July 18th, 2014
I grew up a Twins fan because my uncle, Johnny Goryl, played and coached for the Twins in the 1960s and managed them in 1980-81. While working 2014 All-Star Week for MLB.com, I was able to go back to my roots and live out a dream in Minnesota. My cousin Tammy, one of Uncle Johnny’s three kids (also Susan and J.D.), told me during the week to look for an exhibit of all the Minnesota Twins managers at Target Field. So in the sixth inning of the All-Star Game, my last chance to find it after filing an in-game story, I asked Mitch Hestad, the Twins’ Manager of Baseball Communications, if he knew where this exhibit was. Per his direction, I went out the press box and up one level to the Private Suites Corridor, where I saw the most beautiful art gallery of my life. Hank Aaron was walking past a large painting of my Uncle Johnny, signing autographs, just as I found it. It was an entire hallway, the best part of Target Field, the ultimate tribute to skippers, and I will present them here to send a link to Uncle Johnny. Thank you, Twins.
I chose to leave the skewed imagery because they reflect how a sportswriter working in the sixth inning had to quickly photograph each painting with his iPhone before quickly returning to Derek Jeter’s last All-Star Game. I left a matting effect that shows their actual wall positioning as viewed during a walk through the corridor, and that’s me with Uncle Johnny in the last one. Their plaques list name and years managed in Minnesota, and apologies that those are not legible, so I added captions. In spite of the “FIRE” light over Cookie and the rapid turnover in those early years, note that the Twins have had just two managers since 1986. There have been these 12 managers since the Washington Senators moved from Minnesota to become the Twins in 1961.