MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, MN -- The Minnesota Twins today announced plans for their 2021 Home Opener at Target Field, presented by Your Local Northland Ford Dealers, which is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. on Thursday, April 8 vs. the Seattle Mariners. The game, along with the remainder of the three-game weekend series (also Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11), are sellouts.
Welcome Back to Target Field!
Baseball is back, Downtown Minneapolis is proudly open for business, and the Minnesota Twins are thrilled to safely welcome 10,000 fans to Target Field for the 2021 Home Opener, presented by Your Local Northland Ford Dealers. The 2021 Home Opener will be the first time fans have been at Target Field for a game since October 7, 2019 (Game 3 of the ALDS), while it also marks the largest gathering in Minnesota since March of 2020. Pregame ceremonies will pay tribute to the unprecedented events of the past year, while exalting our collective strength through a celebration of baseball and community. The Twins will also kick off 30th anniversary festivities for the 1991 World Series champions and the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. Highlights of the Twins’ Home Opener include:
National Anthem: The National Anthem, presented by Thomson Reuters, will be sung by Natalia Romero Arbeláez, a local educator and performer who sings in Twin Cities professional vocal ensembles such as VocalEssence and Border CrosSing, while also teaching choir and piano at Harding High School in St. Paul.
Ceremonial First Pitch: When Gene Larkin delivered the walk-off single in the 10th inning of Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, it was then-Twins third base coach Ron Gardenhire who sent Dan Gladden home with the championship-winning run. Later, as the Twins’ beloved and fiery manager for 13 seasons, “Gardy” led Minnesota to 1,068 wins (second most in Twins history) and six division championships. Recently retired following 29 seasons as a major league coach or manager, Gardenhire will return to Target Field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the 2021 Home Opener to his son, Toby, who is set to manage the St. Paul Saints, the Twins’ new Triple-A affiliate.
Ceremonial Starting Lineup: Now and always – but especially during the tumult of a pandemic – the Twins are proud to salute the tireless efforts of our educators. A Home Opener video tribute will honor a “Starting Lineup” representing the thousands of men and women working as educators and school personnel across Twins Territory: Hamilton Bell (Principal at Farnsworth Aerospace in St. Paul), Melisha Carroll (Family and Community Liaison at Lucy Laney Community School in Minneapolis), Kara Fandrich (Special Education Paraprofessional at Gleason Lake Elementary), Qorsho Hassan (4th Grade Teacher at Echo Park Elementary in Burnsville), Lex Lammers (Media Specialist at New Prague High School), Pete Otterson (Principal at Lakeview Elementary), Pam Ryan (3rd Grade Teacher at Liberty Ridge Elementary in Woodbury), Emma Thiets (Special Education Teacher at St. Paul Music Academy) and Wilbur Winkelman (Assistant Principal at Sonnesyn Elementary in Robbinsdale).
3M Play Ball Frontline Hero: This year, the Twins and 3M are teaming up to bring people back to the ballpark. Prior to the 2021 Home Opener, the Twins will recognize a 3M Play Ball Frontline Hero from M Health Fairview.
In Memoriam: Prior to each season’s Home Opener, the Twins share an in-memoriam video and hold a moment of silence to remember those in the Major League Baseball family and Minnesota sports community whom we have lost during the offseason. This year, the Twins will also honor the memory of bench coach Mike Bell, who passed away from cancer on March 26 at the age of 46 (the Twins will also honor Mike Bell throughout the 2021 season with a special “MB” uniform patch, as well as signage within the team’s dugout at Target Field), legendary Minnesota sports personality Sid Hartman, longtime Twin Cities broadcaster Tom Hanneman and those in Twins Territory who have died from COVID-19.
“Take Me Out to the Ballgame”: A tradition of any day at the ballpark, but one sadly lost in 2020, the Twins are calling on the fans at Target Field to lead the Home Opener’s rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch.
End Racism: The Twins organization, as full partners with others in our community, is committed to supporting an equitable world in which everyone is protected, safe and welcome. Beginning with the Home Opener, the Twins will display an outfield wall graphic with a call to “End Racism.”
Pregame Ceremony (in order):
Both teams will be introduced along the foul lines.
The Twins starting lineup will be read by Dave Lee, the wake-up voice for News Talk 830 WCCO listeners for more than a quarter-century, who is retiring later this year.
In Memoriam video and moment of silence.
Tech. Sergeant Noah Feehan of the Minnesota National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing will raise the American flag as part of the Salute to America presented by Thomson Reuters. An F-16 Avionics Technician for the 148th Fighter Wing since January of 2005, Tech. Sergeant Feehan is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2008), Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (2009), a 2016 deployment to South Korea and numerous homeland defense missions across the United States in support of Operation Noble Eagle. Tech. Sergeant Feehan repairs and maintains highly sophisticated avionics systems allowing pilots to process critical information quickly – including work on the very jets that will perform the Home Opener flyover.
The National Anthem will be sung by local educator and performer Natalia Romero Arbeláez.
A flyover will feature two F-16s from the Minnesota National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing, based out of Duluth.
Before the first game at Target Field in front of outside spectators since October 7, 2019, a “Welcome Back” video will honor Twins fans – the heart and soul of baseball, and the ones who turn a building into a ballpark.
The ceremonial starting lineup will salute the educators and school personnel of Twins Territory.
“30 Years of Impact” shines a spotlight on the 1991 World Series winners, along with the Minnesota Twins Community Fund, which was founded following the club’s second championship.
The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Ron Gardenhire, the third base coach for the Minnesota’s 1991 World Series champions and the manager for six division-winning Twins clubs.
The Twins Territory flag will be raised by Raenell Dorn, who retired in December of 2020 following 47 seasons of invaluable service in the Twins front office. Dorn, who was the Twins’ Vice President, Workplace Diversity and Inclusion for two years after 20 as the VP of Human Resources and Diversity, serves on the board of Crescent Cove and received a Women in Business award in 2008 by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
Former Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat will raise the Hennepin County flag. During his 28 years and seven terms representing District 1, Commissioner Opat worked closely with his colleagues Peter McLaughlin, Mark Stenglein and Randy Johnson to develop a comprehensive plan that helped preserve major league baseball for future generations of fans with Target Field; ignited historic levels of development investments which ultimately expanded the footprint of downtown Minneapolis; created much-needed funding for the expansion of library services and youth sports facilities across Hennepin County; and accelerated approval and construction of Minnesota’s intermodal transit hub – Target Field Station.
A representative of M Health Fairview will be recognized as the 3M Play Ball Frontline Hero.
In-game Elements Will Include:
“God Bless America” will be performed by Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Nicholls. Born in Duluth, Minnesota, SSG Nicholls enlisted with the Minnesota National Guard in 2000, was deployed in 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III and has served full-time since 2011, earning several awards for his service – including the Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters.
Twins Fans will lead Target Field in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
The Twins’ 2021 Home Opener vs. the Seattle Mariners, including portions of the pregame ceremony, will be televised live on Bally Sports North and broadcast live via radio on the Treasure Island Baseball Network.
The Twins’ 2021 Home Opener, along with the entire three-game weekend series vs. the Seattle Mariners (April 8, 10 and 11) are sold out. A limited number of tickets remain available for a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox from April 12-15 to conclude the season’s first homestand, and are on sale at twinsbaseball.com or the MLB Ballpark app.
Per current state guidelines established by Governor Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Twins will open the 2021 season with a maximum capacity of 10,000 fans per game at Target Field. To provide the safest environment possible for fans, staff and players, and to maximize guest comfort, the Twins are seating guests in “pods” of exactly two (2) or four (4) contiguous seats only, with a minimum distance of six (6) feet between pods in all directions. Sales are restricted to one (1) ticket purchaser per pod.
CHS Field Viewing Party
While the St. Paul Saints will officially open their gates as a Triple-A affiliate on May 11 to showcase the Twins of tomorrow, CHS Field will open on April 8 so fans can watch the Twins of today. If you can’t secure a ticket to Target Field, the Saints will welcome a physically distanced crowd to Lowertown for the Twins’ Home Opener. You can purchase tickets for the Twins Opening Day Watch party by visiting saintsbaseball.com/tickets/twinswatchparty.
“Play it Safe” at Target Field
The Twins, working closely with our public and private partners, remain focused on welcoming our fans, staff and players to a safe game day experience at Target Field. To learn more about the club’s comprehensive health and safety efforts, including partnerships and enhanced ballpark protocols, please visit twinsbaseball.com/playitsafe.