Column: Grandma was the real baseball fan
Every year we (us Minnesotans) get stuck in this state's mixed April climate.
Others may hate it, but April marks one of the best times of year (in my opinion). It marks the beginning of spring, baseball season, the final stretch of school before summer, and of course the kickoff to the major league baseball season.
Every year I spend my spring, summer, and early fall watching The Minnesota Twins play, and working to make it to the playoffs.
Watching the Twins really has more to it than it seems on the outside for me. I got the habit from my grandparents when I was young, (like 5 years old), and I started following them closely after making it to the American league championship in 2002 (and then losing to the Angels).
My dad used to be able to get free tickets, and we would go to three or four games a year. The first game I ever saw in person was with my dad and my grandma, and it was against the Chicago White Sox. The Twins won 4-3, but it was also the only game I got to go to with my grandma.
My grandma was the person who really shared the same passion for the Twins as I did. She never missed a game, and she even called me after seeing me catch my first foul ball (it was on TV), so when my grandma died in 2004, the one thing I always had left was to remind me of her was the Twins (which is probably what's kept me watching them throughout the last seven years).
I have gone to a fair share of Twins games, but I've gotten lucky enough to see the Twins beat the Indians 24-2, see the Twins beat the White Sox on an Alexi Casilla walk-off single (to take the lead in the central division with three games left).
I got to see Roger Clemens' last win in the 2006 ALDS, but the best game by far was the 163rd game of the 2009 season, which was when the Twins beat the Tigers in a play-in game to win the central division championship.
The play-in game happened because the Twins and the Tigers finished the season tied for first place.
When my dad heard the game was going to be in Minnesota, he got online and bought tickets that retail at $11, for $75 apiece. I got out of school and went to Minneapolis with my brother.
The twins started the game losing 3-0, but managed to come back to tie 3-3 in the eighth inning. The game ended in a 3-3 tie and it went into extra innings. The tigers scored in the 10th, but the twins came back on their last at-bat and tied it 4-4.
The game went tied into the bottom of the 12th inning, which was when Alexi Casilla hit the walk-off single to score Carlos Gomez and win the game, sending the Twins to The ALDS.
Coming off two consecutive seasons as the American Central Division champs, the Twins have started slow this year, but they've had to come from behind in the standings the last two years to take the division, and I'm hoping the same thing will happen this year. It's still early. It's April and there's a lot of time for hope.
Jonah Bowe is a sophomore at Detroit Lakes High School.