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I’ve been a Minnesota Twins addict ever since they came on the scene in 1961, when owner Calvin Griffith brought the Washington Senators to Minnesota. At the time of their first game, I wasn’t even 7 ½ yet, and here I am at 63, so ready for a new season, so ready to see new names, so ready to tune in to a game on the radio or on TV!

I’ve been sunburned at a Twins game. I’ve been rained out. I’ve seen home runs, losses, wins, regular season games, playoffs (sadly, no world series games …yet…) I’ve been in the cheap seats the hard seats, some nice box seats – I’ve eaten hot dogs and brats and had a beer here and there, and in the early years at the Met, there was nothing better to a kid than to have the FROSTY MALT guy come by.

I have seen Harmon and Kent and Kirby play … I saw the likes of Rod Carew take a shot at a .400 batting average … 1977, I think. Dick Stigman, Ron Perranoski, Dave Goltz, Hosken Powell, Rich Rollins, Gerry Zimmerman, Butch Wynegar. Joe Mauer, Frank Viola, Dan Gladden, Brian Harper, Shane Mack … the list is a long one.

I have stayed up at night with the radio on, listening to a Twins game (Herb Carneal and Halsey Hall) coming all the way from California. In these modern days, I’ve watched games on cable TV – almost every game is telecast now. If the Twins are on, there’s a good chance I’m there with them somehow.

And why this loyalty? I think it has to do with enjoying that sense of belonging. They are MY Twins. The whole idea of being a fan is just that amazing. You can have your Yankees and Brewers and Dodgers and Phillies – I am sure belonging to them is fine, too, but I will always be a Twins fan.

Maybe it has to do with coming to the Twins coming to this state just as I was becoming aware of professional sports. Perhaps it was that look of those first baseball cards when you open a pack and find Zoilo Versalles looking at you, or Bernie Allen. The magic of those first years went along with the magic of childhood – and the echoes of those feelings are still there today.

I have survived through those bad years in the 70s, 80s, 90s and recently… that’s a lot of bad years … but I was also there for the excitement of the three world series, when my daughter gleefully yelled KIR PUCKEE every time that chubby little guy got a hit. I survived labor strikes and seeing good guys being traded away or lost in the free agency world – Rod Carew and David Ortiz, to name a few. But we got some good ones, too. Dave Winfield came to the Twins on my birthday – oh, how fun that was to drive home from work and hear that one the radio… I grinned all the way home.

Corny as it may be, I am a Twins fan, and there’s nothing that can be done about it.

Join me, won’t you?