JOHN EGGERS COLUMN: Do you know your Twins?
It's been said that football has replaced baseball as the most popular sport in the United States but I still like to think that baseball reigns for one reason — it's a tradition. The things that make the United States a strong country are its traditions. The same goes for families and schools.
I still believe, for example, that elementary teachers in the spring should have their students draw and color a robin. I still believe that teachers should have their students write an essay titled: "What I am going to do on my summer vacation." I still believe that teachers should tell classic riddles to kids like: "Why did the crazy man throw the clock out the window? He wanted to see time fly."
Fourth of July, parades, picnics, county fairs, all of these help make America what it is. This also includes baseball.
I am not a huge baseball fan. In fact, I probably will not watch one complete baseball game the entire season but I will frequently turn on the game, whether it is on TV or the radio, to catch a few innings and I will keep track of the Twins winning and losing record. I also like to see how Joe Mauer is doing.
Minnesota Twins are important to Minnesota. Because they are important, you (we) should know something about them. Here is a fairly easy quiz on the Twins that all Minnesotans should pass including my wife. Let's see how you do. If you get ten right, you can remain in Minnesota. If you miss more than five, I'm sorry, you have to move to Iowa.
1. Who is the all-time Minnesota Twins homerun Leader? (A) Mickey Mantle, (B) Harmon Killebrew, (C) Joe Mauer.
2. What was the name of the first sports stadium for the Twins? (A) Metropolitan Stadium, (B) Humphrey Metrodome, (C) Target Center.
3. How many World Series have the Twins won? (A) none, (B) 2, (C) one.
4. What is the current name of the Twins stadium? (A) Humphrey Dome, (B) Mondale Field, (C) Target Field.
5. Is the current Twins stadium an: (A) open air, (B) closed, (C) open but it can be closed for bad weather?
6. Before the Twins moved to Minnesota, they were called the: (A) Washington Senators, (B) Brooklyn Dodgers, (C) St. Louis Cardinals.
7. The Twins have their spring training in what state? (A) Arizona, (B) Florida, (C) Texas.
8. Last year this player hit 42 home runs for the Twins. He is (A) Joe Mauer, (B) Byron Buxton, (C) Brian Dozier.
9. This pitcher started on opening day this year for the Twins. He is (A) Joe Mauer, (B) Ervin Santana, (C) Phil Hughes.
10. This Minnesota Twins high school star tied a national high school baseball record by hitting a home run in seven consecutive games. He is (A) Kirby Puckett, (B) Kent Hrbek, (C) Joe Mauer.
11. The manager for the Twins is (A) Paul Molitor, (B) Tom Kelly, (C) Rich Patino.
12. Former Twins players Killebrew, Puckett, and Carew have one thing in common. (A) They were all pitchers, (B) They are all Hall of Famers, (C) they were all born in Minnesota.
13. Kirby Puckett has the Twins record for the most hits in one game. The number is (A) 6, (B) 5 (C) 7.
14. The most games won by a Minnesota pitcher in one season was 25. The pitcher is (A) Ervin Santana, (B) Jim Kaat, (C) Bert Blyleven.
15. What is the Minnesota Twins team colors? (A) Red and White, (B) Blue and White, (C) Red, White and Blue.
1. B. Harmon has 559 homeruns.
2. A. Metropolitan Stadium. They moved to the Humphrey Metrodome in 1982 and to Target Field in 2010.
3. B. 2 (1987 and 1991)
4. C. Target Field opened on April 12, 2010.
5. A. open
6. A. Washington Senators. The first game was played in Minnesota in 1961.
7. B. Fort Meyers, Florida.
8. C. Brian Dozier
9. B. Ervin Santana (He won the game.)
10. C. Joe Mauer.
11. A. Paul Molitor
12. C. They were all Hall of Famers.
13. A. 6 in 1987.
14. B. Jim Kaat in 1966.
15. C. Red, White and Blue (Navy).
Riddle: A man is trapped in a burning building, which has no exit. The building is collapsing. He has only a baseball and a bat. How does he get out? He throws the ball up in the air three times and swings and misses three times. One, two, three strikes and he's out. I hope you aren't out. Minnesota is such a great place to live.