The 2023 American League Central Division champion Minnesota Twins today announced in-ballpark festivities for the week’s best-of-three Wild Card Series vs. the Toronto Blue Jays, to be held entirely at Target Field. Game 1 is set for 3:38 p.m. CT on Tuesday, October 3; Game 2 is scheduled for 3:38 p.m. CT on Wednesday, October 4; and Game 3, if necessary, will be held on Thursday, October 5 (time TBD). Potential Game 3 ceremonies will be announced later this week.
Wild Card Series Tickets Still Available
A limited number of single-game tickets for Games 1-3 of the Wild Card Series at Target Field between the Twins and the Toronto Blue Jays are available for purchase now at twins.com/postseason.
2023 AL Wild Card Series Game 1: Twins vs. Blue Jays; Tues., October 3 at 3:38 p.m. (Gates open at 1:30 p.m.)
• Gate Giveaway – Homer Hanky presented by Star Tribune and CUB: Every fan in attendance at Target Field for Game 1 of the Wild Card Series will receive a free “We Believe” 2023 Homer Hanky™ presented by the Star Tribune and CUB.
• Ceremonial First Pitch – TK to Hrbie: Legendary manager and Twins Hall of Famer Tom Kelly, who guided Minnesota to the 1987 and 1991 World Series titles, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 1. The pitch will be caught by Bloomington native, Twins Hall of Famer and two-time World Series champion Kent Hrbek.
• Rosters and Starting Lineups: In Postseason tradition, the rosters and starting lineups for both the Twins and the Blue Jays will be introduced along the first- and third-base lines, respectively. The Twins’ lineup will be accompanied by a special pyrotechnics display.
• National Anthems: The “Star-Spangled Banner” and “O Canada” will both be performed by 15-year-old Twin Cities native Genet Gessert, a member of the MacPhail Community Youth Choir (MCYC) and recipient of the Sallie Steele Birdsong Scholarship.
• Flag Raisers:
o Giant American Flag: A group of Twins Season Ticket Holders will unfurl a giant American flag in the outfield.
o American Flag: The American flag in the Gate 34 area will be raised Technical Sergeant Don Halverson, a decorated World War II veteran who landed in Naples in October 1943 and remained fighting until November 1945. Mr. Halverson was a member of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, 168th Rainbow Regiment from Minnesota; these were among the first troops to go overseas to Europe during WWII, while the 34th Red Bull Division is credited with amassing 517 days of frontline combat, more than any other U.S. division. Mr. Halverson’s service has been decorated by several awards, while he is a Bronze Star Medal recipient. Mr. Halverson recently celebrated his 100th birthday.
o Canadian Flag: The Canadian flag will be raised by Captain Adam Ward of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Capt. Ward, who joined Canada’s Armed Forces in 2017, has received the Special Service Medal-Expedition for honorable service performed outside Canada while deployed, providing support with the United States and other countries to counter terrorism. Capt. Ward currently serves as the Operations Support Flight Commander at Cavalier Space Force Station in North Dakota, which exists under NORAD command – a joint Canada-U.S. defense program to ensure the safety of all North America.
• Flyover: A pregame flyover will feature a C-130 Hercules from the St. Paul-based 133rd Airlift Wing of the Minnesota National Guard.
• Twins STH Homer Hanky Wave: Twins Season Ticket Holder Laurel Thom will lead the Target Field crowd in waving their Homer Hankies as the Twins take the field for Game 1.
2023 AL Wild Card Series Game 2: Twins vs. Blue Jays; Wed., October 4 at 3:38 p.m. (Gates open at 1:30 p.m.)
• Gate Giveaway – Homer Hanky presented by Star Tribune and CUB: Every fan in attendance at Target Field for Game 2 of the Wild Card Series will receive a free “We Believe” 2023 Homer Hanky™ presented by the Star Tribune and CUB.
• Ceremonial First Pitch – Morneau to Gardy: Justin Morneau, the 2006 American League Most Valuable Player, a Twins Hall of Famer, and current club special assistant and Bally Sports North broadcaster, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 2. The pitch will be caught by Ron Gardenhire, Justin’s longtime Twins manager, Twins Hall of Famer and the winningest skipper in club history.
• National Anthems: The “Star-Spangled Banner” and “O Canada” will both be performed by Twin Cities-based NUNNABOVE, a sibling band that has delivered positive alternative pop across the region since 2016.
• Flag Raisers:
o American Flag: The American flag will be raised by Larry Herke, who recently retired after four years as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs to concentrate on advocating for advances in medical research to combat ALS – a disease which he himself is currently fighting, and that afflicts veterans at twice the rate of the general population. Herke, a Mankato native who also enjoyed a stint as director of the Minnesota Office of Enterprise Sustainability, proudly served with the U.S. Army and Minnesota National Guard for more than 30 years. While in the National Guard, he was deployed to Tallil, Iraq.
o Canadian Flag: The Canadian flag will be raised by Consul Colin McLeod, who is the Consul and Program Manager responsible for political/economic relations, public affairs and consular affairs at the Consulate General of Canada to the United States, in Minneapolis. Mr. McLeod began his career with the Canadian federal government in 2012, and most recently was the Chief of Staff to the Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy Branch.
• Twins STH Homer Hanky Wave: Leah Olson of Rogers, Minnesota, a Twins Season Ticket Holder for 28 years, and her daughter, Oliva, will lead the Target Field crowd in waving their Homer Hankies as the Twins take the field for Game 2.
(info courtesy of Twins)