We've seen bobbleheads in Chicago (2003), cowboy boots in Houston ('04), Statues of Liberty in New York ('08), Gateway Arches in St. Louis ('09), the Mickey Mouse of Anaheim (2010), cactii in Phoenix ('11), crowns in Kansas City ('12) and Big Apples in New York ('13).
It is Minnesota's turn this summer, and the tradition of All-Star Game statues around host metropolitan areas continues with a nod to one of the Twin Cities' most famous sons: Charles Schulz, legendary creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip.
Major League Baseball, the Twins and Peanuts Worldwide on Wednesday revealed the 10 Peanuts statues that have been positioned in that host area leading up to the July 15 Midsummer Classic at Target Field. It means Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Woodstock and the rest of their beloved gang are now available for presale at the MLB.com Shop.
The statuette replica collectibles, commissioned in conjunction with Forever Collectibles, are between five and seven inches tall. After the All-Star Game, another tradition will continue when those same large-scale statues that are now drawing curious attention are put up for bidding at the MLB.com Auction.
"Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together?" Snoopy said.
Wish granted. The 10 large-scale statues in Minnesota are dressed in full Twins uniforms and decorated with full baseball gear to go along with their uniforms, including mitts, cleats, bats and, in Schroeder's case, catcher's equipment. Standing between five and six feet tall and weighing between 200-300 pounds, these Twins-themed All-Star statues will reside at Rice Park in St. Paul -- where Schulz grew up -- until June 16. At that point, they will move to the Minneapolis Convention Center for All-Star festivities through July 15.
This special line depicts the Peanuts gang as Twins players, dressed in uniforms adjusted for each character's style. In addition to these 10 Twins-themed figurines, the Shop will be featuring more Peanuts collectibles for select clubs.
On hand for the unveiling were Twins owner and chief executive officer Jim Pohlad; Twins president Dave St. Peter; City of St. Paul director of marketing and convention planning Jake Spano; and a starting lineup of St. Paul natives, including Twins first baseman and All-Star ambassador Joe Mauer, Twins bench coach and All-Star ambassador Paul Molitor and Snoopy, the "official Peanuts All-Star ambassador."
The statue unveiling marked the start of a new multiyear marketing relationship between the league and the legendary comic strip brand that also forms a special retail program.
The Twins also will host Peanuts Day at Target Field on June 6, when the first 10,000 fans will receive a limited-edition Snoopy figure. Only fans in attendance at this game will be able to complete the entire limited-edition collection. In addition to the replica statuettes, in coming months, fans can obtain a wide variety of memorabilia featuring the Peanuts Gang characters, representing all 30 MLB clubs. Items will include apparel, headwear, novelties and collectibles, among other items, and they will be available nationwide.
"Peanuts is so closely associated with baseball that it was just natural to create this relationship, especially with this year's MLB All-Star Game and festivities taking place in the Twin Cities, where Charles Schulz first dreamt up Charlie Brown and the gang," said Tim Brosnan, MLB executive vice president of business. "Families around North America love baseball and they love these characters. We think bringing them together will spawn some very special memories and treasures for years to come."
"The Twins are proud to work with MLB and Peanuts Worldwide to create a collectible statue program with strong ties into the fabric of our local community," St. Peter said. "To be able to unveil these in St. Paul -- our capital city and hometown of the original artist -- is truly special for the Twins' organization."
"Baseball is an integral part of the Peanuts world," said Leigh Anne Brodsky, managing director of Peanuts Worldwide. "Countless strips feature this sport and with this year's All-Star Game right in Charles Schulz's backyard, we wanted to make sure we were a part of it. This partnership with MLB ties in perfectly with our efforts and celebrating the love of the game."
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
In addition to the All-Star Game itself, All-Star Week includes 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).
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.