COVID-19 postponed just about everything last year, including former Minnesota Twins' first baseman Justin Morneau’s Twins Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Saturday, Morneau will be joined alongside his former teammates and loved ones to be the 34th player inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame.
Who does he join?
I’m glad you asked. The Twins Hall of Fame was created in 2000. Here’s the list:
Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett, Calvin Griffith, Herb Carneal, Jim Kaat, Bert Blyleven, Tom Kelly, Bob Allison, Bob Casey, Earl Battey, Frank Viola, Carl Pohlad, Zoilo Versalles, Gary Gaetti, Jim Rantz, Rick Aguilera, Brad Radke, George Brophy, Greg Gagne, Jim Perry, Camilo Pascual, Eddie Guardado, Tom Mee, John Gordon, Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, Andy MacPhail, Johan Santana, Jerry Bell, Joe Nathan and now Justin Morneau.
Twins fans have been reunited with Morneau now that he has seemingly been the top analyst filling the shoes of Bert Blyleven. There were mixed reviews of him from the start, in my opinion, but I think many people are now quite fond of his analysis.
Former Twins pitcher LaTroy Hawkins is on the mic with Dick Bremer while Justin lets it all sink in on his big weekend. Joe Nathan joined the two in the booth Friday. Nathan is part of that electric crew that Minnesota fans loved, you know the one that never really made it past the first round of playoffs. Minus Torii and Cuddy. In fact, Morneau began his stint with the Twins a year after they made it to the ALCS against the Angels. Don’t get me wrong, I loved them anyway.
“A no-brainer right here,” Joe Nathan said about his teammate Justin Morneau making it into the Twins Hall.
Nathan got his moment of Twins HOF glory back in 2019.
“It brings out nerves and an uncomfortable feeling that you have never felt for sure,” Joe Nathan said about the speech he had to give, and Justin will give Saturday.
That’s saying a lot from a guy who would pitch in front of thousands on the regular.
Though I’ve never really been a fan of ‘team HOFs,’ I will say this pick is well-deserved. Morneau was my second-favorite Twin all time. He was a four-time MLB All-Star with the Twins and we cannot forget his MVP year in 2006, his first year wearing #33. He was a dominant lefty who you couldn’t not like. I was very happy when he made his way to the broadcast booth.
“To be honest, I never thought he would be the guy filling in up here. He was the guy that lead by example. He was the guy who pretty much kept his mouth shut and just let his bat do the talking,” Nathan said.
The former Twins closer said he likes Justin’s style in the press box.
“To be honest, I’m pretty impressed with how he does,” Nathan said.
Morneau will be enjoying the company of his family (five kids,) friends, coaches and mentors Saturday, along with all of Twins territory. He actually hadn’t seen his dad since December of 2019 because of Canada’s strict COVID-19 travel restrictions, so with his parents being in town finally, this makes it even more special.
I think we all can predict a long speech from Justin because he is a guy who can’t leave anyone out and needs to give credit where credit is due.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Game starts at 6:10 p.m.
First 10,000 fans will get a Justin Morneau bobblehead
At 4:15 p.m. there will be a plaque unveiling on Target Plaza.
At 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. fans can have their picture taken with Ron Gardenhire, Corey Koskie, Ryan Doumit and Nick Punto. Wow should I wear my Doumit shirt? Amazing. This is inside Gate 29.
Pregame, on television, begins around 5:30. Justin’s ceremony will be right before the 6:10 p.m. first pitch. I imagine it will start around 5:45 p.m. Dick Bremer will be emcee, Joe Mauer will introduce Morneau.
*Sixteen current Twins Hall of Famers and dozens of former Twins will be at Saturday’s game in honor of Justin.
The 40-year-old spent 14 years in the majors. On the crying or not crying poll, I say he will cry. My buddy Joe Nathan agrees.
“Tomorrow, he’s crying for sure, 100 percent,” Nathan said.
Hope to see you at the game! According to Stubhub tickets start at $6.