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Original Issue

Justin Morneau


On the secret to the Twins' surprising success this season

How tight we are as a team. Guys aren't worried about themselves, they're worried about winning. We go out to eat, and there's 10, 12 guys; that's rare in the majors. We'll go to Dave & Buster's [restaurant], goof around, play Rock Band, Guitar Hero. We're a bunch of kids that get to play baseball.

On his parents, Audra and George, who spend a lot of time around the team

I'm close with them so it's great. When my dad's there it's all about baseball; when my mom's there it's the opposite--she wants to make sure I'm O.K. She enjoys the games, but she likes seeing her son more than anything.

On his worst moment as a hockey goalie, which he played as a kid near Vancouver

We were in the provincial tournament--like a state tournament--and I was 15. Semifinals, overtime. A guy skates in and scores on me, five hole. There's only one team in our town, New Westminster, so everyone's real close. That team had all the guys I grew up with. We still don't talk about it. It still bothers me.

On retired Rockies outfielder Larry Walker, Canada's most accomplished big leaguer

I grew up playing on Larry Walker Field. Then my first big league game, against Colorado, he sent me over a bat! Now we know each other; I text him and he fires right back, which is cool for me. If I'm struggling, I ask for advice. He keeps it simple; his thing is, Don't think too much.

On his love of AC/DC

My cousin babysat us [Morneau's brother, Geordie, is 28], and he was into AC/DC, so he forced me to like them. Our hockey team listened to them before each game: Back in Black, Shook Me, then we'd go out to TNT. Baseball is based less on emotions than hockey, but I still get AC/DC going before games to get the boys excited.

On seeing the band in concert

In spring training of 2002 we drove two hours to Tampa. Best concert I've ever been to. Had row 3 beside the stage. My eardrum hasn't been the same since.


photograph by michael j. lebrecht ii/1deuce3photography

The 2006 AL MVP, now 27, was hitting .312 with 124 RBIs through Sunday, as Minnesota hovered a game out of first place.