A little while ago I saw a sweet news report on Clyde Doepner, the number one Twins collector (if you haven't seen it, check it out here at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URvKMb79gCc). The guy's snagged literally every single Twins item upon its release, to such an extent that President Dave St. Peter literally made the position of team curator just so he could fill it.
So, even though none of us can attain the status of Mr. Doepner, a great question emerges from this: What is your most prized Twins item, and why? What's the story behind it?
Now, even though I've got top-value stuff like a Kirby Puckett autograph and a 1991 WS program that was purchased at the Dome, I will personally award the title to the first Twins possession I ever received: My first fitted underlined M hat. I got it for my birthday in 2000 (the year I became a fan), and until I officially outgrew it in 2006, it was the enduring companion in my adventures as a fan. I took it to games (whether or not the Twins were playing), parties, vacations, dinner, school, hangouts, etc. I chucked it in frustration during bad moments, and tossed it sky-high to celebrate victories. Its exposure shows: The bill is ripped and tattered, the top is dirty, and the inside rim is yellow from sweat stains (Yes, I never washed it, and still refuse to). Its greatest mark of endurance, however, is the volume of pins that cover it. As well as relevant ones I got at the 2002 ALDS and LCS, there are completely random ones from the likes of Sequoia and Yellowstone National Parks. Altogther, a great summation of my growing love of the Twins and the team's importance throughout the stages of my life.
How about you?