Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

MLB News

Full slate of community events on tap for All-Star Week

Open to public, events range from field renovations to facility dedications and 5K run

MINNEAPOLIS -- Last fall, Bryan Donaldson and Dave St. Peter presented their $2 million plan for charitable All-Star Week profits to Twins owner Jim Pohlad.

With $3 million also expected from Major League Baseball, Donaldson, the Twins' senior director for community affairs, and St. Peter, the team president, thought their proposal was on par with what past All-Star Games had to offer.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Last fall, Bryan Donaldson and Dave St. Peter presented their $2 million plan for charitable All-Star Week profits to Twins owner Jim Pohlad.

With $3 million also expected from Major League Baseball, Donaldson, the Twins' senior director for community affairs, and St. Peter, the team president, thought their proposal was on par with what past All-Star Games had to offer.

"That's pretty good," Pohlad told them. "But what if we put in another $3 million?"

The men were taken aback.

"We went, 'Whoa!'" Donaldson said.

The results were record-breaking: MLB Charities, the Pohlad Family Foundation, the Twins and the Twins Community Fund pledged more than $8 million toward several local and national charitable initiatives, from Minneapolis baseball diamonds to the Boys & Girls Club of America.

"It's probably safe to say this is the biggest, most extensive charitable legacy-giving program in MLB history, and something that we're very proud of here in Minnesota," St. Peter said.

The upcoming community events provide a way for the team, Major League Baseball and its various donors and sponsors to give back to the people in Minneapolis and its surrounding areas.

"Minnesota is a more charitable place than a lot of places," Donaldson said. "And we wanted it to represent our state.

"The nice thing is with these community projects, not only do they leave behind the legacy of the All-Star projects, but it also brings the All-Star Game into the neighborhoods and communities. A lot of folks aren't going to have a chance to go to the Home Run Derby or the All-Star Game or even FanFest."

The official event calendar (listed below) runs from Wednesday until July 15, the date of the Midsummer Classic. Events range from field renovations to dental checkups to a 5K run, and all of them are open to the public.

"The All Star Game is a once-in-a-generation event, and it'll be a great spectacle and a great celebration of baseball," St. Peter said. "The wonderful thing about the legacy-giving program is that it's going to have a lasting impact well beyond what happens at Target Field this weekend."

2014 MLB All-Star Week Community Events

Wednesday, July 9

Kevin Thoresen All-Star Miracle League Field unveiling (Hibbing, Minn.)
• Time: 6 p.m. CT
• Address: 505 East 16th Street, Hibbing, Minn., 55746
• Legend: Kent Hrbek -- An All-Star and two-time World Series champion, Hrbek spent all 14 seasons of his career (1981-94) with the Twins. His No. 14 is retired at Target Field.
• More details: The Twins helped contribute $200,000 to a new park that's specifically tailored for children with disabilities. For example, the bases are different colors for players with wheelchairs, and the location has excellent handicap accessibility. This park will serve kids from more than 10 communities in the Iron Range of Northern Minnesota.
• Donaldson: "It's awesome to bring the All-Star Game to Hibbing. Most people would never have a chance to come down and see the All-Star Game is person. I think this is pretty cool."

Thursday, July 10

MLB/Twins All-Star Park at Gilbert de la O Fields renovation unveiling
• Time: 2 p.m.
• Address: El Rio Vista Recreation Center, 179 Robie St. E., St. Paul, Minn., 55107
• Legend: Tony Oliva -- An eight-time All Star, Oliva spent his entire 15-year career with the Twins (1962-76), and his No. 6 is retired at Target Field.
• More details: MLB and the Twins have renovated a previously unplayable youth baseball field near the El Rio Vista Community Recreation Center, and named it after activist Gilbert de la O, who will be in attendance and throw out the first pitch.
• Donaldson: "Those fields are in disrepair. Nobody's really playing on them anymore because they have rocks in them, and there's not a whole lot of grass left. We took a Little League field and renovated it to look like a Little League field that you might find in some of the wealthiest suburbs in the country."

MLB/Twins All-Star Field @ Lee Park renovation
• Time: 5 p.m
• Address: Robbinsdale Lee Park, 3738 Lee Ave. N., Robbinsdale, Minn., 55422
• Legend: Jacque Jones -- the former Twins outfielder (1999-2005) was an instrumental part of the 2002 team that returned to the playoffs after an 11-year drought. Jones was also on the 2013 MLB Hall of Fame ballot after a lengthy career spent with the Twins, Cubs, Tigers and Marlins.
• More details: The newly-named MLB/Twins All-Star Field at Lee Park includes laser-graded field turf, new fencing and a relocation to give users easier access.
• Donaldson: "This was a ball field that was underutilized because it was overgrown and next to a railroad track. We partnered with the Hennepin County Youth Grant to renovate the field, and took it from a dirt infield to artificial turf."

All-Star Jr. RBI Classic Opening Ceremonies/Sid Hartman All-Star Field at Northeast Park renovation unveiling
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Address: 1500 Buchanan St. NE, Minneapolis, Minn., 55413
• Legends: Cal Ripken Jr. and Roberto Alomar. Ripken, a Hall of Fame third baseman who spent his entire career with the Baltimore Orioles, helped build the new ball field with donations from his Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. Alomar, also a Hall of Famer, will be in town to support a Toronto club in the Jr. RBI Classic, and he will also speak at the event.
• More details: The Jr. RBI division includes athletes ages 5-12, and serves as a feeder program for the 13-18 age group. The RBI Program is a MLB initiative to provide young people from underserved and urban communities with a chance to play baseball. The newly renovated field is named after Sid Hartman, a longtime Minneapolis Star-Tribune reporter, and perhaps the biggest sports legend the Twin Cities area has to offer.
• Donaldson: "What a lot of people don't understand about Sid, is that professional sports in this town probably wouldn't exist without Sid Hartman in the '60s beating the drum to bring football and baseball to Minneapolis and St. Paul. That's really what we're honoring -- his legacy of promoting pro and youth sports in the community."

Friday, July 11

Kirby Puckett Mobile Eye Clinic dedication
• Time: 10 a.m.
• Address: All-Star FanFest (near entrance on South 2nd Avenue curve toward South 12th Street)
• Legend: Tom Kelly -- the former Twins manager (1986-2001) won two World Series with the team. His No. 10 is retired at Target Field.
• More details: In a tribute to the late Hall of Famer Puckett, the Twins are also set to fund the Clinic -- which will be part of the Kirby Puckett Education Center at the Phillips Eye Institute -- to provide more than 43,000 uninsured or underinsured children and adults through Minnesota with preventative eye care. The Mobile Eye Clinic, which will be integrated into the Early Youth Eyecare (E.Y.E.) program, will become the first stop for vision care for all children who do not pass the vision screenings currently conducted in schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
• St. Peter: "That's a project I'm particularly fond of. Kirby had such a tremendous impact on so many of us in the Twins organization. He meant so much to people in the Upper Midwest that we felt this was an opportune time to celebrate his legacy, long term."

Starlight Fun Center Entertainment Unit donation
• Time: Noon
• Address: Children's Hospital of Minnesota, 345 N Smith Ave., St. Paul, Minn., 55102
• Legend: Eddie Guardado -- A two-time All-Star, "Everyday Eddie" served as a Twins reliever from 1993-2003.
• More details: MLB and the Twins, in partnership with Starlight Children's Foundation, will unveil a new Fun Center mobile entertainment unit containing the latest gaming system that rolls bedside in hospitals to provide entertainment and therapeutic play for pediatric patients at the Children's Hospital of Minnesota.

Kids Against Hunger/Jr. RBI Classic volunteer event (Concordia University)
• Time: 1 p.m.
• Address: Concordia University, 1282 Concordia Ave., St. Paul, Minn., 55104
• More details: As part of their All-Star experience, young participants (ages 11-12) of the 2014 All-Star Jr. RBI Classic will help give back with Kids Against Hunger, an international humanitarian food-aid organization whose goal is to end world hunger by providing nutritious food to children and families facing hunger in the United States and 60 countries around the world.

Challenger-Miracle League Game
• Time: 3:30 p.m.
• Address: Target Field
• Legends: Tim Laudner, Al Newman -- Laudner, a catcher, was a 1987 World Series champion with the Twins, and he was selected to the 1988 All-Star Game. Newman, an infielder, won two World Series with the Twins.
• More details: Special-needs children from Little League's Challenger division and the Miracle League will play a one-inning game on the outfield grass at Target Field, with the help of volunteers from the Twins.

Rod Carew All-Star Field at Xcel Energy Field renovation unveiling
• Time: 6 p.m.
• Address: NSP Park, Marshall Street Northeast and St. Anthony Parkway, Minneapolis, Minn., 55418
• Legend: Carew -- Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991, Carew collected more than 3,000 hits for the Twins and Angels from 1967-85.
• More details: Renamed as "Rod Carew All-Star Field," the improved field will allow the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to provide both baseball and softball programming for local members of the community, particularly through the Twins RBI program. The renovations, which were directed by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, include laser grading, a new drainage system, synthetic turf materials and installation, fencing and foul poles, dugouts, new scoreboards, bleachers and general site work.
• St. Peter: "Picking my favorite event is kind of like asking me to pick my favorite kid. They're all important projects for the Twins. But there's a number of field renovations. Certainly, Rod Carew Field is long overdue in Minneapolis."
• Donaldson: "It's going to allow kids from the north side, who don't have a lot of nice places to play, to showcase their games. To name it after Carew, an immigrant to this country like most of the kids who play on those ball fields, is really cool."

Saturday, July 12

Ronald McDonald House renovation unveiling & house tours
• Time: 10:30 a.m.
• Address: 818 Fulton St. SE. Minneapolis, Minn., 55414
• Legends: Rick Aguilera, Brad Radke -- Aguilera won the 1991 World Series with the Twins, and he was selected to three All-Star games (all with Minnesota). Radke spent his entire 12-season career in Minnesota, and he was selected as an All-Star in 1998.
• More details: The House underwent a renovation to the common area and 48 rooms, include improvements made to the carpeting, bathrooms, painting, furniture, heating/kitchenette and electronics. A baseball-themed lounge was also created in the central space.
• Donaldson: "This takes it from a Motel 6 into a nice Radisson Hotel for kids who have to stay for a long time at a tough point in their lives."

TeamSmile dental screening
• Time: 1 p.m.
• Address: Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities -- East Side Club, 1620 Ames Avenue, St. Paul, Minn., 55106
• More details: Approximately 300 children will be provided with $150,000 worth of free preventative care and education, and if necessary, follow-up dental treatment. MLB will also provide tickets to T-Mobile All- Star FanFest for the kids and volunteers. TeamSmile is one of the nation's premier advocacy groups that partners oral health professionals with athletic organizations to provide life-changing dental care to children. The goal is to provide quality dental care, including oral health education, screening, treatment and preventative care, at no cost to underserved youth.

Sunday, July 13

The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K presented by Nike (Minnesota State Fairgrounds)
• Time: 8 a.m.
• Address: Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul, Minn., 55108
• More details: Participants of all ages will make their way through an All-Star-themed course inside the Minnesota State Fairgrounds that will feature appearances by MLB legends, mascots and other special guests. The event is a five-kilometer, untimed race in which participants are doused in different colored powder at each kilometer. Following the event, a festival including music, giveaways and contests will take place. MLB will make a contribution to three charities supporting cancer research and education -- Stand Up To Cancer, Prostate Cancer Foundation and Susan G. Komen. And The Color Run will make a contribution to their charitable partners, Global Citizen and Camp Kesem. Registrants also have the opportunity to make an additional charitable donation to these charities at the completion of the registration process.

Trout Brook Sanctuary Nature Preserve & Trails ceremony
• Time: 1 p.m
• Address: 169 E Jenks St. Paul, Minn.
• More details: The Twins will help transform a former railroad site into a nature sanctuary complete with prairie, savanna, maple-basswood forest and a storm-water management system of filtration ponds and wetlands. The Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary is one of five segments under development that will reclaim industrial areas and railroad right-of-ways that were once Trout Brook that linked several lakes, ponds and wetlands to the Mississippi River. The joining of these five segments will create a 4.1-mile trail and nature area between a Ramsey County Regional Park and the Mississippi River.

Monday, July 14

Jerry Gamble Boys & Girls Club "Activity Room" dedication
• Time: noon
• Address: 2410 Irving Avenue North, Minneapolis, Minn., 55411
• Legend: Hrbek -- An All-Star and two-time World Series champion, Hrbek spent all 14 seasons of his career (1981-1994) with the Twins. His No. 14 is retired at Target Field.
• Dignitary: Commissioner Bud Selig
• More details: The Club will be renovated to transform a currently unusable indoor pool into a functionally multipurpose room with a synthetic floor for multiuse athletic space, a new scoreboard, new lighting and windows, bleachers, a stairway to the balcony, an air-handler unit for locker rooms, an HVAC system and a concessions area.
• St. Peter: "I expect that will be a very emotional tribute, based on the Commissioner's relationship with the Pohlad family, and really what the Pohlad's did for the community. Carl really helped bring Boys & Girls clubs to the state of Minnesota, and to the Twin Cities."

Tuesday, July 15

CommonBond Veterans Housing Advantage
• Time: 10:30 a.m.
• Address: Upper Post-Fort Snelling, Bloomington Road & Colville Avenue, St. Paul, Minn., 55111
• Legend: Greg Gagne, Frank Viola -- Gagne was a two-time World Series champion with the Twins, while Viola won in 1987 and collected the '88 AL Cy Young Award in Minnesota.
• More details: MLB and the Twins joined CommonBond's effort to build an Advantage Services Center as part of a new housing complex for homeless veterans. The 58 new homes will be located on the VA Medical Center campus on the upper post of Fort Snelling. All new households will have access to on-site supportive services at no cost through the Advantage Services Center, the VA Medical Center and third-party providers.

Starkey Hearing Foundation
• Time: 3 p.m.
• Address: 6700 Washington Avenue South, Eden Prairie, Minn., 55344
• Legend: Scott Erickson -- A World Series champion in 1991, Erickson was named an All-Star that year and later pitched a no-hitter with the Twins in '94.
• More details: MLB and the Twins, in partnership with Starkey Hearing Foundation, will fit pre-selected recipients with their own customized, state-of-the-art, digital hearing device. Patients will be identified by local audiologists and through partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and local schools for the hearing impaired.

Additional activities (via Twins)

• MLB and Church & Dwight, maker of Arm & Hammer and OxiClean brands and an official MLB sponsor, will honor one of this year's Breaking Barriers Essay Contest grand prize winners, Raymond Beasley V, a fifth-grader from Brentwood, Calif., whose winning essay was chosen from nearly 19,000 entries from across the country and Canada. Church & Dwight is a supporter of the Breaking Barriers program, contributing $150,000 annually through 2016.

• MLB will host six Make-A-Wish children with life-threatening medical conditions whose wish is to attend the MLB All-Star Game. A reception for the young people and their families is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, at the Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis.

• MLB will partner with TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management) Coalition to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior through a T-Mobile All-Star FanFest attraction and designated-driver recognition during the MLB All-Star Game.

• Anheuser-Busch, celebrating its 32nd anniversary of promoting alcohol responsibility, will support this effort through their Budweiser Good Sport program. The program will be highlighted throughout Target Field and the MLB All-Star Summer Pepsi Block Party with kiosks reminding fans to drink responsibly. In MLB ballparks in 2013, a record of more than 511,000 baseball fans pledged to be designated drivers.

Alex M. Smith is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @asmiff.

Minnesota Twins