May 31 Program: Curator for Minnesota Twins

Chaska Rotarian Due Debower introduced his long-time friend, Clyde Doepner, the Curator for the Minnesota Twins. Mr. Doepner is the only official full-time curator in Major League Baseball. Originally a history teacher, he received a season pass from Calvin Griffith after the Twins moved from Washington, D.C. He formed a relationship with the team that has lasted 50 years, combining history, baseball and memorabilia. He saved many articles, photos and letters from disposal when the team moved stadiums, and now hand-picks what is saved for the Twins’ collection, what is given to MLB, and what is available to the players.

Clyde gave a presentation with humor and skill developed through thousands of events and meetings to groups like ours. He shared the secret of uniform jersey authenticity, holograms, design and colors, with the ”Twins” on the shirts which indicates a home game; “Minnesota” is worn for away games. Fridays warrant red shirts, unless the opening pitcher wants another color. Green jerseys are reserved for St. Patrick’s Day. We were treated to the game’s rarest jersey – a dark blue #12 with Minnesota misspelled (as “Minnestoa”). It is rare because it is a singular mistake. Player names are frequently misspelled, but state or location names are not. Each player has a set of 24 uniforms available for each game, and the highly-tipped batboys ensure the correct set is in their locker for each game.

View a short, excellent documentary about Clyde and the Twins.