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Why I love the Twins

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#1 Kevin Urdahl

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 09:40 AM

It's a tough day to be a Twins fan, but days like today are part of the journey. I dug out the following article I wrote for my college newspaper in 1985, two years before the Twins won their first World Series, and it cheered me up. Thought I'd share, as I think the community needs it.

 

People have often asked me why I love the Twins. They ask as if being a Twins' fan must be an inescapable condition which is ultimately under genetic control, or the result of a traumatic childhood experience. I immediately assure my inquirers that my fanaticism is completely voluntary, but have trouble pinpointing exactly what hooked me. Maybe I simply enjoyed defying parental authority by listening to the Twins on the transistor radio under my pillow long after I was supposed to be asleep. Whatever the reasons, it happened, and I love the Twins.

 

During my formative years as a Twins fan I suffered the same delusions common to most Twins' fans of that era. I believed that Craig Kusick was the second coming of Harmon Killebrew, and that Rod Carew must be moved to first base to make room for a budding star named Jerry Terrell. I expected my time investment to quickly yield dividends and a pennant flag.

 

As I waited, I turned my eyes to the outfield and saw Norwood, Powell, and Sofield where Bostock, Ford, and Hisle used to stand. It was then that I discovered a reality about baseball. It was then that I discovered a reality about life. The Twinkies, as they were jeeringly or lovingly called, became a reminder of the struggles that lead to any success. They became a lesson about the valley that must precede any mountain.

 

How can one know the thrill of victory without first tasting of defeat? Can there ever be a mountain without a valley? If everything was mountain, all would be flat.

 

Much has been written about the woes of being a Twins' fan, but I see it as a great preparation. I pity the Yankee fan, for he can never fully savor victory. He is like the 4.0 student who whines about a B+ but never really appreciates the A's he usually gets.

 

Ardent Twins' fans will soon be rewarded for their devotion. There can never be a valley without a mountain. For every Bob Gorinski there is a Tom Brunansky; and from each Eddie Bane rises a Frank Viola. For every 60-102 season, there is a World Championship in store for the Minnesota Twins.

 

The only question now is "when?" I believe the day is coming soon, but if not, time will only sweeten the taste of victory. The deeper the valley - the higher the mountain.

 

I am not one to quickly criticize the fans who jump on the bandwagon when the Twins start to do well. I know that their rapture at the top will never be as great, for they did not climb the mountain. When the day comes, and the Twins are crowned as champs, the newcomers will rush out and guzzle down a six-pack of Schlitz to celebrate. Myself, and others like me, will walk slowly to the cellar to get the vintage wine that has been aging for the occasion. Before we sip, we will smell the cork and say, "1965 - it was a very good year."

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#2 denarded

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 10:55 AM

Great article, true fan.

Wikipedia is for suckers

#3 Dodecahedron

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 10:59 AM

Championships are great, but no one is a baseball fan for the championships. This would be both exhausting and futile, having a new "favorite team" with each new champion, even though they were last year's champion and probably would not repeat.

 

It probably goes without saying that anyone who survived the Ryan II years and is still a fan will always be a fan.

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#4 h2oface

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 11:41 AM

 

It's a tough day to be a Twins fan, but days like today are part of the journey. I dug out the following article I wrote for my college newspaper in 1985, two years before the Twins won their first World Series, and it cheered me up. Thought I'd share, as I think the community needs it.

 

People have often asked me why I love the Twins. They ask as if being a Twins' fan must be an inescapable condition which is ultimately under genetic control, or the result of a traumatic childhood experience. I immediately assure my inquirers that my fanaticism is completely voluntary, but have trouble pinpointing exactly what hooked me. Maybe I simply enjoyed defying parental authority by listening to the Twins on the transistor radio under my pillow long after I was supposed to be asleep. Whatever the reasons, it happened, and I love the Twins.

 

During my formative years as a Twins fan I suffered the same delusions common to most Twins' fans of that era. I believed that Craig Kusick was the second coming of Harmon Killebrew, and that Rod Carew must be moved to first base to make room for a budding star named Jerry Terrell. I expected my time investment to quickly yield dividends and a pennant flag.

 

As I waited, I turned my eyes to the outfield and saw Norwood, Powell, and Sofield where Bostock, Ford, and Hisle used to stand. It was then that I discovered a reality about baseball. It was then that I discovered a reality about life. The Twinkies, as they were jeeringly or lovingly called, became a reminder of the struggles that lead to any success. They became a lesson about the valley that must precede any mountain.

 

How can one know the thrill of victory without first tasting of defeat? Can there ever be a mountain without a valley? If everything was mountain, all would be flat.

 

Much has been written about the woes of being a Twins' fan, but I see it as a great preparation. I pity the Yankee fan, for he can never fully savor victory. He is like the 4.0 student who whines about a B+ but never really appreciates the A's he usually gets.

 

Ardent Twins' fans will soon be rewarded for their devotion. There can never be a valley without a mountain. For every Bob Gorinski there is a Tom Brunansky; and from each Eddie Bane rises a Frank Viola. For every 60-102 season, there is a World Championship in store for the Minnesota Twins.

 

The only question now is "when?" I believe the day is coming soon, but if not, time will only sweeten the taste of victory. The deeper the valley - the higher the mountain.

 

I am not one to quickly criticize the fans who jump on the bandwagon when the Twins start to do well. I know that their rapture at the top will never be as great, for they did not climb the mountain. When the day comes, and the Twins are crowned as champs, the newcomers will rush out and guzzle down a six-pack of Schlitz to celebrate. Myself, and others like me, will walk slowly to the cellar to get the vintage wine that has been aging for the occasion. Before we sip, we will smell the cork and say, "1965 - it was a very good year."

 

Sigh.

Very romantic. Those who suffer the most deserve the success the most? 

"For every 60-102 season, there is a World Championship in store for the Minnesota Twins."

Unfortunately, that just is not proved to be true.

I pity no one that wins more and suffers less. They actually might learn to savor better each time.

Practice makes perfect.

But I wouldn't know. I am a Twins fan since I was 6, in 1961.

I know I didn't feel deprived at all when we won the Series 2 times in 5 years, and 1991 wasn't cheapened one little bit by 1987.

Not a bit.

 

“There’s winning, and then there’s misery.” Pat Riley

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#5 Number3

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 12:15 PM

Frustration and fandom go hand in hand. 32 teams, 1 World Series Champion speaks for itself. I honestly did not want the Twins to go all the way this year because the asterisk will be there whether it is visible or not. I did very much want them to at least get through the first round because, curse or not, that monkey will be on their collective backs whenever they do return to the playoffs. Losing is a lot easier than winning. Whenever the return is, they should hire the best sports psychologist they can find prior to the first playoff game. Meanwhile lets hope for a normal return to spring training and a 162 game schedule in 2021 with live fans in the stands.. I do think the Twins organization is making a sincere attempt to put a quality product on the field and that is all a fan can really ask. When it appears that attempt is not being made, frustration turns to aggravation and it can become difficult to be a fan.


#6 spycake

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 12:39 PM

 

I honestly did not want the Twins to go all the way this year because the asterisk will be there whether it is visible or not.

I think you mean, you didn't care if they went all the way or not? I could see caring less about a championship this year, but I can't see why one would prefer *not* winning a championship this year. It's not like an asterisk title would preclude you in any way from competing for future titles -- especially if the asterisk doesn't engender enmity as the Astros could tell us. :)

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#7 jud6312

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 12:58 PM

 

I think you mean, you didn't care if they went all the way or not? I could see caring less about a championship this year, but I can't see why one would prefer *not* winning a championship this year. It's not like an asterisk title would preclude you in any way from competing for future titles -- especially if the asterisk doesn't engender enmity as the Astros could tell us. :)

 

I sorta felt that way initially, but then I started thinking more about it: assuming baseball gets back to "normal" next year and all of the subsequent years ... what season is going to be remembered the most?

 

Sure, there'd be an * next to it, but would it really tarnish it? I don't think so. If nothing else, the team that wins it this year is going to have one of, if not the most, memorable championship on record.

 

Even if it was "tarnished," I'd rather have a tarnished title than another year of futility.

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#8 spycake

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 01:15 PM

 

I sorta felt that way initially, but then I started thinking more about it: assuming baseball gets back to "normal" next year and all of the subsequent years ... what season is going to be remembered the most?

 

Sure, there'd be an * next to it, but would it really tarnish it? I don't think so. If nothing else, the team that wins it this year is going to have one of, if not the most, memorable championship on record.

 

Even if it was "tarnished," I'd rather have a tarnished title than another year of futility.

Yup. A championship, through 4 rounds of playoffs, is still something.

 

A division championship, on the other hand, is mostly meaningless in this shortened season...

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