Those Twins baseball memories


Spring is baseball season. From sitting sandwiched between Dad and Mom in the front seat of a Buick Park Avenue with the radio on to asking Dad the score when he stopped in the barn, the Minnesota Twins have always been part of my life.

Our family is avid baseball fans, spurred on by the fact that my dad loves the sport and always knows the interesting color commentary.

Dad taught us the nuances of the game which transform baseball from a slow, relaxed sport to a precisely detailed, high stakes, exciting sport. We not only learned to appreciate the sport, but in the process, we spent time with Dad.

Every kid goes through a stage between about ages 8 and 14 where they are obsessed with something. For some, it’s horses or a hobby. For me, it was baseball.

At this point, we didn’t have internet. So, one year, I took a planner from our feed salesman and wrote down the scores from every Twins game. I listed if it was a home game. I had the starting rotation semi-memorized, so I listed the starting pitcher too.

My dad’s little treat growing up was to go into town, get a cup of black coffee at Kwik Trip and buy a copy of the Star Tribune. I saved the sports section and cut out all the Twins pictures. With my extensive selection of clippings, I created homemade Twins posters, which I used to envelop my room with Twins pride.

Joe Mauer was my favorite player, so his photos had special precedence. My dresser had a large mirror on it, and I carefully taped up his photos on the periphery.

We made it to a game every summer. On July 10, 2015, we were sitting on the very top row of the very top tier of the stadium when I saw my most memorable game.

The game was normal up until the last inning. We entered the bottom of the ninth trailing Detroit 6-1. My family planned to stick it out to the end even though we knew they were going to lose.

That was when the craziness began.

The Twins went on to score four runs to make it 6-5 when Brian Dozier came to the plate with two men on. A swing of his bat launched the Twins to an 8-6 walk-off victory. The fireworks that showered the night sky after the game were small compared to the fireworks on the baseball diamond that night.

Another game that stands out was also against Detroit. A few rows back from us was a family of Detroit fans. Somehow, whenever the Twins were ahead, I turned around and smirked at the dad, and when Detroit was ahead, he smirked at me. I’m pretty sure the Twins won that game, so I probably got in the last smirk.

To me, radio is where baseball shines. The voices of the announcers make a soothing background for doing chores or driving. We didn’t have TV service growing up, so listening to the Twins was the only way we were going to follow them.

I remember being 10 years old in 2009 and listening to game No. 163 to determine the winner of the division between the Twins and Detroit Tigers. The game went 12 innings before the Twins finally won.

The coverage of that game the next day was taped to my wall for years.

Outside afterward, I was on an exhilarated and euphoric high. I remember eating victory pops (suckers that Dad gave us) in the milking parlor as we celebrated.

In high school, I asked for a pair of hearing protection ear muffs with radio inside. I used them to listen to the Twins, music and other radio programming like “The Ramsey Show,” while chopping, mowing lawn or working. They were a bit of a terror to my family, because I would work half deaf to anything they needed to say.

I kept good track of the Twins up through 2019, but I’m a little embarrassed to say that I haven’t listened to games the last couple of years. 2020 was too weird of a year to follow, and during the following summers, I was no longer in my usual summer routine of being on the farm and listening while I worked. I am hoping to get back into it and reignite my super-fan status for America’s best pastime this summer.


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