one of the greatest games in baseball history, as the game remained scoreless for 9 innings and included a number of decisive and memorable plays. Twins starter Jack Morris argued repeatedly with Kelly to allow him to stay in the game and pitched 10 scoreless innings before the Twins won in the bottom of the 10th, giving Minnesota its second World Series victory in five years.

Managerial record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Games Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
MIN 1986 23 12 11 .522 6th - AL West - - - -
MIN 1987 162 85 77 .525 1st - AL West 8 4 .667 Won ALCS vs. Detroit
Won World Series vs. St. Louis
MIN 1988 162 91 71 .562 2nd - AL West - - - -
MIN 1989 162 80 82 .494 5th - AL West - - - -
MIN 1990 162 74 88 .457 7th - AL West - - - -
MIN 1991 162 95 67 .586 1st - AL West 8 4 .667 Won ALCS vs. Toronto
Won World Series vs. Atlanta
MIN 1992 162 90 72 .556 2nd - AL West - - - -
MIN 1993 162 71 91 .438 6th - AL West - - - -
MIN 1994 113 53 60 .469 4th - AL Central - - - -
MIN 1995 144 56 88 .389 5th - AL Central - - - -
MIN 1996 162 78 84 .481 4th - AL Central - - - -
MIN 1997 162 68 94 .420 4th - AL Central - - - -
MIN 1998 162 70 92 .432 4th - AL Central - - - -
MIN 1999 162 63 97 .394 5th - AL Central - - - -
MIN 2000 162 69 93 .426 5th - AL Central - - - -
MIN 2001 162 85 77 .525 2nd - AL Central - - - -
Total 2,384 1,140 1,244 .478 16 8 .667

See also


  1. ^ Staff. "EXPERTS: TWINS WILL PLAY IN 2002, BUT. . .", St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 27, 2001. Accessed February 14, 2011. "Former Twins manager Tom Kelly, who is from Sayreville, NJ, and attended St. Mary's High School in South Amboy, NJ, will be honoroed [sic]..."
  2. ^ Twins to retire ex-manager Tom Kelly’s No. 10
  4. ^ Sporting News: Baseball History of the World Series

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
  • Tom Kelly managerial career statistics at
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.