These are desperate times. Writing about Twins baseball at this point in this season, is like writing about things that happened to you in middle school. For the vast majority, caring about sad things long out of our control simply isn’t worth the time. We’re busy. Even if we’re not busy, we’re too busy for deep analysis of a given Twins game. I fear the comments section of each day’s game thread seems to reflect this level of apathy. We’ve been beaten down, and for the most part, we’ve surrendered.
For those of you who remember “Galaxy Quest,” a movie that has all the makings of “sort of a cult classic,” we have given up and we have surrendered. For those of you who don’t…you should see it, perhaps during one of these final games against the Blue Jays or Cubs. It’s about a group of actors in the Star Trek mode who are called upon to actually fly a spaceship and save the world in real life. As you might imagine, major hijinks and calamity ensue, not unlike this past Twins season.
While I’m not entirely sure why this old not particularly successful movie made such an impression upon me, whenever I am tempted to give up and surrender (which is often, in a variety of contexts), I think of the cast of “Galaxy Quest” who were collectively called upon to “never give up and never surrender.”
My latest surrender in the context of baseball occurred the other day when I was wearing my Twins cap in public in a part of the country that I will not identify, other than to say it was “not the Midwest.” I was asked by a seemingly harmless stranger “hey, what’s your cap mean?” Being a somewhat harmless stranger myself, I simply replied “oh it’s the Minnesota Twins cap.” “Who?” he declared. “The Minnesota Twins baseball team” I replied. “Oh…well then what’s the TC mean? “Twin Cities” I said confidently. “What’s that?” he inquired. “Minneapolis and St. Paul” I said…again, confidently. “Oh, doesn’t make any sense” he muttered and then moved away.
As I reflect upon how better to avoid stranger contact the next time I’m out in public, I mused about how little all of it matters. I mean, there was a guy, just a guy, living his life, seemingly able to hold a job, make a living, who was utterly unconcerned about the Minnesota Twins, to the point of believing their cap “doesn’t even make sense.”
Like most of you, I’m sure, I love the TC. I think it’s a great logo, and the fact that it’s probably one of the least understood logos of any sports franchise outside of the fanbase, makes it all the more charming. Explaining the TC to strangers is the sort of innocuous conversation starter that, particularly in these polarized times, offers hope for the type of friendly banter with strangers that could only make the world a better place.
But as I thought about it some more, I thought about what other less informed folks might actually think our beloved TC logo really means. This year, for example, it could mean “total crap.” Maybe the Twins logo preempted Tom Cruise from pursuing a logo like Tom Brady’s TB12. Perhaps “take care.” “Thread Count?” “Teachers College?” “Traffic Control?” “Town and Country?” I’ll pass on Tom Clancy out of respect for my fellow older Vikings fans. Anyway, the point is, as a Twins fan living outside of the Midwest, I hadn’t fully considered how often people must see me in this cap and think I simply have an inordinate amount of respect or admiration for Tom Cruise. I’d just assumed that everyone knew, but as usual, one shouldn’t necessary assume.
I’ve been asked about the TC before. But somehow this year it seems like it’s happened more often, and in the past my simple explanation seemed to suffice, but now, it’s as if challenging my take on what my cap means seems more acceptable. Yankee fans wear their caps, and everyone knows what the NY means. Similarly, Red Sox fans, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Royals, Padres, even Cubs fans seldom, if ever, have to endure such indignity of others simply not knowing the meaning of their baseball caps. Even those caps unencumbered by geography, like those with a Blue Jay, or an Oriole, seem unlikely to endure questioning….I mean even the rare person who doesn’t know about baseball, still respects a person’s right to support a given bird. “Sox”….has to be a baseball cap…what else could it possibly be?
Ed note — Chief Wahoo logo gear is actually very popular in parts of the southwest as a symbol of being a proud Native American. The fun things I learned living in New Mexico. -TJ
I suppose the T for Texas isn’t always self-explanatory, or even the S for Seattle, but I have to imagine when the owner is asked to explain the T or the S, their explanation of “Texas” or “Seattle” is entirely accepted at face value. So, not to beat an already beaten dead horse here, but our TC doesn’t seem entirely self-explanatory. I find myself having to choose to fight back and explain, or simply to give up and surrender. This year, it seems more prudent just to give up and surrender. Next year, I plan to re-engage and fight the good fight and proudly proclaim what that TC means. I mean, at least until the team is eliminated from playoff contention, which, we hope, happens a bit later next year.