MINNEAPOLIS – The Twins brought an all-star lineup to the official announcement of activities surrounding the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 15. Other than the game, the events are designed to include non-game ticket holders.
"Preceding the game, there will be five days of All-Star Events, activities," said Cory Provus, Twins broadcaster, "both for local fans but also those that decide to make the trip to the Twin Cities."
The longest-running event will be the "T-Mobile All-Star Fan Fest" at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It will an interactive display of baseball skills and history. For fans of the 1992 Superbowl in the Twin Cities, it will resemble the "NFL Experience" that debuted at that Superbowl, also in the Convention Center. However, of course, the displays will be about the national pastime, rather than football.
The Fan Fest will run 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. all five days of the festivities. Cost of the event, according to MLB.com is $35 for adults, $30 for children 12 and under. Children two and under are free.
On Sunday, July 13, there will be the "Color Run MLB All-Star Game 5K presented by Nike" at the State Fairgrounds at 8:30 a.m.
Also, Sunday will be the "Taco Bell All-Star Sunday" which includes two games at Target Field: The SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at 4 p.m. and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game. Cost of that event, on MLB.com, is $25-$40 per ticket.
Monday, July 14, will feature one of the event's most popular offerings: the Home Run Derby at Target Field at 7 p.m. Cost of that event, according to MLB.com, is $204-$9,286.
Five former Twins All-Stars, Joe Mauer, Paul Molitor, Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven and Tony Oliva marveled at how the All-Star event has grown through the years.
"It is an experience," said Blyleven. "We came for Sunday, came in and worked out Monday, then played the game."
"But this has become a big deal," agreed Molitor. "It used to be the game and then the home run contest and how we got the Fan Fest, the Future's game, the softball game. It is just an amazing opportunity to put our game and our city and our organization up on that baseball stage."
Unveiled at a news conference in the Metropolitan Club at the stadium was the 2014 All-Star Ballot. Voting by fans will occur at ballparks around the country and on line at MLB.com and at all 30 team websites. The ballots will be in English or Spanish and fans may vote up to 25 times.
A novelty for Twins Fans will be seeing Joe Mauer's name on the ballot as a nominee for all-star at 1st base. Mauer has been an All-Star before, but always as an American League catcher. He made the switch to 1st base at the beginning of the season.
The Twins also announced that the All-Star event will generate $8 million for local and national charities.
"I will tell you that in one of the first meetings on Legacy (charity giving) about a year and a half ago," said Dave St. Peter, Twins President, "Jim Pohlad challenged the Twins Front Office on how we can create the best legacy giving program, the most significant legacy giving program in the history of the All-Star Game."
Pohland told several dozen baseball, media and political officials about the significance of the event.
"Today, we are here to celebrate Major League Baseball, in part, to celebrate Major League Baseball's commitment to giving back to communities that it serves," said Pohlad.