I went to Twinsfest on Saturday with my buddy Charlie. Here are some thoughts in no particular order.
Twinsfest at Target Field is infinitely better than at the Metrodome. Players aren't confined to certain spots, they just walk around. If they're feeling friendly, they'll talk to you. There was a mini basketball game there, like something you would see at an arcade. I was eating lunch and glanced up to see a person wearing a Chris Colabello jersey. A second passed, and I realized that was Colabello. There were some other people playing with him,so Charlie and I walked up. We said hi and gave him a high five. After shooting for a couple minutes, we told him good luck this year and left. That was just the way the players were.
Mudcat Grant, Jim Perry and Rollie Fingers were at a table signing and selling things. Fortunately, just walking up and talking to one of them was free. I got to talking with Grant, he was fun. He talked and acted exactly how one would expect a 78 year old former southern baseball player to. When we asked about his nickname, his response was, (deepen your voice and put on a gentle southern accent) "When I first started, they thought I was from Mississippi, so they began calling me Mississippi Mudcat. Because there are lots of Mudcats in the Mississippi River, ya know" Impressive. We didn't have much time, so I wasn't able to press on about why they thought he was from Mississippi and why everybody else from there isn't called Mudcat. Baseball culture is weird sometimes.
We spotted Miguel Sano. He wasn't wearing a uniform, but it was pretty easy to tell who it was. You don't see too many 6' 3" 195 people just walking around. He was looking at his phone when we passed him in the hallway. "Mr. Sano!" we shouted, he looked up from his phone for about half a second and gave us a high five. Amazing.
Alex Meyer is huge. We saw him standing next to Parmelee, whose 6' 1". I'm 5' 5", you can do the math.
Back at the basketball hoops, Deduno and Eric Fryer were shooting with others. Fryer was a great guy. When we asked for a picture, he answered, "Yeah," in a tone as if saying "Why wouldn't I take a picture with you?" Instead of, "You're lucky I'm even considering taking this picture instead of telling you to get lost."
The most interesting part was seeing Mauer. We were about to hop in an elevator when he just appeared. It was crazy. I was in such a surprise I was barely able to get out, "Hi Mr. Mauer,"
"Hey guys," was his response. He reached down, high fived us and calmly strode away. I felt like I had just seen a god.