03/31/2011 8:53 AM ET
Minnesota Twins Announce Plans for 2011 Target Field Home Opener
Twins to play 2011 Home Opener at Target Field against the Oakland Athletics
MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Twins today announced plans for the 2011 Home Opener at Target Field against the Oakland Athletics on Friday, April 8 at 3:10 p.m. All fans in attendance will receive a Twins magnet schedule courtesy of Target. The Twins also plan several special events prior to the start of the game and will open the gates three hours before first pitch to allow fans to get to the ballpark in plenty of time to enjoy the pregame festivities. The Twins will also be accepting donations at the gates on behalf of Feed My Starving Children and UNICEF to aid in the relief efforts in Japan.
Friday, April 8 - Twins vs. Oakland Athletics
- 11 a.m. - Target and the Minneapolis Downtown Council will host a rally at Peavey Plaza on Nicollet Mall and 11th St., featuring games and activities for the entire family.
- 11:30 a.m. - The Twins, in conjunction with the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, will unveil the Tony Oliva bronze legend, created by local artist Bill Mack, outside Gate 6
- 12 p.m. - Gates open - legendary Twins players will ceremonially open their respective gate (Harmon Killebrew at Gate 3, Tony Oliva at Gate 6, Kent Hrbek at Gate 14, Rod Carew at Gate 29 and Kirby Puckett, Jr. and Catherine Puckett at Gate 34)
Other pregame events include, in this order:
- Twins batting practice
- A's batting practice
- Grounds crew preps the field
- A pre-game video, "Twins Timeline," will feature highlights from 50 seasons of Twins baseball
- Jerry White, longtime Twins first base coach, will raise the 2010 AL Central Championship flag
- The Twins unveil a "Countdown to Cooperstown" honoring Bert Blyleven, who will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 24th
- Both teams will be introduced along the foul lines
- Military representatives will unfurl a giant replica of the American flag
- John Gordon, beginning his final season as the Twins radio play-by-play announcer, will raise the Twins Territory Flag
- Jerry Bell, Chairman of the Twins Executive Board, will raise the Hennepin County Flag
- General John Vessey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Minnesota native, will raise the American Flag
- The National Anthem will be performed by Rick Oliva, son of Twins legend Tony Oliva, and Maria Versalles, daughter of former Twins shortstop and 1965 AL MVP Zoilo Versalles
- Military flyover of F-16s performed by the 148th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard located in Duluth with fireworks to follow
- Ceremonial first pitch thrown by Twins legend Harmon Killebrew
- Twins take the field
- Play Ball!
"Take Me out to the Ballgame" in the 7th inning will be performed by a group of Twins Season Ticket Holders. It will be preceded by a performance of "God Bless America" by Sara Pohlad.
Single-Game Tickets Still Available
Single-game tickets for the 2011 season at Target Field are now available at twinsbaseball.com by calling 612-33-TWINS (612-338-9467) or 800-33-TWINS (800-338-9467), or in-person at the Target Field Ticket Office and at Twins Pro Shops located in Apple Valley, Roseville and Minnetonka.