The 2006 Twins no longer are just a baseball team having an exceptionally good season, while playing their home games at the Metrodome. They have become part of the family for many citizens of the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
During Saturday night’s Michigan-Minnesota football game, in a break from the thrashing administered by the Wolverines (note: writer is proud Michigan graduate and still holds out hopes for a National Title this season), the Metrodome’s public address announcer delivered the following baseball score to the crowd.
"In the first inning, it’s Detroit 0, Kansas City 7."
OK, so the score was in reverse, but he probably announced it that way for dramatic effect. Fans cheered as if the Twins had just pulled out one of their many improbable victories in the bottom of the ninth inning. For the moment, everyone was part of the Twins’ family and not worried about Michigan’s on-field dominance.
After Sunday’s events unfolded, allowing the Twins to celebrate the AL Central title with their support system at the Metrodome, they still were waiting outside the stadium as players were exiting. A group of 10 fans or so surrounded Torii Hunter’s car as he was leaving, but Hunter graciously stopped and signed autographs, even posing for a few pictures.
As Hunter was driving off, one of the fans standing on the corner stated rather matter-of-factly, "See you Tuesday, Torii." It was as if they were meeting up for dinner, instead of prepping for the Division Series opener.
Yes, Ron Gardenhire’s "Little Piranhas" seemed to have lifted the spirits of a city through their inspired play.
Scott Merkin / MLB.com