MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Twins announced today that former left-handed pitcher and two-time All-Star,Eddie Guardado, along with former Director of Public Relations, Tom Mee, have been elected to the club’s Hall of Fame. Guardado and Mee will become the 25th and 26th members of the Twins Hall of Fame when they are inducted during a special on-field pre-game ceremony June 14, when the Twins host the Detroit Tigers at Target Field.
The Twins Hall of Fame, which honors players, managers, coaches and off-field personnel who have contributed to the organization’s growth and success since the Twin Cities broke into the Major Leagues in 1961, was created as part of the club’s 40th Season Celebration in 2000. The inaugural class of Twins Hall of Famers – Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett and Calvin Griffith – was inducted on August 12, 2000. Other inductees include pitcher Jim Kaat (2001), broadcaster Herb Carneal (2001), pitcher Bert Blyleven (2002), former manager Tom Kelly (2002), long-time public address announcer Bob Casey (2003), outfielder Bob Allison (2003), catcher Earl Battey (2004), pitcher Frank Viola (2005), owner Carl Pohlad (2005), shortstopZoilo Versalles (2006), third baseman Gary Gaetti (2007), Farm Director Jim Rantz (2007), pitcher Rick Aguilera (2008), pitcherBrad Radke (2009), Farm and Scouting Director George Brophy (2009), shortstop Greg Gagne (2010), pitcher Jim Perry (2011) and pitcher Camilo Pascual (2012).
Guardado played 17 years in the major leagues, including 12 seasons with the Twins from 1993-2003 and was traded back to the Twins in 2008. “Every Day Eddie” is the Twins all-time leader in games, appearing in 648 throughout his career, recording at least 60 appearances in eight different seasons. The two-time All-Star became the club’s closer from 2001-03 and helped lead the club to two division titles. He led the AL with 45 saves in 2002, while his 116 career saves as a Twin rank third-most in club history. His 83 games in 1996 and 45 saves in 2002 both rank second on the Twins all-time single season lists. He is one of just three pitchers in Twins history to record 40-plus saves in consecutive season, having done it in 2002 (45) and 2003 (41). Additionally, he is the Twins all-time leader in innings (579.0) for a reliever, and ranks second among Twins relievers in strikeouts (550) and wins (34). The Stockton, California native was drafted by the Twins in the 21st round of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft and spent parts of his major league career with Seattle, Cincinnati and Texas. The left-hander was named one of the “50 Greatest Twins” in 2010.
Guardado was elected by a 56-member committee consisting of local and national media, club officials, fans and past elected members, using rules similar to those necessary for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. The 56-member committee annually considers “player” personnel for induction into the Twins Hall of Fame. Guardado was the top vote getter, followed by Chuck Knoblauch, Cesar Tovar and Dan Gladden.
Mee began his career in 1957 and was witness to the Twins’ first baseball game in 1961. Widely regarded as the organization’s first employee, Mee had many roles within the organization, including serving as the club’s backup radio and television announcer and public address speaker. He was most well-known for his role as Director of Media Relations, a position he held for 30 years. The St. Paul native received the Robert O. Fischel award for Public Relations excellence in 1988 before retiring in 1991. He was the second ever recipient of the Herb Carneal Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Mee, who also served as the official scorer after retirement, dedicated his life to baseball in Minnesota and is vastly responsible for the Twins’ rich history. The Tom Mee Library, which is located in the Baseball Communications office at Target Field, is named in his honor.
Mee was elected through the Veterans Committee ballot, which consists of 18 voters; voting participants include all living Twins Hall of Famers, current Twins President and General Manger and two Minnesota Baseball historians. The 18-member committee votes every other year on “non-player” personnel for induction into the Twins Hall of Fame.
The Twins Hall of Fame membership is permanently displayed in the Hall of Fame Gallery on the Target Field Suite Level as well as on Target Plaza.