As the All-Star Game gets closer, Minneapolis’ twin city, St. Paul, is getting into the action. Surrounded by school children, the Minnesota Twins unveiled new All-Star lineup of jersey-wearing Peanuts characters suited up for the midsummer classic.
St. Paul’s native M&M boys, Paul Molitor and Joe Mauer – both All-Star Ambassadors – were there to welcome two other St. Paul icons into the All-Star lineup: Snoopy and Charlie Brown.
As visitors to Rice Park enjoy the visible icons of the city’s park, they’ll also recognize 10 new smiling life-size statues. The whole Peanuts gang is there, including Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty and Franklin.
The unveiling marks a new collaboration between Major League Baseball and Peanuts. Replica statues and other novelties will be available throughout the league.
As they’ve done with past All-Star Games, statues with specific themes to each host city add to the decoration and excitement. Obviously, the meaning behind these statues goes beyond the famous beagle’s appeal to kids. Peanuts creator Charles Schultz hails from the capitol city. His comic strip often showed “Good Old Chuck” on the ball field. Throughout St. Paul you can spot statues of Charlie Brown and his friends.
As the Twins and Twin Cities find themselves in the throes of planning the week-long celebration of America’s past time, Twins President Dave St. Peter points out St. Paul already had a long tradition with the game.
Many other Hall of Famers with particular ties to the Twins grew up on the city’s ball fields. Along with Molitor and Mauer, Dave Winfield and Jack Morris are among the most well-known. Of course, several others – including Glen Perkins, Kent Hrbek, Tom Kelly and Terry Steinbach – are also Minnesota natives.
Honored to represent both his team and his hometown, Mauer is confident the Twins will put on a great show by welcoming visitors from around the world during All-Star week.
“The All-Star Game is a celebration of the whole state, not just Minneapolis and St. Paul,” Mauer said. “A lot of people are going to travel here and be really impressed, as they should.”
Baseball is a big part of the fabric in the Twin Cities community. Being able to share that with the sports world brings a sense of pride for the hometown players.
Exposing fans to the baseball history in both Minneapolis and St. Paul is tremendous. Molitor explained through his years in the big league, St. Paul’s ties to baseball were a constant theme. That’s thanks, in part, to the city’s thriving youth programs and commitment to maintain parks and ball fields.
This is where Molitor’s expansive career began. He’s proud to say he’s a St. Paul kid.
“That resonates with me in a deep passionate way. I think of the different teams and programs I’ve participated in. I also fulfilled my dream of playing here and by being able to come back for the ’85 All-Star Game,” Molitor said. “It was great some of the guys also from the city got to represent it too. It feels good when people from around the country talk about Minnesota baseball.”
The Twins are hosting Peanuts Day on June 6. The first 10,000 fans will get a limited-edition Snoopy figure. The 85th MLB All-Star Game is July 15 at Target Field, and there are various events throughout the week. The Peanuts statutes will be on display at FanFest at the Minneapolis Convention Center from July 11-15.