“I know one thing about a birthday,” said Emmy Rosen from her reclining chair in her Perham Living nursing home room. “One year older.”
OK, maybe. However, turning 106 years old is a pretty big milestone!
In 1915, Emmy Matz was born near Perham in west Central Minnesota. She grew up in a farming family and attended a country grade school through the eighth grade. Because their farm was 12 miles from Perham, she was done with school at that point.
She married Herb Rosen and the couple were together for 45 years.
Emmy’s family enjoyed baseball. She has fond memories of playing as a kid. “My dad made us a bat. It was pretty wide so we could hit good.”
Back in the middle years of the 20th century, town team baseball was big. Hundreds if not more than a thousand people would attend the Sunday afternoon Perham Pirates game, especially when the legendary Roy “Fireball” Martin was pitching.
“Even my mom and dad came into town from the country (for Pirates games). My dad would park the car early enough and then walk back to our house. Then mom and dad went with Herb and me.”
Her mother was unable to sit in the bleachers by then, so having the car in a strategic location became very important. Others will tell you, and verify, that some people left their cars around the ball field on Saturday just to make sure that they had a good spot to watch the game.
But Emmy wasn’t always a big fan of watching baseball on TV. If we’re being honest, baseball on TV simply wasn’t available for most people. However, Herb was a big fan and really enjoyed watching the Twins.
“Herb liked to watch baseball, but I was never that interested in them. I thought, well, if Herb liked to watch it, I want him to watch it. He said, ‘Why don’t you just sit down and watch them. You will like them.’ I did it, and I did learn to like them a lot.”
When Herb passed away in the late ‘80s, Emmy continued to watch the Twins and her love for the team only grew.
She pointed out, “Baseball is the only sport I really like. I know the football games are good too, but I don’t understand them enough.”
She has her favorite players over the years. “Oh, (Joe) Mauer. (Justin) Morneau. Torii Hunter. Oh gosh. Kirby Puckett, that was a long time ago. Kent Hrbek. All those guys. Dan Gladden, oh, he helped win the Series.”
She remembers watching both World Series championships (1987 and 1991). “They were very exciting!”
To this day, as Emmy Rosen is about to turn 106 years
old young, she watches nearly every Twins game on the TV in her room.
She joked, “How many games are there each year? 162? I watch a lot more than that.”
“I usually watch them play if I have time… (pause for dramatic effect)... as if I’m busy.” she said with a sly chuckle.
On Thursday, the Twins played an afternoon game in Chicago. Emmy likes to walk and still moves around pretty well, especially considering her age. She takes some walks with Fern, who lives across the hall at the nursing home. “I always tell her. There is a game, and when it is over, it might be 4 o’clock.”
Fern is OK with that, and they walk after the game’s final out.
It was surprising to hear that Emmy has only been to one Twins game, and it was over 40 years ago.
As mentioned in the first paragraph, Emmy is not happy with the 2021 Twins season. She said, “I don’t like it. I don’t like that they are not very good right now. No.”
She went on to talk about the tough one-run loss to the White Sox on Tuesday night in detail.
She does like the team’s players though. When I asked who her favorite players on the current Twins roster are, Emmy got a big smile and said, “Oh, I like Buxton!” She just wants him to be healthy and play because she enjoys watching him so much.
She continued, “Oh, and (Alex) Kirilloff. He’s good! Of course, (Nelson) Cruz is good too.”
Again, on Saturday, Emmy Rosen will turn 106 years young. Asked what she would like as a gift from the Twins, she said matter-of-factly, “Win the game!”
We often hear that the Twins are very popular in nursing homes around Twins Territory. I don’t know if that can truly be quantified, but here is one example of how important the Twins are to people who are no longer mobile. From what I am told, she is not the only resident at Perham Living who loves watching the Twins play almost every game. There is a reason that the Twins Winter Caravan holds so many stops at nursing homes.
“The Minnesota Twins are blessed with a loyal and passionate base of fans,” Twins President & CEO Dave St. Peter said. “However no sector of that fandom is more dedicated than our beloved seniors. Simply put, Twins baseball is must-see programming – every day, all season long – in every senior living facility across Twins Territory.”
Happy Birthday Emmy! Let’s hope you celebrate your 106th Birthday with a Win from the Twins!