Your Twins Fest Stories

31 Jan

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It’s Monday morning after Twins Fest. I am exhausted. What a weekend! It was a great time at the Hot Stove Banquest and also spending two great days at Twins Fest. Yes, it got a little (OK, a lot) crowded on Saturday, but overall, it was still a lot of fun! It was great spending time there with Fanatic Jack, The North Dakota Twins Fan, Marty Andrade, Betsy Bissen, Karlee Kanz, Topper Anton, Emily Jipp and Andrew Bryz-Gornia, and on Friday night, it was great hanging out with John Bonnes and Howard Sinker, and meeting a few new people. I talked to a lot of people and a lot of players. But now I must embark upon my 7 hour trek north, back home and back to reality. Oh well. It was a great weekend and I will definitely share stories here tomorrow.

But for today, I need you to fill up the comments section with your thoughts and your stories from Twins Fest. Some of the better stories may be posted here as well. If you’ve blogged about the weekend, be sure to leave your links here as well so others will read them.


11 Responses to “Your Twins Fest Stories”

  1. Marcus January 31, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Saturday morning, my Dad, brother-in-law and I were sitting in the front row of the bleachers for the Soucheray & Reusse show. Alex Wimmers was the first guest and they asked the crowd if anyone had a ball so Alex could show everyone his pitch grips. My Dad had one in his pocket, which he quickly volunteered. Luckily, the guys appreciated it so much that they kept the ball for the rest of the show and had every guest sign it. So, my Dad now has a baseball signed by Joe Mauer, Jack Morris, Paul Molitor, Denard Span, Jason Kubel, Ben Revere and Alex Wimmers. Best of all, my Sister is having her first son in a few months and my Dad is going to give him the ball. Good way to start out another lifelong Twins fan.

    • mike wants wins January 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

      Great story, thanks for sharing it!

  2. Sammy January 31, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    You were a great addition to our Q&A session at the end of our banquet on Friday. Next year bring down some of your prospect book to sell. See you at the ballpark. – Sammy

  3. Joe M January 31, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Thought I would share a little story from Twinsfest. I was there Friday night and waited 5 hours and 10 minutes to get a Jim Thome autograph. After that I went over to the main building and got in line for Morris, White, Steinbach and Gladden. While weaving back and forth through the line to get to the signing table, I was chatting with a Twins fans about this and that, twins related things, and as we got closer, I told the gentlemen that I didn’t have anything for Steinbach because I got him the previous year. So I said that if he had something, I’d get it signed for him. So he pulled out a baseball card with Steinbach on it, in a game photo, swinging away in his twins uniform and the catcher appeared to be from Oakland. So as I handed the card to Steinbach, he said “I remember this game”, to which I replied “come on really?”. Steinback said “yeah I do, I hit homerun on that pitch, it was a 2-2 count,”, and he went on to tell me the count, where he hit it out, the pitcher he hit it off of, the score, and everything about it. I was amazed. He’s hit lots of homeruns (162 to be exact) and he remembered in such detail that homerun. It’s stories like that and the enthusiasm he had remembering it that remind me why I love the game of Baseball.

  4. shannon January 31, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    Day 1:
    I arrived at the National Sports Center around 2:15 PM and got in line at the Sports Hall. I had no intention of even trying to get autographs from Joe Mauer or Jim Thome as the players I wanted were all signing in the Sports Hall. There was barely a line in comparison to the hundreds that were lines up outside of Schwan Center. At 4:00 PM the doors opened but the ushers had problems with their scanners. After a few minutes they let us in. I got autographs from Jason Kubel, Delmon Young, and Denard Span. Honestly, those were the only players whose autographs I wanted the entire weekend. I’ve been pursuing autographs from everyone who played in and coached the Inaugural Game at Target Field so those three were the last players I needed.

    Day 2:
    I got to the Sports Center at 8:15 AM. Like Day 1, there was barely a line while the line at Schwan Center was ungodly long. I got in promptly and headed to the 1500 ESPN broadcast station, where Joe Mauer was slated to do an interview. I briefly met him after the interview, and he was very friendly with anyone who wanted a handshake or a quick photo.

    Since I was there to get autographs from Gardy and Jerry White, and they weren’t signing until later in the day, I figured I’d attempt to get a photo with Mauer at the photo station. The 3-hour wait was worth it. So that was fun, and I made some friends in the line as well. I succeeded in getting Gardy’s and White’s autographs, narrowing my autograph list to four coaches that I still need. I’ll have to wait for Opening Day or the Autograph Party to get those.

    Day 3:
    I got to Schwan Center at 9:15 AM. There was no line to get in and Joe Nathan had already started his autograph session. Seeing that there really wasn’t anything going on in that building that I wanted to do, I headed back to the Sports Center.

    I had no agenda or goals, so I figured I’d just find something fun to do. I decided to get in line for a photo with Michael Cuddyer, who is still one of the most charming men on the planet. After the photo session I went over to the broadcast station and decided to listen in. Cuddy was interviewed after his photo session was over. As he started ribbing on Danny Valencia, I noticed someone pass right by me and stand next to me. Upon looking up I realized it was Danny Boy himself. It was pretty hilarious. Denard Span also came by and signed things and posed for photos for fans who asked him.

    I decided on a whim to get a photo with Nick Blackburn, and he’s another really nice guy on the team. In fact, none of the players I met were total d-bags or stuck-up jerks. But, the real fun was about to start:

    The Twins organized a “tweet and greet” for Twitter followers at the Schwan Center. To get in, one had to show the tweet posted by the Twins. I got in and expected it to be just a mix-and-mingle with Cuddy and Span. But, “Sweet Drew” Butera crashed the party and stole the show. He even asked the very first question to his teammates. It was awesome in a lot of ways.

    This was my first-ever TwinsFest, and I hope it won’t be my last, either. I had a great experience, met a lot of cool people, and took home some unforgettable memories.

  5. mike wants wins February 1, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Great stories. It’s always good to hear that the athletes are nice to fans.

  6. Josh Hill February 2, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    BLAINE – TwinsFest 2011 kicked off on Friday and the party continued into the weekend at Blaine’s National Sports Complex. The crowds came out in droves, mainly to see this generation’s answer to Harmon Killebrew and Rod Carew: Joe Mauer. When I arrived at around ten in the morning the line for Mauer’s autograph table extended out of the Schwan’s Building and down towards the entrance of the main complex.
    Baby Jesus Joe wasn’t scheduled to arrive and start signing for another hour.
    Inside the main complex, the mood was that of a convention not unlike a Comic-Con. The gym was packed with Twins fans, memorabilia collectors, players and legends alike. As you entered and got your ticket scanned you were met with large and long tables covered with baseball cards, signed photos and bats as well as plaques ranging from Brett Favre to Alec Guinness. The famed spin wheels were here too; for two bucks you spin a wheel with 32 numbers on it and based on the number you spin you win a prize according to that number. 1 is the number you wanted as the best prizes were here (I walked away with a Harmon Killebrew plaque). Other prizes were mostly some sort of trading card pack. There was also a silent auction table in this area.
    As you continued on past these tables you reached arguably the main attraction of TwinsFest, the autograph tables. I went with one other person and between the two of us we managed to get 11 autographs in a 3 hour period. The prospects were the easiest and quickest to get; they were at ‘Corner 6′ which was located against the side wall furthest from the main entrance. ‘Corner 5′ had the best attractions; Paul Molitor followed by Rod Carew followed by Dan Gladden and Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant. These ranged from $20-$65 in price for autographs. Carew cost $25 while Gladden and Grant cost $20. Molitor charged more for certain items such as bats and memorabilia. The other autograph options during my visit included Denard Span, Jack Morris and Jason Kubel.
    More towards the entrance of the complex was a series of poster walls dedicated to the Twins first season in Target Field. Large photos documented historic events of the first season starting with the opening series and concluding with photos of the Twins celebrating their Division Championship and everything in between. This display was against the side wall opposite the ‘Corner 6′ table and right in front of the main entrance.
    Just past the Target Field display was a special autograph table benefiting Juvenile Diabetes. For $20, all of which went to the Diabetes fund, you could meet and receive an autograph from baseball greats Rollie Fingers, Mudcat Grant, Phil Niekro and Fergie Jenkins. In between this table and the Target Field display was a section dedicated to season tickets and the benefits of being a season ticket holder.
    Along the back wall was the kids section. This included inflatable jumping cage for the kids to have a blast in. Next to this, it was back to the adult fun with the ESPN 1500AM radio stage. Throughout the day various guests would join regular hosts to discuss all things Twins. Joe Mauer made a stop before his autograph session and drew quite the crowd as he joined the one and only Patrick Ruesse and Joe Soucheray. The ESPN 1500 stage even had it’s own set of stadium style bleachers. Next to this section was the ‘Table 5′ autograph table.
    In the corner next to ‘Table 5′ was the photo booth where players made stops to shoot photos with fans. Mauer was the biggest draw for this as well. The center of the complex played host to various concession stands and another autograph table which had the likes of Denard Span, Matt Tolbert, Danny Valencia and Jason Kubel. There was an upstairs section but it was immensely smaller compared to downstairs and consisted of tables for a range of Target Field related promotions. The Schwan’s building was the only area I never got into as the lines were still long even at 2pm. Michael Cuddyer was the most likely reason for the lines as well as the Glen Perkins Q&A.
    TwinsFest ’11 was a bit different given the elephant in the room of the event – it wasn’t in the dome. Despite the fact the venue was a tad on the cramped side, the trip was well worth it. The chance to interact with Twins legends like Gladden and Carew was worth the price of admission alone. The event was a nice tide-over until April and the Twins 2011 season fires up.

    Courtesy of:

  7. Mh Morgan February 2, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    So I volunteered on Sunday and they put me in autograph pit #2. I was helping folks get autographs from Kevin Slowey, Alex Burnett. There was a decent line but after the first 45 minutes it had died down and you could walk right up (well you had to navigate all the switch back in the line, but then walk up) Anyway these two dad and their sons were debating if they were going to come on in and pay the $15.00. They decided yes and at that moment Kevin Slowey came down and said to me, “You think those kids know who I am?”
    I said, “maybe not.”
    Slowey asked to trade spots with me so that he was standing at the gate and I went and stood behind the cash table. When the little boys (ages 7 and 8) ran up, (way ahead of their fathers) Kevin Slowey said to them, “Hey welcome to Twinsfest, whose autograph are you getting?”
    The boys, looked around and stared at the table and said, “we don’t know.”
    Slowey, “hmmm, could it be Kevin Slowey?”
    kid, “umm Yup that the guy.”
    Other kid, “he’s a pitcher, right?”
    Slowey, “Yeah he’s a pitcher, do you guys play baseball?’
    Kid, “I do and sometimes I pitch.”
    Slowey, “maybe he could teach you to throw a fast ball.”
    Kid, “Nah I have my Dad do it.”
    That is when the fathers came up and explained to their kids who they were talking to. It was was really nice to see Slowey be so nice to those little guys.

  8. Mh Morgan February 2, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    SO the * should have been an 8

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