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Sat, Oct 19th, 2013

Frank Quilici is Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame Member

Wednesday, September 18, 2013, was a very special night for Camp Pro Staff member and Twins great, Frank Quilici.  Frank joined several other former Chicago natives and sports heroes as the 2013 Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.  Other notables inducted and in attendance that evening included current Louisville Head basketball coach, Rick Pitino and former White Sox, Dodger and Yankee ace, Tommy John.  In attendance were other members of the Hall, including Gale Sayers and our own Bill "Soup" Campbell.

Frank & Lila pose with Frank's Chicagoland Sports HOF plaque immediately following the ceremony.

During his acceptance remarks, Frank spoke about his good fortune of growing up in a place and a time where public parks were available for kids in Chicago's inner city to gather and play the game they loved.  He thanked the many coaches and family members that were instrumental in supporting and guiding him from the playgrounds of Chicago to a Major League Baseball career.

The true class of the Minnesota Twins organization was certainly "front and center" for this occasion.  The HOF commemorative program had one ad that frankly blew all of the others away.  It was displayed prominently on the inside cover - a full colored page with a collage of photos of Frank in his Twins uniform accompanied by a great congratulatory note to one of the Club's true heroes and ambassadors!

Bill Harris seemed to best capture the mood of the camp family members in attendance when he commented, "Sandy and I were so happy to be here and share in this incredible moment for Frank and Lila.  Two better people you'll never meet.  And when Frank devoted time in his remarks to say how much the Fantasy Camp means to him and how appreciative he was that we could be there for this special occasion - it just topped off a perfect trip for all of us!"

We know we speak for everyone associated with the Twins Fantasy Camp when we say "Congratulations Frank on receiving this well deserved recognition"!

Tue, Jul 2nd, 2013

Rod Carew to Appear at 2014 Twins Camp!

On August 4, 1985, he joined an elite group of ballplayers when he collected his 3,000th hit as a California Angel versus his former club and left handed ace, Frank Viola.  Rod was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991 in his first year of eligibility - the 22nd player to do so.  He is also a member of the Twins Hall of Fame and the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame.  His number "29" has been retired by the Twins, where it is now displayed down the left field line at Target Field.The Minnesota Twins Baseball Fantasy Camp is excited to announce that Rod Carew, one of the greatest Twins ever, will be joining us at the 2014 Twins Fantasy Camp.  While the exact dates of his camp week appearance have not yet been finalized, Rod's appearance will be similar to the two day visits made by Harmon Killebrew.

In making the announcement Camp Director Stan Dickman commented, "We are just thrilled to be able to have one of the club's all-time greats share time with our campers at next year's camp.  Rod joins an already incredible Camp Pro Staff that reads like a "Who's Who" in the Club's history.  We have been talking with Rod for the past few years and were excited to hear that his schedule would allow him to join us.  Rod has spoken with Tony Oliva, Bert Blyleven, Kent Hrbek, Julio Becquer and Dave St. Peter about the camp experience and is looking forward to joining us.   We certainly want to thank all of these gentlemen for their endorsement of the camp experience."

Rod was signed as an amateur free agent by the Twins on June 24, 1964.  After a brief stint in the Twins minor league organization, he joined the Twins in his first MLB game on April 11, 1967.  That season he was named the American League "Rookie of the Year" and elected to the first of his 18 All-Star Game appearances.  In 1969 he stole home seven times to lead the majors and just missing Ty Cobb's MLB record of 8.  He won his first of 7 AL batting titles in 1969 and in 1977 finished the season with an astounding .388 average, which was the highest since Boston's Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941.  For this efforts, Rod was rewarded with the the 1977 American League Most Valuable Player Award.

Welcome to the Minnesota Twins Baseball Fantasy Camp Rod!  We look forward to having you with us next January!

Wed, Feb 27th, 2013

Individual Play Recognized at 2013 Twins Camp

The 2013 camp was made up of 102 campers from 21 different states and one Canadian Province.  Included in that group were 39 rookie campers.  Rookie campers face the additional obstacle of adapting to a new experience and building relationships with teammates and coaches that are also new to them.  For this group, overcoming the "newness" of the experience and mental aspect of the experience, while still being able to perform at a high level on the field always impresses.  From this group, the Pro Staff members met on Friday morning to nominate 47 players for the 8 individual camp awards.  Awards presented include an Over and Under 50 recipient for the Cy Young, Gold Glove and Most Valuable Player categories.  Awards are also presented to the camp Rookie of the Year as well as the Kirby Puckett Award.  Winners receive a keepsake presented to them at the Awards Banquet, as well as an engraved wood plaque to commemorate their outstanding play at camp.

Nominations for the Over 50 Cy Young for the 2013 camp included Dave Hinnenkamp, Tony Basile, Dick Bremer, Shawn Roerick, John Moore, and Mike Snyders.  There was a move by some of the Pro Staff members to add Camilo Pascual and Rick Aguilera to the list, as they both turned in sterling performances during the games pitched by the coaches on Wednesday's crowded schedule when we played 3 - 5 inning games to make up for Monday's rain out.  However, the Pro Staff members were reminded that Coaches are not eligible for any of the camp awards.  The winner of the Over 50 Cy Young receives an autographed mini helmet from 1988 American League Cy Young Award winner, Frank Viola.  This year's Over 50 Cy Young Award went to Tony Basile

.

The Under 50 Cy Young Award winner also received a mini helmet autographed by Frank Viola.  The nominees for the Under 50 category included: Will McMacken, Van Beach, Paul Bennett, Andy Holmquist, Lance Anderson and Eric Nelson. The winner of the 2013 Twins Camp Under 50 Cy Young Award went to Paul Bennett.

The Gold Glove Award in the Over 50 division was awarded in 2013 to one of the many talented rookies who participated at a high level.  With the exception of Tony Basile, all of the nominees in this category were first time campers!  The Over 50 Gold Glove Award winner receives a mini gold glove award autographed by former MLB Gold Glove Award winner, Tony Oliva. Nominees included: Herb Brunell, Tony Basile, Mike Doetkott, Tim Baltus and Shane Schmidt.   This year's Over 50 honors went to Clear Lake, Minnesota's, Mike Doetkott.

The Under 50 Gold Glove division also included a group of very talented baseball players.  The winner of the Under 50 Gold Glove Award receives a mini gold glove autographed by current Twin All-Star and American League Gold Glove recipient, Joe Mauer.  The nominees in this division included: Van Beach, Don Brandt, Benji Dick, Randy Goertzen, Randy Beran, and Will McMacken.  The winner of this year's Under 50 Gold Glove went to Bomber outfielder extraordinaire, Randy Beran.

As has already been documented in this newsletter, the competition for the 2013 Rookie of the Year Award was perhaps the hottest we've experienced in the past several years.  The Rookie of the Year receives an autographed helmet of the 1964 American League Rookie of the Year - Tony Oliva.  The nominees for the 2013 ROY included: Andy Schmakel, Mike Doetkott, Derek Johnson, Lloyd Kepple, and Mike Johnson.  The Award went to Andy Schmakel who had just returned to the U.S. this past October, following a deployment in Afghanistan.

The Most Valuable Player Award Winner in both the Over and Under 50 Divisions is one of the toughest award selections to make for our Pro Staff.  The slate always include some of the top baseball players attending the Twins Camp and this year was no exception.

In the Over 50 Most Valuable Player category there were six nominees.  They included: Dave Hinnenkamp, Russ Sampson, Dick Bremer, Tony Basile, Bob May and rookie camper, Jerry Johnson.  This year's MVP in the Over 50 Division Is Dave Hinnenkamp.

The MVP in the Under 50 category included an equally collection of baseball talent.  The MVP in both the Over and Under 50 categories received a mini helmet autographed by current Twin star and former AL Most Valuable Player, Justin Morneau.  The nominees in the Under 50 category included: Van Beach, Lance Anderson, Will McMacken, Russ Johnson, and Randy Goertzen.  While a strong case could be made for any of the nominees, the Pro Staff agreed that in 2013, this award belonged to Van Beach.

With the addition of so many players from the 1987 and 1991 World Series teams on the camp's Pro Staff, the Kirby Puckett Award has taken on even greater significance.  The Pro Staff is insistent that this award be the most prestigious that the camp makes each year and that the nominees and recipient be of the same fabric that made Kirby Puckett an incredible teammate and leader. It must be an individual who shares his passion for the game and demonstrates it on and off the field.  To that end they nominated an outstanding slate of campers.  The winner of the Kirby Puckett Award receives an autographed mini helmet that is signed by all of Kirby's Pro Staff teammates from those two special World Championship teams.  Those camper nominated for this special recognition in 2013 included: Mike Slattery, T.J. Phillips, Mike Johnson, Bob May, Scott McDougall, and Pat Held.  This year's Kirby Puckett Award recipient was Pat Held. Pat was particularly moved by his selection since his wife Carolyn who had attended the 2011 and 2012 camps with him, had also received this coveted award in her rookie year in 2011.

We wish to congratulate all of the nominees and award winners for their play at this year's camp.  We also wish to congratulate all of their camp teammates for their play in making the week a truly memorable one for all of us at this year's Twins Camp!

 

 

Wed, Feb 27th, 2013

Camp Featured in Minneapolis Star Tribune Sports Lead!

The camp's e-mail, facebook page and telephone all began to "light up" early on Saturday morning, February 16th, when the Fantasy Camp was prominently featured in that morning's Sport Section of Minnesota's largest statewide news paper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The fantasy camp article was incredibly written by our own Annie Breitenbucher, a camper from Minneapolis who has participated in the past two Twins camps.  Her article was somewhat a journal of her journey to and through the camp experience - particularly from the perspective of a female camper.  In preparation for her piece, Annie spent several hours visiting with fellow female camper, Abby Geisler.  As huge Twins fans growing up in the Twin Cities, both had a burning passion for baseball and the Twins.  Both also realized that they would never be able to realize their dream of someday playing baseball at the Major League level.  For them the Fantasy Camp was truly a way to realize that goal - if only for a week.

Annie, formerly a full-time employee of the Star Tribune, continues to work in a part-time capacity with the paper.  Additionally she works works as a writer with an engineering firm in the Twin Cities.

"Annie's article was truly something special," said Camp Director Stan Dickman.  "It's one thing for those of us associated with the camp to talk about the virtues of this incredible experience, it's something quite different when it comes from someone living the experience.  We certainly want to thank Annie for her incredible work.  For us the most exciting element of her story was the part where she discussed getting in baseball shape for next year!  You know we want you back Annie!"

If you didn't happen to see the Saturday, February 16th issue of the Strib - but would like to read Annie's article, you can do so by going to the following link:

http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/190484411.html

The front page of the Saturday, February 9th issue of the Tribune also carried a banner regarding Annie's story.  The photo of campers Abby Geisler and Jim Lundeen was a great "attention grabber"!

Wed, Feb 27th, 2013

Five Named to Twins Camp Hall of Fame in 2013!

The 2013 Twins Camp Hall of Fame Inductees included (from Left to Right): Lloyd "Papa Smurf" Pallansch, Dave Boswell (represented by his wife, Lou), Jim Lundeen, Paul Smith and Scott McDougall.

Each year the Twins Camp recognizes a very special group of camp family members - our Hall of Fame members.  The Hall of Fame is reserved to those campers that have attended the camp for 10 or more years.  By virtue of their support and promotion of the camp, they have truly distinguished themselves as key members of the camp organization.

"The Hall of Fame members are critical to a healthy and growing camp," commented Camp Director, Stan Dickman.  "We rely on this group to provide us with insights and suggestions on how we can continue to enhance the camp experience for current and future campers.  Beyond their collective insights, they also have proven to make up a core constituency in ensuring a vibrant camp.  We feel that recognizing the contributions of this group is an important and fitting segment of our camp week.  We sincerely thank our Hall of Fame members for their continued support".

Campers joining the Hall of Fame this year included Lloyd Pallansch, Jim Lundeen, Paul Smith and Scott McDougall.  All four of these camper have enriched the camp experience for the Pro Staff, their camper teammates and the camp administration.  All four also happen to be Minnesota residents with Lloyd coming from Clitherall - Jim Lundeen from Isanti - Paul Smith from Chaska and Scott McDougall from Fairbault.

Joining them as inductees is the first ever Pro Staff Coach to be so recognized by the camp.  This past year the camp was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of long time Pro Staff member and one of the truly memorable characters of Twins history - Dave Boswell.  The Hall of Fame members thought that it only fitting to recognize Bos for his many contributions to the camp and for making the experience so memorable for the thousands of campers whose lives he touched as a result of his participation in the camp.

Our five new Hall members join the other members of the Minnesota Twins Camp Hall of Fame, that include:

Curt Sampson - Paul Sampson - Dan Tupper - Russ Sampson - Jack Dunn - Dr. Gerry Sohmer - Dave Hinnenkamp - Abby Geisler - Kevin Marden - Tony Basile - John Spagnolo - Ralph Groont - Scott Hinnenkamp - Randy Grachek - Bruce Grachek - Dr. Barry Karon - Terry Amundson and John Gordon.

Congratulations Lloyd, Paul, Scott, and Jim!  Special thanks to Lou Boswell and her family for joining us for camp week this year as we paid tribute to Dave!

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