Greetings to fans from legendary players, plenty of music and a ball-park wide “group” photo will be just a few of the activities taking place Monday, April 7 when the Minnesota Twins play their 2014 home opener at Target Field against the Oakland Athletics.
The timetable for a day full of festivities announced by the team will include:
- 6 to 9 a.m. - Breakfast on the Plaza - Fans can drive down 7th Street next to the Twins shop and grab a free ballpark breakfast. Bicyclists and pedestrians on the 7th Street side of Target Plaza will be able to avail themselves of free food and beverages as well.
- 1 p.m. – Gates will open - Former Twins stars will ceremonially open the Target Field gates: Bert Blyleven will represent fellow Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew at Gate 3, Tony Oliva will be at Gate 6, Kent Hrbek at Gate 14, Tom Kelly will represent Rod Carew at Gate 29 and an un-yet disclosed Twins representative will represent Kirby Puckett at Gate 34. Fans will receive a Twins magnet schedule and a placard upon entering the park.
- At about 2:30 p.m. - Home Free, a local a cappella group (Season 4 champions of NBC-TV’s “The Sing-Off”) will perform on the field.
- The National Anthem will be sung by Thomasina Petrus.
- A ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Minneapolis-based actor Barkhad Abdi, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the 2013 movie “Captain Philips.” Following the first pitch, fans will get a chance to meet Abdi in the new Twins Digital Clubhouse in the U.S. Bank Homerun Porch.
Both teams will be introduced in the on-field pregame ceremony along the foul lines. Twins season-ticket holders will unfurl a giant flag.
And fans will have the opportunity to be a part of a Target Field ballpark-wide photo if they are in their seats during the third inning. Fans will be able to find themselves at the game and tag their friends at www.twinsbaseball.com/tagoramic.
Children from Hope Kids, which organizes activities for children battling cancer, will perform “Take Me out to the Ballgame” in the seventh inning. Home Free will return the field and perform “God Bless America.”
The Twins’ first Split the Pot Raffle of the 2014 season will go to Stand Up to Cancer. Players on both teams will wear Stand Up to Cancer uniform patches to support Twins General Manager Terry Ryan and all people with cancer, special caps during batting practice and host a charity auction featuring autographed caps via twinsbaseball.com after the game.
Fans can personalize the placards received at the gate with the name of someone they know who has been affected by cancer and display them join during a Stand Up to Cancer presentation at the end of the second inning.
Wendy Lu is studying journalism at the University of Minnesota.
Tickets for Opening Day and the remainder of the 2014 season at Target Field are available by calling 612-33-TWINS (612-338-9467) or 800-33-TWINS (800-338-9467), at www.twinsbaseball.com, or in-person at the Target Field ticket windows and at Twins Pro Shops located in Apple Valley, Roseville and Minnetonka.