Monday, January 28, 2013

Twinsfest 2013

On Friday the 25th I went to Twinsfest for the 10th straight year. This is the last year Twinsfest will be held at the Metrodome as the dome will be demolished after the end of the 2013 Vikings season, so they can build a new Vikings stadium there. I was planning on going on Friday and Sunday, but made only Friday as the weather and the health of my parents dog prevented me from getting there on Sunday.

Despite only getting to go one day, I got different 34 guys which is my best one day total at Twinsfest and only second all-time behind the 36 guys I got last year over a span of two days.

I had hoped to get Twins Minor League Player of the Year Oswaldo Arcia, but he was a late scratch because he got hit in the head with a baseball while playing in his native Venezuela. Instead I got to meet long-time local sportscaster Mark Rosen who was there hawking his new book.

A wrist band drawing was held again this year to determine who got Joe Mauer and / or Justin Morneau autographs, and for the second year in the row I won the Morneau and lost the Mauer drawing.

I have never had a lot of success getting Mauer at Twinsfest. I got him on ball in 2006 and a card in 2008. I got cutoff in his line in 2009, 2010, and 2011 (despite waiting 3 hours line BEFORE the event even opened in 2010 & 2011). However, I did see Joe walking in the concourse with Rod Carew later in the night and shouted a “Hi Joe, Hi Rod” and got a wave and a greeting back from Joe.

Despite missing out of Mauer and Arcia, I consider my visit to Twinsfest a success. Here is a list of all the players I got with a few notes attached.

Current Twins

Justin Morneau

Vance Worley – told me about how he got his nickname “Vanimal”

Ryan Doumit – has changed uniform number to 18, and is signing all items with #18

Kevin Correia

Jamey Carroll

Mike Pelfrey – seemed very happy to be here, very engaging with fans

Josh Roenicke

Alex Burnett

Joe Benson – was not friendly last year, very engaging this year

Brian Dozier – great looking autograph

Scott Diamond

Jared Burton – lousy looking autograph

Darin Mastroianni

Ron Gardenhire (2 cards) - fearing he will fired soon, I got signed all his cards I wanted

Glen Perkins (card, photo) - was signing with Gardy, so I got 2 autos from him

Anthony Swarzak

Tim Wood – no-one seem to know who he was, but I knew

Casey Fien - praised the look of the card I had made of him

P.J. Walters

Drew Butera - also praised the look of the card I had made of him, very friendly

Liam Hendriks – very friendly and engaging with everyone loving his Aussie accent

Tyler Robertson

Cole DeVries – He liked the homemade card I had him, except the picture was from a game he gotten shelled in. He thought that funny. Very friendly guy.

Bobby Cuellar

Future Twins

(The free minor league station was continuously busy, but I got 4 guys)

Alex Meyer – the Twins top pitching prospect seemed pretty friendly.

Trevor May

Nate Hanson

Austin Malinowski

Former Twins

(This year’s list of former Twins was pretty weak, but I got 5 guys)

Ron Coomer

Brian Raabe

Tom Quinlan – played only 4 games as Twins, never got a hit with them, and would not sign a card for me through the mail. The only reason he was there is that he is from Minnesota and he was a big-time high school hockey and baseball player.

Bert Blyleven & Dan Gladden – I found them as I was leaving the event. They were just sitting there with no line. I decided to have them sign some cards. Blyleven look up at me and said “What took you so long?” I said “I was getting Alex Meyer’s autograph” Bert responded “Alex Meyer!?” We then had a nice conversation about Alex and his future with the Twins. Bert even signed my card in blue and did personalize it, two things he rarely does.

The General Manager

I ran into Twins General Manager Terry Ryan the field, and he signed a card I had made of him. Nice man. Hopefully he can get the Twins back to their winning ways soon.

Update on my current and former Twins autograph baseball card collection.

I got returns from former Twins Adam Everett, Kevin Campbell, and John Butcher in January. Add them in with the guy got at Twinsfest that I did not have (Jared Burton, P.J. Walters, Tom Quinlan, Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia, and Vance Worley), and I am up to signed cards from 451 different Twins.

Final Thoughts

I always loved going to Twinsfest at the Metrodome, and will take away a lot of good memories. I hope the find somewhere nice to host Twinsfest 2014 which I am already looking forward too.