Twins Talk, September 8 08 Sep 16


Story and Photos by Gordy Jones

Fun at the Fair!

When you’re nearing the end of a lost baseball season, sometimes you just need to relax and forget about the game for a while. That’s exactly what Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar did last week. They spent a few midday hours at the Great Minnesota Get-Together — the Minnesota State Fair. They arrived just before 11 a.m. at the Minnesota Twins’ Experience wearing their home Twins jerseys over street clothes. They talked to kids, gave autographs, and took part in a State Fair food taste test. It was old-school foods versus the new stuff. They chose a few kids to join them in the tasting. In most cases, the old food won over the new. Staple foods like the corn dog and cheese curds were big hits. When the always-polite Brian Dozier tasted a new type of corn dog, he made a face and asked if he has to say everything is good, or can he tell the truth? He was told to speak his mind. He said that the original was good, but the new Indian version was the worst thing he’d ever tasted. He grimaced and said, “That’s terrible!” He later disqualified himself from rating a sample because he said he couldn’t taste it; he was still tasting the new Indian-type corn dog.

Ballplayers love multi-tasking, so while at the Fairgrounds, they visited a couple of radio stations, to be interviewed. They walked through the Fairgrounds swiftly, followed by an entourage from the front office, security, videographers and photographers, and a few fans who couldn’t believe their eyes, all struggling to keep up with the fast-walking athletes. They stopped if fans flagged them down, and I never saw Brian or Eduardo deny a request for autographs or photo ops. Brian came equipped with a stack of Twins tickets, too, which he randomly gave away to cute kids and their families.

After a quick interview, they hustled over to the Giant Slide, where they had a race in which Eduardo won by a length. Both players slid down holding their phones on a selfie stick. After reaching the bottom, they popped up laughing, signing fans’ shirts, and quickly moving toward the Midway. Brian spotted the Slingshot ride. On the Slingshot, two riders sit in a capsule that is on cables with springs and a patented propulsion device. Once the capsule is released, riders are shot 350 feet into the air at 65 miles per hour, then dive back down toward the ground. Brian wanted to ride it. His eyes lit up, and he pointed. Eduardo had a look of fear on his face and shouted, “No, I would die!” Brian continued to try to talk him into it, but Eduardo looked petrified. At one point, Brian even grabbed Eduardo and tried to wrestle and drag him to the ride. Escobar broke loose, and ran into the Midway. Soon the entourage and Brian caught up to Eduardo, and went to the next attraction. They tried unsuccessfully throwing footballs through rings, baseballs at dishes, and tried getting rings around Coke bottles. Eduardo did break one dish out of six, but gave his little stuffed-animal prize to a fan.

Their final stop was at an animal barn, where they milked goats. Brian, being a country boy from Mississippi, caught on immediately. Eduardo seemed a bit gun-shy. The goat must have sensed this, and gave a little kick toward him. He jumped back, and said he had enough milking.

Eduardo is a nice guy, and comical, too. He’s a great asset to the clubhouse, keeping spirits up. He and Brian are a good pair to do a goodwill outing like this one at the Fair. Brian acts as an interpreter for Eduardo, as he has been becoming fluent in Spanish on his missionary trips to Central America. Eduardo keeps the humor flowing. While eating Fair food, Brian was concerned about his diet and kept saying, “Remember, I have to play tonight.” But Eduardo would smile and take another bite of his corn dog and say, “More doubles for me.” Too bad the Fair’s over, though, because since it began, Dozier’s been on a homer frenzy! Corn dogs and cheese curds should be fed to the entire team.