Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Homer Hanky History Lesson

The Official Star Tribune Homer Hanky has become a regular visitor to the Twins franchise since the 1987 season. The 1987 season was a magical one for the Twins and the Homer Hanky was part of that magical ride. The Homer Hanky has been remodeled over the years but the classic waving at Twins postseason games remains.

Here is a history lesson of the Homer Hanky from it's birth to the newest version that was just released.

1987 Homer Hanky (The Original)
This hanky was printed at the end of the 1987 season. The Twins had taken over the heart and soul of the Twin Cities. Terrie Robbins, the Star Tribune Promotions Manager, decided that the Twins needed something to intimidate the opposition. The Tigers were the first victims in the ALCS. The Cardinals fell in the World Series. The first World Series title in Twins history had been won and the homer hanky had become an integral part of Twins history.
1988 Homer Hanky (Just as great in '88)
The magic wasn't there for the 1988 season, so they weren't as great in '88. The Twins didn't qualify for the playoffs after finishing in 2nd place in the American League Western Division. The magic would disappear for a few seasons but the Homer Hanky would be back.

1991-1992 Homer Hanky (The Magic Is Back)
The Twins' 2nd World Series run truly brought the magic back to the Twin Cities. A throwback design to the 1987 pattern with a red baseball and perhaps this is what brought the magic back. The Twins went on to defeat the Blue Jays in the ALCS. The 1991 World Series is considered by many to be the greatest World Series of all time. And the Homer Hanky would bring the Metrodome roof off in Game 6 and 7. The magic had returned and it would be over a decade before it would return.

2002 Homer Hanky (Proud and Loud)
The Twins had avoided contraction and went on a miraculous run to win their first division title since the early 90's. The young Twins would make a run to the ALCS before they were shut down by the future World Series Champs, the Angels. The Rally Monkey had topped the Homer Hanky but the Homer Hanky was back for the proud and loud fans of the Twin Cities. This time there would be a much shorter wait before the Homer Hanky would return.

2003 Homer Hanky (Every Fan Counts)
Every Fan Counted as the Twins fought their way to their 2nd straight AL Central crown. Their second straight trip to the postseason didn't have as much magic as the years before. The Twins were quickly eliminated by the Yankees. There were some drastic changes to the hanky design. For the first time the hanky switched colors from the classic red design to blue. The baseball logo had shrunk and become part of the Homer Hanky phrase.

2004 Homer Hanky
The Twins had accomplished the impossible. They had almost been removed from the sport three seasons ago. Since that time they had gone on a spurt of three consecutive division championships. The ALDS didn't go exactly to plan. The Yankees won swiftly in 4 games. The baseball field had been reincorporated from the 1988 design and with it came the luck of 1988. There would be a homer hanky hiatus for a couple seasons.

2006 Homer Hanky (This Is Twins Territory)
The 2006 season saw the return of magic to the Metrodome and the Homer Hanky. Joe Mauer won his first batting title on the final day of the season. The final day also brought about a thrilling end to the race for the Central Division. The Twins clinched the division title on the last day of season in front of thousands of fans. These fans had stayed to watch the Tigers blow a lead and their grip on the division crown. The magic didn't transfer to the postseason as the Twins were quickly swept out of the playoff picture by the Oakland Athletics. Minnie and Paul made their first appearance on the Homer Hanky in one of the biggest design changes in hanky history.
2009 Homer Hanky (Championship Drive in Twins Territory)
The last season in the Metrodome was full of as much magic as the '87 and '91 seasons. The Twins put together a miraculous 2nd half to catch the Tigers and force a Game 163. This game would be one of the signature games in Metrodome history. The problem would be that the Twins would have less than 24-hours to recover before they faced the future World Series Champs, the Yankees. The Twins would be swept in the first round but they had one last Homer Hanky celebration and sent the Metrodome out in style.

2010 Homer Hanky
The first season at Target Field has been a memorable one. From Opening Day fly over to the playoff games that are still to come, there have been many experiences for fans to take part in under the golden sun of outdoor baseball. Minny and Paul make their second appearance in Hanky history. It is the focal point of Target Field and a fitting part of the 2010 Homer Hanky. Did any of the Metrodome magic make the trip across town? Only time will tell...

1 comment:

Jack Steal said...

I have all of these framed except the new one. I went to purchase the new 2010 hanky today at the pro-shop and it was sold out. Great article and Go Twins!!