MINNEAPOLIS — In a year where almost nothing is normal, the Minnesota Twins will put a new spin on the 2020 home opener as they embark on an abbreviated 60-game season in hopes of a third World Series title.
The home opener is set for Tuesday, July 28 at Target Field against the St. Louis Cardinals. Game time is 7:10 p.m. Despite the fact no fans will be in the stands due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Twins will deliver all the festivities via Fox Sports North, the Treasure Island Baseball radio network and the team's social media platforms.
While the return of baseball signals a return to a small form of normalcy in the midst of the pandemic, the Twins ceremonies will memorialize those who have lost their lives to COVID-19, recognize the health care heroes working on the front lines of the ongoing pandemic, honor the memory of George Floyd and join with Major League Baseball to be united for change.
Here is how the defending Central Division champs will celebrate the return of baseball for the home opener.
- Ceremonial First Pitch - The Twins will spotlight front-line workers, who the team calls "the real stars of our community," by shining the light on nine people who represent those bravely and selflessly working on the front lines of health care. A video tribute will feature Berhane Gebre-Egziabher (an environmental services staff member at Hennepin County Medical Center), Catherine Gonzalez-Klang (an interpreter at HCMC), Richard Gray (a doctor at HCMC), Sophia Kim (a doctor at North Memorial Health Hospital), Dee Matara (a registered nurse at Methodist Hospital), Andrew Olson (a hospitalist at M Health Fairview Bethesda Hospital), Laurie Taylor (a lab technician at Lakeview Hospital), Vanessa Tschetter (an ICU nurse at M Health Fairview Ridges Hospital) and Kaila Vang (a progressive care nurse at Regions Hospital) – each of whom will join together in throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of the 2020 Minnesota Twins home season.
- Anthems - The Twins’ 2020 Home Opener will feature the playing of both the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Black national anthem. The Star-Spangled Banner will be performed by North Minneapolis native and chart-topping Gospel artist Jovonta Patton. Fellow Minneapolis artists and three-time Grammy Award-winning Sounds of Blackness will perform Lift Every Voice and Sing.
- In Memoriam - Prior to each season’s Home Opener, the Twins share an in memoriam video and hold a moment of silence to remember those in the Major League Baseball family and Minnesota military whom we have lost during the offseason. This year’s remembrance will also honor the memory of Twins minor leaguer Ryan Costello (the team will also wear a patch in his honor for the Home Opener), those in Twins Territory who have died from COVID-19 and George Floyd.
- Black Lives Matter - The Twins share in the community heartbreak and sadness over the death of George Floyd on May 25. The team will honor his memory at the 2020 Home Opener by unveiling a memorial graphic on the outfield wall that will remain in place throughout the season, and through an in-game moment of silence. The Twins will also join all of Major League Baseball in an ongoing partnership with The Players Alliance – the recently-formed nonprofit organization led by Curtis Granderson, CC Sabathia and Edwin Jackson – to be allies and active participants in social change.
- 60 Seasons of Minnesota Twins Baseball - The 2020 season marks the Twins’ 60th in Minnesota. In a salute to the generations of terrific players and wonderful memories that paved the way for this year’s Bomba Squad, the Home Opener will feature that greatest of baseball traditions – a game of catch among six decades of Twins, via video. Two players from each decade of Minnesota Twins baseball will be featured, culminating with a member of the 2020 team receiving the final toss to begin the 60th season in Twins Territory.
- American Flag Raising - World War II veteran Alvin Donahoo of Spring Park, Minnesota, who is 101 years young, will be the virtual “American flag raiser” as part of the Salute to America presented by Thomson Reuters. Alvin was born in November of 1918 in Moravia, Iowa, went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and joined the United States Navy in 1942 after Pearl Harbor. He took part in the Normandy Invasion as a Lieutenant on an LCT (Landing Craft Tank) Flotilla 4 Unit that eventually lost around 400 men on Utah Beach. Lieutenant Donahoo stayed on the Normandy beach from D-Day to Thanksgiving, directly feeding a pipeline of supplies to General Patton’s army to drive through France to the German border, which then turned to victory..
- Flyover - Pending final approval, the traditional home opener flyover will feature two C-130s from the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 133rd Airlift Wing, based out of Minneapolis.
The Twins will also have in-game home opener elements, and remote activities in a number of locations outside the stadium.