Twins unveil throwback jerseys for May 30 game
Minnesota will celebrate St. Paul Saints at Target Field against Brewers
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins unveiled their 1948 St. Paul Saints throwback jerseys on Monday for their "Turn Back The Clock" game against the Brewers on May 30 at Target Field.
The Twins will celebrate Minnesota baseball history by wearing throwback uniforms of the 1948 St. Paul Saints, while the Brewers will play as the 1948 Milwaukee Brewers. The first 20,000 fans through the gates are set to receive a St. Paul Saints pennant.
"The Twins are proud to remember this important part of Minnesota's great baseball heritage as the teams don the uniforms of the St. Paul Saints and the Milwaukee Brewers," said Twins curator Clyde Doepner. "This is truly a case of past meets present at Target Field; a ballpark that will one day be a revered place in baseball history."
The 1948 Saints -- a farm team of the Dodgers -- featured future Hall of Famer Roy Campanella, who became the first African-American to play in the American Association. The club was also managed by future Hall of Fame manager Walter Alston and had other future Major Leaguers such as Eric "The Red" Tipton and Dan Bankhead, the first African-American pitcher in Major League Baseball history. Hall of Famers Miller Huggins, Lefty Gomez and Duke Snider also played for the Saints in that era, but not for the '48 club.
Throughout the game, the Twins will celebrate the rich heritage of baseball in St. Paul and honor a number of great players who emerged from Minnesota's capital city.
Hall of Famer and St. Paul native Paul Molitor will also be available to take photographs with fans pregame from 5:15-6 p.m. CT on Target Plaza by the Majestic Twins Clubhouse Store.
A ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Billy Pederson, who is widely recognized as the face of amateur baseball in St. Paul. He coached Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Molitor, who will catch the ceremonial first pitch.
Bob Klepperich, longtime Saints employee and current manager of Midway Stadium, will raise the Twins Territory Team flag. He also worked in the 1950s at Lexington Park, where the original Saints played.
Florimon, Hicks feeling better, return to lineup
MINNEAPOLIS -- After dealing with minor injuries, shortstop Pedro Florimon and center fielder Aaron Hicks both returned to the Twins' lineup on Monday against the White Sox.
Florimon missed three games with a tight right hamstring after leaving Thursday's game in Boston in the seventh inning. But he told Twins manager Ron Gardenhire that his hamstring isn't bothering him and was ready to make his return.
"Flori says he's good to go, but he's said that for three days in a row," Gardenhire said. "So I'm hoping he is good to go and is telling us the truth here. I know he wants to play. But it always worries me when they go back out there with a hamstring thing. But he's done everything they've asked of him. He's run and taken ground balls and ran as fast as he could today in drills."
Hicks, who hyperextended his right elbow in Friday's game, missed two games but was able to take batting practice without any issues before Monday's game. He started in center and batted eighth.
"Hicksie is good to go," Gardenhire said. "I walked up to him in center field and told him if he feels anything in BP, let me know. But he seemed fine."
Pitchers take early BP, with focus on bunting
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins pitchers took early batting practice for the first time this year before Monday's game against the White Sox in preparation for their upcoming Interleague games in Atlanta and Milwaukee.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the most important part was working on bunting, as he's not expecting much offense from his pitchers. The Twins play in Atlanta from May 20-22 and in Milwaukee from May 27-28.
"In those bunt situations, get the bat on the ball and deaden it a little bit and get it in fair territory," Gardenhire said. "And as far as hitting goes, just do the best they can. They don't do it very often. Some of the National League guys have a little more savvy about hitting than our other guys and we have a few guys from National League ballparks."
As Gardenhire pointed out, the Twins added three pitchers this year who previously only pitched in the NL in Kevin Correia, Vance Worley and Mike Pelfrey.
But all three have struggled at the plate, as Correia is a career .116 hitter (32-for-276), Pelfrey is a career .098 hitter (26-for-264) and Worley is a career .153 hitter (13-for-85). But based on the first day of drills, Gardenhire was impressed most by Correia, who has 41 career sacrifice bunts.
"Looks to me right out of the chute that it's Correia," Gardenhire said. "He's a good bunter and has the stats to prove it. He definitely handled the bat really nice out there. But that's just the initial thing. But Pelfrey knows what he's doing and Worley looks like he can swing it."