05/23/11 9:14 PM ET
Twins turn Target Field into Killebrew tribute
Legend remembered in touching ceremony before Monday's game
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
The Twins returned home to host the Mariners after a seven-game road trip and paid tribute in many ways to the Hall of Famer, who died Tuesday after a battle with esophageal cancer.
While the Twins were away, several changes were made to Target Field -- including the addition of Killebrew's signature on the wall in right field and a black band to his retired number in left.
The grounds crew also etched Killebrew's No. 3 in the infield dirt behind second base, and in a touching moment, the entire Twins team and coaching staff encircled the imprint before the game. Manager Ron Gardenhire delivered a speech about how much Killebrew meant to him, the organization and all of baseball.
"We have the No. 3 etched here in the ground, but more importantly, we have it etched in our hearts and minds," Gardenhire said while holding up Killebrew's No. 3 jersey.
Additionally, a No. 3 flag was raised beneath the Twins Territory flag in right field before the game, and many fans wore No. 3 to the game.
The Twins aired a video tribute to Killebrew with messages from former teammate Tony Oliva, broadcaster Dick Bremer and current Twins players Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Joe Nathan.
The Twins' players and coaches are paying tribute all year by wearing a No. 3 patch on the right sleeve of their jerseys. Minnesota will don its throwback 1961 cream-colored jerseys at home for the rest of the season.