Reporting Tracy Perlman
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – The Minnesota Twins are boarding buses this week for the annual winter caravan, crisscrossing Twins Territory to visit 50 communities.
It has become a 53-year tradition that players like Glen Perkins and Brian Duensing hate to miss.
“It gets us ready for the season, and in the that mode and getting fans excited,” Perkins said. “It’s fun, and it’s something they don’t even ask me to do anymore. I think they just assume that I’m going to do it and I enjoy it.”
Wednesday at Casa de Esperanza in St. Paul was more than a meet and greet. Players connected with fans by sharing stories and sharing a laugh. The experience gave young fans some insight into what it takes to play a sport for a living.
“What surprised me is I didn’t know they’d play baseball their whole life,” said 11-year-old Giselle.
Giselle’s 8-year-old sister Isabelle said the highlight of the visit was meeting her favorite Twin — T.C. Bear.
“I think it’s pretty cool they came here to meet us and autograph T-shirts,” Isabelle said. “They’re always busy, and go around the world to play the game.”
For Duensing, the caravan adds to the buildup for spring training.
“You talk with fans who are really appreciative about what you do,” he said. “I know we’ve had a few rough seasons, but they’re still optimistic. Anytime you hear and see the support that’s out there, it adds a bounce in our step. Even when things are going poorly, those are the true fans that come out.”