Thielbar, Twins venture to Mankato for evening with local fans

KEYC News Now at 10 Recording
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 9:25 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The 61st Twins Winter Caravan ventured to Mankato’s beloved Kato Ballroom, Wednesday evening.

Local fans had the opportunity to spend time with Minnesota Twins legends like 2022 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Tony Oliva, Twins Hall of Famer Justin Morneau, and active players Ryan Jeffers and Caleb Thielbar.

Thielbar grew up in Northfield, so for the left-handed pitcher, the evening doubled as a homecoming.

“It was always fun to come down here and compete, the only team we played down here was Loyola, but we came down here for basketball and baseball,” said Thielbar. “We spent a lot of time in southern Minnesota, so I mean this is where I’m from. It’s always special to be back here and it was a lot of fun growing up and competing with all the teams down here.”

The Randolph High School alumni was drafted by Minnesota in 2013 and has been with the club ever since, with the exception of a few years after 2015.

In recent weeks, the Twins have made off-season trades to further the clubs depth — and both Thielbar and Morneau agree, Twins fans should be excited about the season ahead for Minnesota.

“Getting Carlos Correa to come back changed everything, that kind of set things in motion, unfortunately had to trade a batting champion in Luis Arraez, but you have to give up something to get something,” said Morneau. “You realized last year, you can never have too much starting pitching, every team goes through some point where they call on the depth that they have and we’ve started to build out that depth with some trades that have been made.”

Baseball fans will get to see it all unfold in about one month as the Twins’ spring training schedule begins February 25th against Tampa Bay.