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Twins unveil Tom Kelly statue outside Target Field

It’s about time.

It should have been him smoking the cigar in Zubaz and feeding the pitching machine, damn it.

At TwinsFest last January, the Twins announced that they planned to erect a bronze statue on Tom Kelly outside Target Field in 2017. Today, they made that plan a reality.

The Twins unveiled TK’s statue today in a ceremony held at 4:30 pm CT. The statue is located near Harmon Killebrew’s statue outside of Gate 34, sort of under the skyway, which helps shelter both statues from the elements.

The unveiling ceremony was planned as part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the 1987 World Series Championship, which is taking place this weekend. Former beloved Twins radio broadcaster, John Gordon, emceed the ceremony, and even got the number of Rod Carew’s gate wrong in his introduction, which just makes me miss him so much.

The artist who created the statue briefly spoke before Tom Kelly himself had the honors of unveiling it. It looks like... TK had been working out? Even Kelly himself joked, “Well I did manage during the steroids years? Maybe I took some?”

You can watch the whole ceremony in the video below (but note, the ceremony doesn’t actually start until 5:26/-13:10 in the video).

lol at the “What does Wayne Hattaway actually do?” line of discussion.

Anyway, Tom Kelly’s bronze statue joins those of players Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, and Kent Hrbek outside of Target Field. There are also bronze statues of former team owners Calvin Griffith, who moved the team from Washington DC to Minnesota in 1961, and Carl and Eloise Pohlad; a statue of mascot TC Bear; a statue of Bullseye, the Target dog; and bronze statues of a giant baseball glove and a giant ball, who may have been the most influential in Twins history? Maybe.

There’s also the argument that Tom Kelly is the single most influential person in the history of the Twins organization. I certainly think that he is.

The Twins retired Tom Kelly’s number 10 in 2012. Bert Blyleven remains the only player whose number had not been retired to also not have a statue outside the park.

Screw David Ortiz. You more than deserve this, TK.