While the focus of the baseball world was nearly 1,300 miles away for baseball's Winter Meetings, Twins players and personnel were busy in the Twin Cities, giving back to the community with a series of events as part of the franchise's 13th annual Holiday Week of Giving.The Twins worked with
While the focus of the baseball world was nearly 1,300 miles away for baseball's Winter Meetings, Twins players and personnel were busy in the Twin Cities, giving back to the community with a series of events as part of the franchise's 13th annual Holiday Week of Giving.
The Twins worked with corporate sponsors such as Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, Perkins Family Restaurant, PRISM, WCCO-TV, MACV and the Animal Humane Society in a series of events from Dec. 10-14. A major event during the week featured center fielder Byron Buxton and pitcher Trevor Hildenberger joining a pair of beloved retired Twins, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, to appear at the St. Paul campus of Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare as part of a gift shopping spree and holiday party.
Following that week of community involvement, MLB.com asked Hildenberger and fellow reliever Taylor Rogers to reflect on the most memorable Christmas gifts that they have ever received.
Rogers and his twin brother, Tyler, were gifted their first vehicle by their parents as 16-year-olds in Littleton, Colo., a 1996 Toyota T-100 the pair shared throughout high school. But because the brothers share a birthday on Dec. 17, the proximity to the holidays meant that the gift served as a birthday and a Christmas present for both.
"I felt at the time, you know, when you're 16, I felt like I got a quarter of it because I had to split it with my brother and split it for both my birthday and Christmas," Rogers said.
Like Rogers, Hildenberger also has a holiday birthday, but he actually liked it, because he could ask for bigger gifts to cover both Christmas and his birthday.
As a child, Hildenberger was a huge fan of the Pokemon franchise, and his parents got him a Game Boy Color console and the Pokemon Yellow game for his 9th or 10th birthday -- he can't remember exactly which. For a year, he'd beat the game, restart and play through it again -- over and over -- because he liked the adventure so much.
"I don't know if that makes me a little bit of a nerd, but I loved it," Hildenberger said. "That's one of the most memorable gifts I've had."
He eventually grew out of it and doesn't play it anymore, but that Game Boy is still sitting in his garage at home.
Do-Hyoung Park covers the Twins for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark and on Instagram at dohyoung.park.