TwinsFest 2013 - Sunday Jan 27
by, 01-27-2013 at 02:19 PM (608 Views)
TwinsFest - which I first experienced when the Twins were riding high on World Series victories, was a fun event to walk through and soak up the baseball atmosphere. It comes at the perfect time of year - Baseball has been done for a few months, and wont be back for a few months, Spring Training and Hot Stove coming up and in full effect. Wonderful. Lets start thinking baseball.
A fun autograph opportunity for me has been to bring Seth Stohs's Twins Prospect Book. It is a lot of fun to bring that around to the 'On the Farm' booth and have future prospects sign their entry.
I had the chance to meet 8 prospects before I was too tuckered out to wait through another line. Both Aaron Hicks and Kyle Gibson were among them!
The Cedar Rapids Kernals were there, selling their goods as this will be the first year that the Class A affiliate will be playing there rather than in Wisconsin (Beloit Snappers). While I'll miss the cool turtle logo, I never did make it out there for a game. Maybe I'll make the trek to Iowa someday.
There are also other stations around TwinsFest, where (for a fee) you can meet and obtain autographs from big leaguers, like Willinghammer & Duensing:
Anyone feel the need for Kemps Ice Cream or a quick Head & Shoulders Shampoo?
Rollie Fingersand his mustache were signing autographs:
One of the booths there was this guy who was collecting ticket stubs from games his favorite player appeared in. He said that Minnesota games in the 70's and early 80's are some of the hardest to find in the country:
I won sunglasses from the ESPN1500 booth, but opted to take a magnet schedule instead. The 96.3 booth didn't have any notable freebies. I was a bit bummed that for the second year in a row all the 'grab bags' were sold out already - for those not familiar they are often stuffed with SGAs (stadium give aways) that were left over from the previous year such as bat day bats, bobbleheads and other fun goodies, usually for around $15. I spotted Jim Pohlad running around the floor. Last year I saw Bill Smith doing the same.
Tom Kelly, signing autographs for some guys booth to be sold:
Tom Pelissero and Jim Souhan interviewing Tom Kelly and Bert Blyleven:
Tom Pelissero said nobody would shed a tear for this place (The Metrodome - or 'Mall of America Field' as it is officially known today) once it was knocked down and when the Twins moved to Target Field - and yeah - it is a bit of a dump, certainly outdated at least. And Target Field is amazing. My jaw dropped when I first walked into the ballpark and saw how the concourse opens up to the field. I will always have great memories of the dome, and it was nice to hear Tom Kelly say much the same thing to to Mr. Presso.
I also got the chance to meet (and get a signature!) from another one of my childhood heroes - Frank Viola, the MVP of the 1987 World Series:
It was a fun time, I'm not sure if this will be my last time in the Dome thinking baseball or if there will be one last TwinsFest hurrah next year before they rip it down for the new Vikings Stadium, but just being back in the building where I had so many good memories, was a lot of fun.
Numbers retired by the Twins as of Jan 2013: