Twins home opener could be among their coldest ever

Fans huddled under blankets to keep warm.
Fans huddle under blankets to stay warm during the Minnesota Twins' first home game of the 2016 season.
Judy Griesedieck for MPR News 2016

The Minnesota Twins may be heading again for history, barely a week into their new season.

With temperatures set to plunge into the single digits Wednesday, the team's Thursday home opener may vie for their coldest ever. The current mark: a 34-degree game day against the Los Angeles Angels in 1962 back at Met Stadium. Baseball Reference, by the way, says the thermometer read 33 degrees for the first pitch.

Thursday's forecasted high is 36.

Keep in mind, too, the team is tempting fate: They've invited the U.S. Olympic gold medalist curling team to "throw out" the ceremonial first pitch and sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" for the seventh-inning stretch.

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!

For the record, the Twins even hosted a snow day game once — a trace of the white stuff was reported on opening day in 1972 when the Twins hosted the Oakland Athletics in Bloomington.

Fans are likely more familiar with the recent brush with frigid fame: the 2013 opener with the Detroit Tigers that had the team spraying hot water in the stands to melt the winter's snow still lingering at Target Field. Fans bundled up in mittens and ski masks were greeted with hot cocoa and coffee. The temperature was 35 at first pitch.

Groundskeepers had to shovel it out again a few days later after a snowstorm.

Twins President Dave St. Peter remained confident on Twitter Monday night, repeating the city's chill Super Bowl tagline and asking "Aren't we supposed to be the #BoldNorth?" He also said the Twins will not be playing any of its games in U.S. Bank Stadium.

Larry DiVito, head groundskeeper at Target Field, said the stadium will be ready this year. Heat from the nearby Hennepin Energy Recovery Center is being piped under the field to keep the grass growing and melt snow in the infield. More than a dozen hot-water hoses and crews will clear out the stands.

"There's going to be a lot of people in here tomorrow, and I think we'll get it done," he said. "We at least do know from reports that the snow should stop tonight, which will allow us well over 24 hours to get the place cleaned up."

Here's a rundown of the home opener weather from the Minnesota DNR.