Twins Extend TC Bear Through 2023
Image courtesy of © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY SportsDepending on your perspective, they’ve done just that.
Multiple sources have confirmed to Twins Daily that the team has extended their contract with Koopmeinens Amusements & Golf Cart Repair to rent the TC Bear costume through 2023. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but it is expected to cover theft, fur replacement, and the climate-controlled Tuff Shed where the head is stored.
“We’re thrilled to continue partnering with the Koopmeinens team,” said Twins GM Thad Levine. The Royalton-based business, located in a haunted industrial park off Highway 10, has provided costume rental for the franchise ever since they provided the low bid for mascot services in 2004.
“My dad (Harlan Koopmeinens, the company’s founder) and I stopped at a consignment store in Wisconsin back in the ‘80s, and there was this giant bear costume,” said COO Horace Koopmeinens. “It turned out a local community college had gone belly up when the FBI discovered that all the tuition money was going to the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, and all their old sports equipment wound up there. Pops bought the bear costume for $20, put it in our pole barn, and waited for the right opportunity. When we saw the (team’s) Craigslist ad, we asked for $25. The rest is history.”
Levine said the quality of the suit has never been in doubt.
“The barn cats used the head to birth their litters,” said Levine. “The clubbies really had to get in there with some soapy water, but it was still in surprisingly good shape. Those Rajneeshees built a sturdy mascot.”
TC Bear is now the longest-running mascot in team history, although that mark does come with an asterisk after the ill-fated “Replace TC Bear with a Real Bear” promotion on June 30, 2013, when a Kodiak brown bear in a powder blue Tom Brunansky jersey interrupted TC’s consecutive game streak and ate Clete Thomas.
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