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Teufel has not forgotten time with Twins organization


MINNEAPOLIS -- Tim Teufel is probably most often identified with the Mets, the franchise with which he won a World Series ring in 1986 and is currently employed as third-base coach. But Teufel began his career in Minnesota, where he came up through the Minor Leagues with the nucleus of another World Championship team before moving on to New York.

Teufel was the Twins' second-round Draft pick in 1980, and a year later he was the starting second baseman for Minnesota's Double-A affiliate in Orlando. In 1982 his manager in Orlando was Tom Kelly, and they both made their debut with the Twins in 1983, where they joined the likes of Kent Hrbek, Gary Gaetti, Frank Viola and eventually Kirby Puckett, who helped put Minnesota on the baseball map by winning the 1987 World Series.

"We just saw that we had some young players with some talent and it could happen with some pitching," Teufel said. "They added a few pieces to the puzzle from outside the organization, and they made their run. You could kind of see it forming and happening, and it was great because most of the players came out of the organization, which bodes well for the development."

However, Teufel had moved onto the Mets by then, part of a January 1986 trade that landed the Twins future A's executive Billy Beane and not much else. Teufel spent six years with the Mets and went 4-for-9 with a home run in the 1986 World Series.

He wrapped up his career with three seasons in San Diego before getting started down the coaching path, but he said Saturday that he will always have fond memories of his time with the Twins organization.

"It was the beginning of my career, and it was a great opportunity to get up to the Major Leagues and play at the highest level," Teufel said. "I'm always thankful to the Twins for giving me that chance. I spent three years in the Minor Leagues and then got that September callup in 1983 and spent a couple years here with some quality people -- players and coaches alike -- in the organization."

Patrick Donnelly is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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