Ex-Clinton player to be honored with bronze statue

A former Clinton Pilots player will get the bronze treatment later this year.

Tom Kelly, best known as the manager who led the Minnesota Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991, will be honored with a bronze statue outside Target Field during the upcoming season. He managed the Twins for 16 seasons, from 1986 to 2001. He ranks first on the team’s managerial list for wins (1,140) and games (2,384).

Kelly’s playing career included a season in the Midwest League. He played outfield for the 1969 Clinton Pilots — a team affiliated with the short-lived Seattle Pilots — and batted .223 with 6 HR, 35 RBI and 10 SB in 100 games. He went on to play 49 games at the major-league level for the Twins, all during the 1975 season.

Kelly’s statue will be the eighth at Target Field, joining those of former players Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva and Kent Hrbek, and former team owners Calvin Griffith and Carl and Eloise Pohlad.

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