Johan Santana reflects on his remarkable Twins career

Video Details

Marney Gellner sits down with Minnesota Twins great Johan Santana ahead of his induction into the Twins Hall of Fame.

[MUSIC PLAYING] - Johan. He's amazing.


- He was going to go at least seven innings.

- A lot of good memories.

- We had a lot of fun in there in the field.

ANNOUNCER: Number 17.

- That's good, man.

- Santana, he's awesome.

- He was probably the best pitcher that I have seen wearing this uniform.


- He's the man. He was the best in baseball. Those years, the dominance that he brought, the confidence that he had, and the way he lifted the whole team. There's not going to be another Johan. That's the way it is.

ANNOUNCER: Blew him away on three pitches.

REPORTER: You have not been back to Minnesota in 10 years.

- About 10 years.

- What has it been like to be back here?

- Unbelievable. I'll tell you what, when we drove in two days ago, we were in by where the Metrodome used to be to be.

- Yes

- Where home used to be, where all the magic and all the history happens. For me, and for our team, back then, and it got emotional. Because I didn't see that white roof that I used to see every day driving in. Now I see these beautiful ballpark. And I was like, wow it's amazing. How time flies, and how everything changed.

- Tell us about the phone call, the phone call that informed you would be a Twins Hall Of Famer.

- So I'm home. I'm talking to Dustin, Dustin Morrison. And they wanted to talk to me about a couple of things. So at that point, I have no clue what they want to talk about. Then all of a sudden, he said, they said well we got somebody special who wants to talk to you. And then it was a three way phone call.

So and Rod Carew just step up, and congratulate me into being selected into the Hall of Fame. And I'm like, what's going here? So it was a big surprise. That-- that moment was very special.

I remember my first day when I came in, you know. I remember when I landed in Fort Myers, and then Bill Smith in Ted Ryan went to pick me up at the airport. And I show up with only one piece of luggage. He would ask me where's my baseball equipment? Well, my baseball equipment is in the bag.

You know, it's in there. Unless you have baseball equipment in my locker room. Then I remember Terry telling the story, oh what did we get into? I mean, this guy doesn't even have a baseball bag, you know? And I remember-- I always remember that because I remember starting from nothing.

From 0, you know? But happy to have that opportunity. And then something that I was not going to let go. That was the dream that you have as a child, as a kid, but also as a baseball player. When you become a professional baseball you want to reach to the major league level. That's where you want to be. That's where everybody wants to be.

ANNOUNCER: Hit hard, Ray Morris with a great snag. There's a called third strike. Two away. A fair ball down the line. 2-2 pitch, strikes him out.

REPORTER: What's it been like just having these guys back in town? Your old teammates here this weekend?

ANNOUNCER: Oh, fun. You know, fun because I haven't seen them in a while. I talked to them from time to time. But to see them right there, it just brings back memories right away. When we were in back in 2002, all the way to 2006, you know, when we had that of playoffs and everything. And then clubhouse, plane rides, all that stuff.

You know, that we went through. Not as a team, but as friends, as a family. That's how we were built back then. It didn't how you were. You know, you could be an all-star, it didn't matter. We were all the same, and that was the beauty about the whole team.

- In your time with the Twins, you look at those years, those early 2000s, your accomplishments, your time in Minneapolis. How do you sum all that up? How do you describe that time in your life?

- The best. You know, the best because we went through a lot as a team I remember in the early 2000s. They wanted to get rid of us. They said that we might have to move to a couple teams, might have to come out of baseball. And we were like so what is this? I mean this is my job. How can this be possible?

We started working. We do stuff. It's not just about us. It's for the whole city and everything, and that's how we approach everything. And then when I walk in today, for the first time, I look around I was like oh, so this is what it is like. This is what everybody wanted to do back then. And I feel like I was part of it.

You know, because if we would not have been like that back then, you know, chances are that in the future, we wouldn't have anything. There was no new ballpark, nothing here in Minnesota. So we took that very seriously. Every single night that we took the field, we played hard. And that's the approach we had. Everybody, not just me, but everybody, the whole team, we always play hard.

- You've got love for the Twins.

- A lot. Believe it.