Twins Deliver for Boys & Girls Clubs

Judd Spicer / Heavy Table

Judd Spicer / Heavy Table

The plates may have taken an alternate shape from those in which the Minnesota Twins are generally accustomed, but the ballplayers approached them with the same measure of comfort and confidence. On Sunday eve, mere hours after a 5-3 comeback win over the Texas Rangers, more than a dozen Twins gathered at Restaurant Max in Minneapolis to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.

Nearly 200 patrons (at $250 a plate) attended the third annual event in which players serve guests dinner and drink. Just beyond the dining chalk-lines, the night also included both a silent auction and a live auction called by Twins announcer Dick Bremer, as well as a cache of Michael Cuddyer’s long-celebrated magic tricks.

Judd Spicer / Heavy Table

Judd Spicer / Heavy Table

As Max staff presented starter trays of Tenderloin Crostini, Seared Ahi Tuna Wontons, and a delicious Mushroom Puff (with boursin cheese and Dijon cream), the evening began with bar service performed by Twin-newcomer pitcher Jon Rauch and first baseman Justin Morneau. The 6-foot-11-inch Rauch’s afternoon win over Texas, his first as a Twin, was readily evident via the giant’s highly amicable barside manner. Morneau’s rep for pouring a stiff cocktail was confirmed by Yours Truly with a Grey Goose and tonic that may only be mirrored in power by the Canadian’s celebrated swing.

“This night is always a lot of fun,” barkeep Morneau said of the event’s first incarnation at Max after two successful years at Morton’s Steakhouse. “It’s something different from the golf events and that kind of thing. It’s a different way for us to interact with people.”

As per his bar acumen, Morneau quipped:

“I make a great Bud Light. But I really can mix a Grape Ape shot and also a Water Moccasin.”

A nearby, ice-carved martini luge was manned by pitcher Brian Duensing and injured starter Kevin Slowey, lost for the season with a damaged right wrist.

“This is our opportunity to make a little bit of a difference; to hang out and take some photos — it doesn’t cost us a thing,” the impeccably mannered Slowey said between pouring shakers down the luge, employing his left hand. “Plus, we’ll hopefully get a few bartending skills over the course of the night.”

Relating a deliberate mixing approach to his calculated pitching style, Slowey added:

“Well, I don’t want to give anyone a shoddy product. I’d rather take a little longer and give people what they want.”

In Max’s dining room, myriad ballers later served tables a terrific Arugula Salad, followed by Filet Mignon with Seared Scallops served alongside an herb risotto and chive oil. Among the players, backup catcher Mike Redmond — hours removed from accruing his first triple in over six years — suited up with an apron and a beer.

“It’s a great night for us as players to be able to get out with the fans,” Redmond said. “Since I’ve been with the Twins [2005], I’ve just been amazed how much guys do in the community here, and how each players supports one another. We get to relax a little bit and raise some money for charity.

“I’m on an adrenaline high, so I’m good,” the 38-year-old catcher added to quash concern about any serving energy left post his rare three-bagger. “The folks here are going to get everything I’ve got tonight. Hopefully I won’t cramp up.”

Along with the fine dining, popular auction, and highly accessible ballplayers, event organizers can no doubt take added pride in the fact that the club, at 3-0, is undefeated in games preceding what has become one of the Twin Cities’ most unique charity events.

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6 Comments

  1. Ryan Malone 09/01/2009

    Nice article – I love to see the Twins outside the lines and raising money for a good cause. Sounds like it was a great night for all, players and fans!

  2. What a great eventand a wonderful cause! I’d sure like to get served by Morneau!!

  3. Joshy Morganna the Kissing Bandit 09/02/2009

    Mmm. seared scallops and athletes…what a combo!

  4. duke 09/02/2009

    nice article, people need to know how much the twins really mean to this community and how much the twins and other professional sports teams give back. my question is where did you get the $250 to attend?

  5. myles 09/02/2009

    Well, the Twins ownership/mangement definately needs some “polishing”; and if they can’t do it on the field, this is a fine way to compensate. Though clearly getting better, and shoring up some of their weak spots on the team, there is no doubt they have disappointed their extremely loyal fan base who have supported them with attendance and the new ballpark project. One can only hope the improvement will continue into the post season…and this winter’s off season.

  6. Author

    Joshy — Perhaps muscles would have been more apt for the eve . . .

    Duke – Charity extends from Boys to Men.

    Myles – I really wanted Rich Harden to get here via the Cubs; it would have cost us some minor league talent, although the feela is healthy and pitching pretty darn weel as of late. All that’s to say that while we are playing some better ball right now (and while some fans are moving away from “dissapointed” as we ascend the Central), a splash like Harden would no doubt have sent an earnest message to fans that This Year still has great potential and possibility before we move outdoors.