TwinsFest: A sure sign of spring

  1. The patched-up roof of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome let in plenty of sunshine for TwinsFest 2012, where an estimated 30,000 fans visited over three days in late January.

A popular event since its beginnings in 1989, TwinsFest is the biggest fundraiser for the Minnesota Twins Community Fund.

Twins outfielder Denard Span arrived in the press box, opened the hallway door, and said: “I am just checking out the crowd.” And he wasn’t disappointed. Player autograph stations were popular, with fans waiting for hours to get an autograph. Nearly every player on the current roster attended, as well as former players. Some players charged a fee for an autograph and that money also went to the Community Fund.

(Above) “Show me the crowd:” Outfielder Denard Span greets 2012 TwinsFest fans at the Metrodome. (Photos by Jeff Rutherford).

Fans brought in all sorts of items to be autographed: baseball bats, shirts, quilts and blankets were signed. Tony Voda, 27, of Prior Lake wanted every Minnesota Twins player from 1991 forward to sign his large canvas painting of Target Stadium. The “Morneau Girls”–Kristen, 24, Chelsea, 24, and Kari, 30, of Minneapolis—carried a life-sized cut-out of their favorite Twins player: #33. One fan asked former player Tony Oliva to sign the back of a stadium chair with a silver marker (below).

Twins fans Matt and Kassi Anderson brought their three-week old daughter, Harper, for an autograph from first baseman Justin Morneau. Although Harper slept through it, in her Twins wardrobe, her parents were all smiles (below).


National Anthem tryouts were held for a variety of hopefuls. A large speaker boomed over the Metrodome’s former playing field while judges listened and determined who will have the opportunity to perform at the 2012 Twins home games. The Westside Trombone Quartet, consisting of Chris Fulton, Matt James, Dave Dahlgren and Lee Dummer, had been selected three times previously. However, the Twins organization has a policy that everyone still needs to audition every year, said Fulton.

“Oh Say Can You See:” the Westside Trombone Quartet auditions at the TwinsFest for the privilege of playing the National Anthem at a Twins home game.

The main floor of the Metrodome had plenty of activities for families. A Twins Wives Organization booth featured “From our Clubhouse to Your Kitchen,” a collection of recipes and pictures featuring past and present players. The Twins Wives Organization is a group of wives or fiancés of Minnesota Twins players or coaches that support local organizations or charities; this is the first year producing the cookbook. A large “Mrs.,” with the spouses name on it, adorned their jerseys. A crowd gathered to have player Scott Baker sign their cookbook (below):

Pay Ball!

Minnesota Twins season opener is April 6 at the Baltimore Orioles and the first home game is Friday, April 9 against the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field. Information here.

(Above) First baseman Justin Morneau autographs a fan’s photograph.

(Above) New Twins outfielder Josh Willingham gets ready to sign autographs.

(Above) Pitchers Carl Pavano (foreground) and Jason Marquis.

(Above) Catcher Drew Butera.

(Above) TwinsFest fans brought in all sorts of items to be autographed; Tony Voda hopes to have every player from 1991 forward sign his Target Field canvas.

(Above) Twins manager Ron Gardenhire signs the back of a fan’s shirt.

(Above) Pitcher Alex Wimmers hands back a fan’s baseball.

(Above) Outfielder Ben Revere jokes with fans.

(Above) Twins coach Jerry White shows his Minnesota Wild spirit.

(Above) Morneau Girls pose with a life-sized cut out of their favorite player: #33.

(Above) Auditions for the National Anthem were held at the TwinsFest.

(Above) TwinsFest 2012 was back at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Snow caused unsafe roof damage the previous year.

(Above) Former Pitcher Scott Erickson signs a fan’s poster.

(Above) The TwinsFest gathered great players from the past. Here former shortstop Roy Smalley displays his World Series ring.

(Above) The autograph lines were long to meet former pitcher Jim (Mudcat) Grant.

(Above) Twins legends Tony Oliva (left) and Rod Carew greet fans.

(Above) Justin Morneau shakes a fan’s hand.

(Above) Former Minnesota Twins pitcher Brad Radke.

(Above) Twins’ 2011 Minor League Player of the year Brian Dozier.

(Above) Mrs. Scott Baker, wife of pitcher Scott, sold cookbooks at the Minnesota Twins Wives booth at the TwinsFest. It was the first year the organization sold the cookbooks, a collection of recipes and photos of past and present players.

(Above) Rookie Twins Aaron Hicks was named a top 2012 Prospect Watch by Major League Baseball.

(Above) Carl Pavano’s cowboy boots.

(Above) Former Twins outfielder Shannon Stewart (left) having a laugh with Brad Radke.

(Above) The main floor of the Metrodome provided many family activites.

(Above) Metrodome seats.

(Above) Judges listening to one of the many National Anthem auditions at the TwinsFest.

(Above) An antique Minnesota Twins moveable doll.

(Above) Ron Gardenhire signs a Twins shirt.

(Above) Pitcher Carl Pavano signs a fan’s quilt and (below) a baseball bat.

(Above) Twins pitcher Anthony Swarzak (right) and Drew Butera.

(Above) Chris Herrmann (left) and Brian Dozier sign a young fan’s baseball.

(Above) Coach Jerry White.

(Above) Minnesota Twins’ Chris Herrmann.

(Above) TwinsFest 2012.

Coverage of issues and events affecting Central Corridor communities is funded in part by a grant from the Central Corridor Collaborative.