Love, baseball and the Minnesota Twins
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone and welcome to that point in the sports world where football is over and you know by now if you’re thoroughly engaged in the remainder of the basketball and hockey season.
February is always that strange time for me as I find myself waiting for the start of baseball season, my favorite sport of all.
I’m so ready for baseball to start that I’ve found myself on late Saturday nights watching the Australian Baseball League on MLB Network.
Side note, if you’re bored on a Saturday night, watch the ABL. It’s amazing, they have a tie breaker in extra innings.
But as you can probably guess my love for baseball can be defined by one team, the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins are, for me, the definition of a loving sports relationship because they are the team that no matter what the circumstances or expectations, I will always be behind. I will always support them and always love, no matter how imperfect.
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But like all great love stories, the origin of this love was equally great.
My family is full of Twins fans and that fandom was passed down to me. My father passed away when I was one but that did not stop me from my destiny as a fan.
If anything, it wasn’t because of my dad that I found myself as a Twins fan but rather my uncle.
My uncle was the biggest Twins fan I’ve ever known. He had room completely dedicated to his love of all things Twins, Vikings, Elvis, Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. But despite having all those other celebrities and teams in there, we all knew what the main reason for that room was. Hence the reason we called it, the Twins Room.
I moved in with my aunt and uncle after my mom passed away and spent a lot of time over the summer watching Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven call Twins games or, if not on TV, listening to John Gordon and Herb Carneal on the radio.
I grew up watching the unsung heroes of the Twins save this organization from the threat of contraction. I grew up with Doug Mientkiewicz, Corey Koskie, Jacque Jones, Luis Rivas, Cristian Guzman and my favorite of all-time, LaTroy Hawkins.
I always knew I was supposed to be a Twins fan but watching the games with my uncle was what turned me into the fan I am today. He was so passionate about the team. He was always optimistic and always there to throw out a statistic that put the Twins’ media guides to shame.
My uncle has since passed away but his memory and love the Twins lives on with the rest of us. I learned how to be a Twins fan from him and learned why they mattered so much to my family.
Someday – hopefully soon – the Twins will win another World Series. The fans of this team deserve it. They’ve been through threats of contraction, losing seasons, ups and downs and the Bill Smith era.
Hopefully I’ll be around for that championship win and if I am, it will mean more to me than any other championship from my other favorite teams because of what it represents.
It will be the culmination of not only my love or my family’s love but most importantly to me, my uncle’s love for this team.