The “Homer Blankies” jokes came swiftly and overwhelmingly.
Mere hours after the release of the new design for this year’s Homer Hanky — the preferred post-season rallying device of Twins fans since the great 1987 World Series victory — the pun began flying around office coolers. And why not? It brings together the two things about this season that have made fans the giddiest: The Twins are steam rolling into the playoffs. And they’ll be playing most of their games outside, at Target Field, where it will presumably be cold.
The new rally towel was released Sept. 22, the morning after the Twins clinched the American League Central division. This year’s design features an iconic image from the new stadium, the Minnie and Paul homerun celebration sign, with the twins set against an outline of the state of Minnesota, shaking hands over a river.
The handkerchiefs cost $2 and are available at twinsbaseball.com and at the Majestic Twins Clubhouse store at Target Field. You can also find them at Twins Pro Shops in Roseville, Apple Valley and Minnetonka.
A portion of the proceeds raised through Homer Hankies will be donated to the Minnesota Twins Community Fund.
The original idea for the Hanky came from Star Tribune promotions manager Terrie Robbins during the 1987 season.
Beer vendors busted
Eight Target Field beer vendors received citations for selling alcohol to underage fans during a Sept. 30 Twins game. An evening news report later revealed that Walter McNeil, better known as Twin Cities sports fixture Wally the Beer Man, was one of the offenders.
The citations were part of a sting conducted by the City of Minneapolis’ licensing bureau. It was the first sting at Target Field.
Target Field breaks attendance records
Target Field surpassed the 3 million mark for season attendance during the Sept. 21 game against the Cleveland Indians. 2010 is only the second year in franchise history that the Twins have drawn so many fans in a season. The team averages 39,781 fans per game. And on Sept. 22, the night that the Twins officially secured their place atop the American League Central division, the team broke its all-time single-season attendance record of 3,030,672, set at the Metrodome in 1988.
The packed crowds at Target Field have been considered an important factor in the Twins’ distinct home field advantage. The team ended its season with one of the best home records in Major League Baseball.
Twins unhappy about Target Center sign
As reported in this issue’s Biz Buzz section, the Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement with South Dakota-based Sanford Health to print the company’s name on a large, 87-by-33-foot sign installed on the Target Center’s exterior. The sign is a dominant feature in the city skyline as viewed from Target Field, and Twins officials have expressed annoyance at its size and placement.
Twins president Dave St. Peter accused the sign of corrupting Target Plaza, which he considers a “very dynamic city gathering space.”
The sign was installed just before the Twins first playoff game at Target Field, on Oct. 6.