01/27/2013 2:09 PM ET
Three-day TwinsFest draws 25,000 to Metrodome
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
An estimated 25,000 fans attended the event that featured more than 65 current and former Twins players, coaches and executives.
"I think it was great," Twins president Dave St. Peter said. "The event is such a wonderful showcase for Twins baseball. The event always has unique things and this year it was exciting seeing some of our new players. There was a lot of interest in Vance Worley and Alex Meyer and Miguel Sano's debut. And just to see the overall popularity of the history of our franchise. It's just a great event that raises a lot of money for charity."
Nearly every player on the current roster attended the event, including key players such as Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Josh Willingham, Ryan Doumit, Scott Diamond, Glen Perkins and Jared Burton.
Additions such as Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey and Worley were also on hand to meet their new teammates and Twins fans. And several top prospects were also at the event such as Aaron Hicks, Kyle Gibson, Trevor May and Meyer.
"I think for the players, it's been a tradition for our organization," St. Peter said. "They enjoy coming and having a chance to get caught up with each other. And if you're a new player, it's a great opportunity to come to the Twin Cities, meet their teammates, get acclimated to Target Field and look for a place to live. So there are a lot of positives."
In addition to the always popular autograph and picture stations, there were silent and live auctions, live radio broadcasts and the Upper Midwest's largest baseball collectibles show.
One of the big draws was also a special Hall of Fame section, which featured Paul Molitor's Hall plaque and World Series trophies from 1987 and '91.
The event also featured plenty of former Twins, such as Bert Blyleven, Rod Carew, Dan Gladden, Mudcat Grant, Kent Hrbek, Tony Oliva, Roy Smalley and Molitor. New coaching additions and former big leaguers Terry Steinbach, Tom Brunansky and Bobby Cuellar were also present.
TwinsFest also helped raise more than $250,000 for the Twins Community Fund, which was created in '91 to enrich local and regional communities by providing resources for the healthy development of children and families through an association with baseball, softball and the Minnesota Twins.
"A lot of teams have had FanFests for some time, but I think there are two things that set us apart," St. Peter said. "No. 1 is the Metrodome itself that enables us to have it bigger than most, if not all, teams. And secondly, it's the player participation. Roughly 65 current and former Twins were here. So it's a testament to our players growing our brand and giving back to raise money for the Twins Community Fund."