Twins honor iconic Schulz with Peanuts statues
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Twins unveiled a six-foot statue of Charlie Brown in St. Paul's Rice Park with some help from St. Paul baseball legends Joe Mauer and Paul Molitor.
The statue is one of 10 Peanuts characters -- from the legendary comic strip by late St. Paul native Charles Schulz -- decked out in Twins gear that will line the outskirts of the park until June 16. At that point, they will be moved to the Minneapolis Convention Center through July 15 in anticipation of the MLB All-Star Game.
Weighing between 200 and 300 pounds, the life-size figures were made possible by a multi-year agreement between the league and Peanuts Worldwide, which will also include replica statuettes and merchandise including apparel, novelties and collectibles -- available next week on MLB.com and at the Majestic Twins Clubhouse Store.
The Twins will also hold Peanuts Day on June 6 against the Houston Astros, when the first 10,000 fans at Target Field will receive a limited-edition statuette.
"No one is more iconic in the city of St. Paul than Charles Schulz," Twins President Dave St. Peter said. "So we're really, really proud of the partnership with Major League Baseball and the Minnesota Twins. We really thank them for this opportunity, and I think it's a fitting place to do this."
In addition to Wednesday's lineup of characters, St. Paul "native" Snoopy was in attendance to entertain a gaggle of schoolchildren.
The event also featured Twins Owner and Chief Executive Officer Jim Pohlad, Team President Dave St. Peter, and City of St. Paul Director of Marketing and Convention Planning Jake Spano.
St. Peter explained how the idea for an All-Star Peanuts theme came to be.
"We've seen apples in New York and cactuses in Arizona," St. Peter said. "When talking to Major League Baseball about the best way for Minnesota to roll out a statue program, we very quickly settled on something we have a little history with: Peanuts characters."
Schulz' original comic strip ran from 1950 to 2000. The author and artist passed away from colon cancer on Feb. 12, 2000.
Baseball was always a staple in Peanuts, and St. Paul is a city full of baseball history. It boasts not only Mauer and Molitor, but also Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Jack Morris, who were unable to attend but sent greetings through St. Peter.
"When we think about St. Paul, I think of it as not only the capital city for the state of Minnesota, but for baseball in Minnesota," St. Peter said. "I can't imagine another city that will probably have not just three, but maybe four Hall of Famers growing up just blocks from each other."
Mauer, the Twins' All-Star ambassador, often visited Rice Park as a youth. He stuck around after the ceremony to pose for several pictures with young fans.
Molitor also shared some advice for the future ballplayers in attendance.
"Young people who have dreams of being Major Leaguers: This is a great place to have that opportunity take place," Molitor said. "Give it all you've got, and maybe your dreams will come true."
MLB All-Star Week at Target Field includes the 85th MLB All-Star Game (July 15), Gatorade All-Star Workout Day (July 14) featuring the Home Run Derby, Taco Bell All-Star Sunday (July 13), including the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, and T-Mobile All-Star FanFest at the Minneapolis Convention Center (July 11-15).
For more MLB All-Star Week information, visit AllStarGame.com, the MLB All-Star Game Twitter account (@AllStarGame) and MLB All-Star Game Facebook account (Facebook.com/MLBAllStarGame).