Even an old baseball guy could appreciate the Twins’ “new era” revival
There are downsides to being an advanced septuagenarian, such as requiring a consultation with the knees to see if they want help when trying to get up after a couple of hours in a favorite chair to watch TV.
There are also moments when you feel blessed, and Friday was one of those, as a “new era” of Twins baseball was launched on the Mall of America rotunda floor before noon.
Imagine, as a baseball-loving boy just turned 15 on the prairie of southwestern Minnesota, to hear the news on October 26, 1960, that Major League Baseball was on its way to Bloomington in the form of Washington Senators by Calvin Griffith.
Exactly one month later, it was announced that the team would be named the Minnesota Twins, in an effort to make compatriots from Minneapolis and St. Paul instead of rivals who had been trying to get a major league team in the latter half of the 1950s. .
And now here was that baseball lover, thanks to a regimen based on the healing powers of Diet Coke, able to be there 62 years later to watch the Twins start over.
That’s what the host of Friday’s event asked us to honor with cheers, the “New Era of Twins baseball,” and if you can’t take Juice Sutton’s word for such a thing, that’s not an indictment at all. our American society? and we weren’t going to sit there with our hands up and bad mouth the United States of America.
So we cheered, first those seated in the middle, then those residing on the left side, then those on the right, although the 1,500 or so gathered around the stage and in three levels of balconies still they weren’t exactly sure what it was. we were cheering
It could have been that quite a few of us were excited for DJ Matty Matt to tone down his warm-up music when Juice took over the stage.
“What’s that music called?” I called out to a seat mate. “I think it’s EDM,” he said, which he’d say is something you don’t want to hear and probably won’t catch.
Twins president Dave St. Peter and Vice President Joe Pohlad introduced themselves and spoke briefly. St. Peter called it a “big day” for the franchise as the Twins celebrated history while eagerly looking to what comes next.
I don’t think the “next” he was referring to was what happened three hours later:
The announcement that the Twins had traded Gio Urshela, an excellent third baseman and reliable presence in the lineup, to the Angels for a nondescript pitcher, thus preventing Urshela’s chance to go to arbitration here and win between 9 and 10 million dollars in 2023.
Friday’s attraction for the Twins faithful and the curious was the display of newly designed uniforms. And that was the immediate “next,” with Byron Buxton, Luis Arraez, Joe Ryan, Jorge Polanco and Jose Miranda modeling the shirts and hats.
There were four jerseys and two varieties of hats, including red ones with a modern version of an M and a star on top. It looked like a Miami Marlins hat, albeit with no hint of a palm tree.
“Other people have said it,” admitted Joe Pohlad, who has been in charge of behind-the-scenes marketing and communications for a couple of years and has been the driving force behind this attempt to modernize the look and sound of the Twins.
Joe is a third-generation Pohlad with the franchise. If the family continues to own the team, it would rank as a strong favorite to succeed Uncle Jim as CEO.
Joe asked for an opinion on the shirts and I said, “I’m not mad at the shirts one way or the other, but I like the one with ‘Twin Cities’ on the front.”
Buxton wore this one, and when asked onstage about that message, he mentioned the Twins’ opportunity to bring two cities and the state of Minnesota together.
Don’t worry, Buck. The Vikings officially took care of it last Sunday in Buffalo, New York
The whole “new era” mantra is easy to ridicule, though what happened on the mall was an over-the-top but harmless attempt to get the sports crowd talking about something other than the 2022 fade this winter
I mean, that “Twin Cities” shirt sure was cool. Maybe I’ll buy a couple for Christmas presents.
UPDATE: I just checked the Twins website for current prices on new jerseys. $304. Maybe I won’t.
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