All-Star Festivities - Minnesota

As a tribute to the All-Star weekend being held in The Motherland, I have a couple Minny Diddy's: All-Time Minnesota Twins All-Star Team:

  • LHP - Jim Kaat
  • RHP - Bert Blyleven
  • RP - Joe Nathan
  • C - Joe Mauer
  • 1B - Kent Hrbek
  • 2B - Rod Carew
  • SS - Zoilo Versalles
  • 3B - Harmon Killebrew
  • OF - Kirby Puckett
  • OF - Tony Oliva
  • OF - Torii Hunter

Top 15 Minnesotans

#15 - Eugene McCarthy - Watkins - Democrat was a Minnesota Representative from 1949 through 1959. He then became a US Senator from 1959 through 1971. He ran for President in 1968 on an anti-Vietnam campaign and in doing so, led to Lyndon Johnson taking himself out of the running. McCarthy ran for President (obviously unsuccessfully) five times.

#14 - The Coen Brothers - St. Louis Park - Ethan and Joel Coen are filmmakers who make some crazy films. Many, including Cory, have them ranked much higher than I do, because I really haven't particularly cared for many of their movies. They have been nominated for Academy Awards for Fargo (a horrible movie) and Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, and won Best Picture and Best Director for No Country for Old Men.

#13 - Sid Hartman - Minneapolis - The 89 year old Star-Tribune legendary columnist has become a Minnesota icon. He has many 'close personal friends' which he has accumulated over the years. He didn't graduate from high school, and has been writing at the Star-Tribune since 1945. He has been a sports team owner and general manager, and has been a great sports representative for the state for years.

#12 - William Orville Douglas - Maine Township - In 1939, FDR nominated Douglas for a a Supreme Court Justice position. He was swoen in on April 17, 1939, and stayed on the Supreme Court for 36 years, 209 days, the longest tenure of any Supreme Court Justice.

#11 - Walter Mondale - Ceylon - After being the Minnesota Attorney General for four years, he became a US Senator from 1964 through 1976 when he became the 42nd Vice President of the United States, under Jimmy Carter. Although he served in the role, he is credited for expanding the role of the Vice President. Bill Clinton named him a US Ambassador to Japan in 1993.

#10 - Prince Rogers Nelson - Minneapolis - The 50 year old musician known as just "Prince" has been a music-making icon for over 30 years. He has been controversial for many reasons from his lyrics, to his dress, to his name changes. I personally think his music in the '80s, including that with Morris Day and The Time, was his best stuff.

#9 - F. Scott Fitzgerald - St. Paul - Clearly appreciated more now than he was while he was alive, Fitzgerald is one of the great American authors. Best known for his novel The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald wrote a lot of commercial projects as well. He is somewhat back in the news as one of his short stories was one of last year's top movies, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

#8 - Judy Garland - Grand Rapids - Frances Ethel Gumm was one of the more successful actresses and singers of her era. Although most people likely only know of her because of The Wizard of Oz, she has won many acting and signing awards. She stayed busy, probably too busy right up until her death. She has to go down as one of the top entertainers of the century.

#7 - Sinclair Lewis - Sauk Centre - Lewis was the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1930. He was a short story author who wrote about life in America. His first book, Main Street, expected to sell maybe 25,000 copies. It sold over 180,000 copies in the first six months and over 2 million altogether. He wrote nine more novels.

#6 - Dave Winfield - St. Paul - I needed to have at least one athlete on my list, right? And when it comes to amazing athletes, Winfield has to be at the top of the list. As Cory mentioned, in 2004, ESPN named him the #3 best athlete of all time. He was a fist ballot Hall of Fame baseball outfielder. In college, he was such a great pitcher that the Minnesota Gophers Pitcher of the Year Award is named on his behalf. He was drafted by two professional basketball leagues after playing for the Gophers. He even was drafted by the Vikings despite not playing football in college.

#5 - Charles Lindbergh - Little Falls - Although Lindbergh was born in Detroit, he spent most of his formative years in Little Falls. Lucky Lindy and his partner, The Spirit of St. Louis, became the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean successfully. He became a national hero overnight. Unfortunately, part of his fame now is tragic as his 20 month old son was kidnapped and killed. The Minneapolis-St. Paul airport includes the Lindbergh Terminal.

#4 - Garrison Keiller - Anoka - Over the past forty years, Garrison Keillor is both a writer and a radio personality. Thanks to his A Prairie Home Companion series on Minnesota Public Radio, Keillor is internationally known. During the second half of the show, Keillor speaks of his News from Lake Wobegon.

#3 - Bob Dylan (or maybe you prefer "Robert Allen Zimmerman") - Duluth/Hibbing - It isn't enough to call Bob Dylan a great musician. He is a great performer, an activist, a poet and more. He was, and still is, able to reach and influence a significant number of people through his music. Time Magazine called him one of the Top 100 Most Important People of the 20th century.

#2 - Charles Schulz - Minneapolis - Schulz was always a great drawer. He would draw pictures of his family dog and send them in. It turned into his livelihood, and he created the Peanuts comic strip. Peanuts was around for about 50 years and was syndicated in 75 countries in more than 2,600 newspapers. Charles Schulz made a lot of people laugh and smile.

#1 - Charles & William Mayo - Le Sueur - Along with their father, who after several attempts at a medical career around the region finally set up a clinic in Rochester, they founded what has become known as the Mayo Clinic. If you want to define 'Great' as finding an ability to help and serve others, then the founders of one of the world's most respected medical facilities should be included.

Top Minnesota Attractions

1: Mall of America

2: Como Park Zoo and Conservatory

3: Boundary Waters Canoe Area

4: Water Park of America

5: Spirit Mountain

6: Lake Superior Helicopter Tours

7: Minnehaha Falls

8: Mount Kato

9: Itasca State Park

10: Valleyfair Amusement Park

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