Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Twins Player

Joe Mauer

Save the griping about Mauer's contract and consider this: Two notable players in Twins history finished their years at age 29 hitting for high-average and modest-slugging numbers at a crucial defensive position noted for rarely producing great hitters. One of them shifted to first base, a position expected to produce far more home runs than the hitter had traditionally shown, but he made up for it by putting up some of the best numbers in the league for a succession of underachieving Twins teams, including an eye-popping MVP campaign in 1977. The other player, the one who isn't Rod Carew, may someday follow his position change, and Mauer could very well replicate Carew's gaudy late-'70s stats. He's also a lot less likely to be traded to a contending team for scrap-heap parts. If Mauer, a perennial fixture in the AL's batting average/on-base percentage leaderboard, can follow No. 29's lead and maintain his hawk-eyed finesse well into his late 30s, he'll not only be a key player to rebuild around but a permanent franchise icon who can help lead his team back to the top once all the prospects start fulfilling their potential. The way things are going in front offices across Major League Baseball (what's up, Dodgers), that $25 million a year will look mighty affordable by then.

Best Twins Player (2012) Glen Perkins

Best Minnesota Twins Addition (2012) Corey Provus

Best Coach (2011) Ron Gardenhire

Best Twins Player (2011) Joe Mauer

Best Food at Target Field (2011) Vincent Burger

BEST TWINS PLAYER (2010) Joe Mauer

Best Weekend Getaway The Jeffers Petroglyphs

Best College Athlete Trevor Mbakwe

Best Park Fort Snelling State Park

Best Bike Trail West River Parkway

Best Bike Ride Freedom From Pants Ride

Best Bike Shop Penn Cycle

Best Public Golf Course Rush Creek Golf Club

Best Hike Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Best Run The Downtown YMCA track

Best Road Race (Running) Get Lucky 7K and Half Marathon

Best Race City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival

Best Day Trip Winona

Best Sledding Powderhorn Park

Best Ice Skating Wells Fargo WinterSkate

Best Picnic Spot Minnehaha Falls

Best Dog Park Battle Creek Regional Dog Park

Best Apple Orchard Apple Jack Orchards

Best Gym YWCA of Minneapolis

Best Personal Training Studio APEX Personal Training

Best Outdoors Store Vertical Endeavors

Best Vikings Player Adrian Peterson

Best Timberwolves Player Ricky Rubio

Best Lynx Player Seimone Augustus

Best Wild Player Zach Parise

Best Coach Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings