1/29 - TwinsFest Day 3

Well, today was the last day of the TwinsFest. To be honest, it wasn’t as exciting as the last two days because there actually wasn’t that many people that showed up. I didn’t have any interviews planned today, so most of the day I just walked around the Metrodome, checking out the booths that I haven’t gotten a chance to check out.

I saw some pretty cool stuff, such as baseball cards, photo of players, signed bats, jerseys, and the whole nine yards. It took me back to my elementary school days, where I would collect baseball cards almost every week. Back in the basement of my Des Moines home, I have a huge stack of baseball card books where I kept all of my collection. I don’t do that anymore today for various reasons.

After that, I walked up into the stands and just sat directly behind the “home plate” of the Metrodome and watched the kids play in their wiffle ball home run derby competition. It was a lot of fun watching them play. Those kids are the future Twins, I promise you.

After a while, I returned to the Red Wings booth and met up with Bill Smith, the assistant General Manager of the Minnesota Twins. He remembered me from last year, when we met each other at the previous TwinsFest. I showed him my portfolio of my best baseball photography and some of my graphic design work. He was really impressed with my work.

 Gene Glynn, the new manager of the Red Wings, made an appearance on the radio talk show. He said that the manager itself really doesn’t make the difference in the game, but the players themselves do. He also mentioned that if players want to get the call to the show, they would have to earn every inch of it.

Nick and Rob, part of the Red Wings’ crew, had to pack up a bit earlier than the closing time of 4:00 because they have to catch an early flight back to Rochester, so they took off at around 3:00 pm. I stuck around for a little bit longer to listen to Kyle Waldrop at the kids’ questions and answers session.

“What is your middle name?” a kid randomly asked Waldrop.

“Actually, my middle name is Kyle,” Waldrop replied. His real name is Steve Kyle Waldrop. His father’s name was Steve; Kyle hates being called Steve Jr. so he wanted to be called Kyle to avoid the difference from his father. Pretty good question that kid asked. I didn’t know that myself. I did know that his father’s name was Steve, as I met him last year on Father’s Day.

To close this thing out, I have to say that it was an amazing experience to work with the Red Wings at the TwinsFest for the second year in row. I have to thank the Rochester Red Wings for giving this amazing opportunity to work the festival again because I gained so much from just being there. I learned so much about the Twins’ history. I met new people. I caught up with few old friends. Just an incredible, astounding weekend for me.

Now tomorrow, I return to Rochester to close out the final FOUR weeks of RIT, before I become RIT alumni. It’s starting to hit me that I will be a college graduate in just a month…

Wish me luck!!

Thank you!

Dylan Heuer

Joe Mauer at the Kids' Q&As 
Rene Tosoni

The starting pitcher and closing pitcher of the Red Wings' 2011 no-hitter; Jeff Manship and Jim Hoey

Kids' home run derby

The future Twins' signing booth

Gene Glynn

A trio of Red Wings pitchers: (L to R) Scott Diamond, Jeff Manship and Kyle Waldrop

'Steve' Kyle Waldrop

1/28 - TwinsFest Day 2

The second day of the TwinsFest was pretty tiring, but worth it all the same time. Things were going much more smoothly now that we have all of the kinks worked out and know what to expect from the fans that attend the fest.

The day kicked off by having Bobby Hull, the father of Brett Hull, one of the greatest hockey players in history, making an appearance just two booths away from ours signing autographs. One of the Red Wings’ crewmembers was lucky to snag up an autograph from him, on a photo with no teeth in his mouth. 

After that, I walked around a saw a few familiar faces in Jeff Manship, Liam Hendriks and Chris Parmelee signing autographs in their usual corner. Dropped a quick hello to Manship and Hendriks. At the time, I was wearing a Manship jersey, which I wore for most of the day.

I walked on over to the radio show and saw Jacque Jones, who got a nice ovation from the fans who were watching the show. Jones will be coaching in the San Diego Padres' organization for the upcoming season, although I'm not sure what role he will play in their system just yet. He also mentioned that it was nice to take one year off from baseball. He has been playing baseball his entire life, so he was due for a year off.

My mom and I sat down at the kids’ questions and answers session with Glen Perkins, who had some quite clever answers for the kids. It was an enjoyable time watching Perkins interact with the children. Immediately after that, I recorded an interview between Perkins and Nick. Not sure when the video will be up, but hoping by this week on www.redwingsbaseball.com. It’s quite funny. Check it out when you get the chance.

I got a chance to see Joe Mauer for the first time this weekend, as he made an appearance on the radio talk show. I got up close and sat only 2-3 feet away from Mauer, capturing some nice images of Mauer. Hopefully he’ll have a bounce-back year this season. You can see the photos later on in this post.

Heading back to the Red Wings’ booth, we ran into Gene Glynn, the new manager of the Rochester Red Wings. My family and I stopped and chatted with him for a short time. He’s a Minnesota man, easy to talk with and just a great guy all around. It’s a shame that I won’t be with the Red Wings for the upcoming season. It would have been great to work with him.

Next, my mom and I returned to the kids’ questions and answers (they’re always fun to watch) featuring Ben Revere. He’s great with kids. Always making them laugh. “What’s your favorite ice cream?” a kid asked. “Three scoops of chocolate, sprinkles, peanut m’s & m’s and gummy bears.”

I returned to the Red Wings’ booth for two more interviews with Brain Dozier, a Twins prospect and left-handed pitcher Scott Diamond. Doizer’s favorite movie is Shooter with Mark Wahlberg, while Diamond’s is the Rock starting Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage. Hmm…I like their styles.

Back to the kids’ questions and answers session again: “Hey Danny [Valencia], what’s your favorite tv show when you were a kid?” “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air!” Danny replies.

Funny thing, I was just thinking of the following scenario: “Hey Dylan, what was your favorite tv show as a kid?” I would say “Power Rangers.” “How about favorite tv show from today?” “…still Power Rangers...and also CSI NY.”

At end the day, I watched my favorite Wing Kyle Waldrop at the radio talk show and then caught up with him for a little bit afterwards. We walked together back to the Red Wings booth to drop a hello for Nick and Rob.

Overall, it was a pretty long and tiring day, but it was totally worth it because the experience is just too awesome. So glad to see old faces and meet some new people. Day three and the finale of the TwinsFest begin tomorrow! See y’all then.

Down on the Farm....

Jacque Jones

Glen Perkins

Ben Revere

Brian Dozier

Joe Mauer

Gene Glynn (wearing black glasses) and his family

Danny Valencia

The Red Wings' TwinsFest crewmembers

1/27 - TwinsFest Day 1

Hello everybody!

Been a while since I’ve posted something here on my blog, eh? I’ve been pretty busy this past month, trying to get ready for graduation and spending some time with my friends for the last time before I leave RIT at the end of February.

Anyway, I had the opportunity to attend the Minnesota Twins Fest for the second straight year with the Rochester Red Wings in Minneapolis. When I arrived there, Nick Sciarratta and Rob Dermody were already there, getting the Red Wings’ booth all set up.

I had the same mission as last year: mingle my way around the floor of the Metrodome, capturing the moments of the Fest featuring current, past and future Red Wings. One of the first players that I caught up with was Ben Revere, the Wings’ speedy centerfielder and the 2012 Twins’ projected leftfielder. Next up was one of my most favorite Wings, pitcher Kyle Waldrop. He has been the anchor of the Red Wings for the past two summers and he finally got a call-up to Minnesota toward the end of last summer. Hopefully he’ll make the bigs again this season.  

A little later on, I went up to the concourse in an attempt to catch a glimpse of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, the faces of the Twins. The lines were so long and they were signing in some small room, so I couldn’t see anything. Hopefully I’ll see them tomorrow in some other places, such as at the radio show.

I took an hour break from the Fest and headed across the street to a restaurant/bar with my parents called Hubert. The place was pretty cool. Full of sporting goods for Minnesota sports. When my parents and I returned, the first thing that we noticed was a fog inside the dome. The fog came from the grill. I think the cook burnt a few too many burgers. Oops.

After that, I saw a former Twin/Cub/Red Wing, Jacque Jones, who made an appearance for the first time since he retired from baseball. I asked him what he has been up to. “Playing golf,” he says. “What’s your handicap?” “Eight.” “I don’t know what that is, just making conversation. I only know mini-golf,” I replied. We shared a laugh after that, and then he went back to signing autographs. He’s a great guy. He really is.

On the other side of the signing booth, I saw a trio of former Wings pitchers in Glen Perkins, Anthony Swarzak and Jeff Manship. Perkins is looking really good. He’ll be the workhorse of the Twins’ bullpen this upcoming season. Swarzak is growing his hair pretty long. Trying to be a hippie or something. Caught up with Manship for a bit. He’s an awesome guy. He was the starter of that no-hitter quartet when the Red Wings threw one last summer.

Toward the end of the night, I headed up to the pressbox to steal their wi-fi so I could upload the photos of the night to the Red Wings’ facebook page, the same photos that you will see in this blog post.

Overall, it was a great night. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Nick Sicarratta and Rob Dermody getting all set up for the TwinsFest

The location of Kirby Pucket's home run ball in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series. 

The Wings' home black jerseys. Good looking guy in the reflection, eh? 

Ben Revere

Kyle Waldrop's autograph

The MetroDome!

Twins Prospect Alex Wimmers with a young fan

Chris Parmelee on the radio talk show

Ben Revere doesn't like the headset... :-(

Oop...never mind

Trevor Plouffe

Jeff Manship....signing a really big ball....

Rob Dermody taking charge of the Red Wings' booth. Attaboy Rob.