MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced plans for their 58th annual Twins Winter Caravan, which includes stops in more than 40 communities throughout the Upper Midwest on Jan. 15-25 and features a few new wrinkles this year.The Winter Caravan, presented by Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine, is set to include manager Paul
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced plans for their 58th annual Twins Winter Caravan, which includes stops in more than 40 communities throughout the Upper Midwest on Jan. 15-25 and features a few new wrinkles this year.
The Winter Caravan, presented by Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine, is set to include manager Paul Molitor, players such as Jorge Polanco, Robbie Grossman, Eduardo Escobar, Alan Busenitz, Eddie Rosario, Jose Berrios, Trevor Hildenberger, Taylor Rogers, Zack Granite, Mitch Garver and Byron Buxton and broadcasters Cory Provus, Jack Morris, Dan Gladden, Dick Bremer and Kris Atteberry.
"The Minnesota Twins are proud to have Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine as the presenting sponsor of Winter Caravan," said Twins executive vice president of business development Laura Day. "Twins Caravan offers both organizations a chance to connect with communities throughout the Midwest."
The caravan, which is one of the longest-running of its kind, features groups of current and former players visiting schools, hospitals, corporations and service clubs during the day with a traditional "hot stove" program each evening.
But one change this year is an emphasis on more fan engagement, including a "Play Ball" initiative that has hands-on baseball activities between players and students at select schools. The inaugural Twins Ice Fishing Classic also launches on Jan. 15 at Madison Lake with fans and Twins players competing for prizes on the ice.
The first week of the caravan has two legs, with Polanco, Grossman and Provus heading south and having night stops in New Ulm, Minn.; Spencer, Iowa; Mason City, Iowa; and Red Wing, Minn. The other leg features Molitor, Escobar, Busenitz, Gladden and Morris having night events in Mankato, Rochester and Winona in Minnesota and Menomonie, Wis. Morris leaves the second leg at one point to join the first one in Red Wing.
Additionally, Granite and Garver will be in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Jan. 17 for the annual Class A Cedar Rapids banquet, while Buxton will be at Camp Ripley on Jan. 19 to meet with members of the National Guard.
The second week also has two legs, with Rosario, Berrios and Bremer set to visit the Minnesota cities of St. Cloud, Bemidji, Duluth and Ely on their night stops. The second group with Hildenberger, Rogers, Blyleven and Attebery has their night events in St. Paul, Marshall and Alexandria in Minnesota and in Fargo, N.D.
The routes are subject to change, and more information can be found at twinsbaseball.com/caravan.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter **@RhettBollinger** and **Facebook**.