The Minnesota Twins’ tradition of waving Homer Hankies at playoff games goes all the way back to the 1987 World Series run and will continue in 2019.
In 1987, the Minneapolis Star Tribune released a simple white handkerchief with a baseball on it and the words “Championship Drive.” It was a simple idea from the newspaper as a promotion and a way to support the beloved Minnesota Twins. The handkerchief gained a lot of attention, and as the Twins kept winning, the handkerchief grew in popularity. It became known as the Homer Hanky, and became a major part of the Twins legend..
In 1988, there was a Homer Hanky for the Twins to win the Division, but they ended up finishing out of the playoffs and it was hidden away for a few years. The Hanky returned with a new design in 1991 to see the Twins earn their second World Series. Ever since then, the Hanky has been a part of every Twins pennant and playoff run.
But the Twins have been in the middle of one of the longest hanky droughts in team history. Outside of the special edition one released for the 2014 All-Star Game, the Tribune has not released a Homer Hanky since 2010. That streak is finally being broken in honor of the Twins winning the division, but there’s a major twist this time around: The Hanky is red and is now a towel as opposed to a hanky.
Why the change? MLB added a new rule to the rulebook in 2016 that has become commonly known as “The Homer Hanky Rule”. The rule prohibits white, in-stadium rally towels to “prevent distracting players from seeing clearly the white baseball in play”. The rule became isn’t aimed solely at the Homer Hanky, but rule meant that the color had to be changed.
The other difference is that the Hanky is now more of a towel, as Star Tribune wanted to make it a little more durable. I’m not a huge fan of the fact that it is now a towel, but I do like the redesign under the circumstances and will be picking it up as soon as I possibly can.
The Homer Hanky is officially back, and there’s no better way to support the Minnesota Twins. I’d love to hear how everyone else feels about the new one, so let me know what you guys think on Twitter or in the comments below!