Twins set for Tuesday visit; Winter Caravan stop includes free lunch at Grand Ely Lodge

by Tom Coombe -

It won’t be Target Field, but the Grand Ely Lodge will serve as the next best thing on Tuesday.
Ballpark hotdogs and brats will be served up free of charge, and baseball will be the hot topic as the Minnesota Twins Winter Caravan comes to town.
A contingent headed by Twins legend, 1991 World Series hero and Minnesota native Jack Morris will headline the “Lunch with the Twins” event, slated for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the conference area at the Grand Ely Lodge.
The free event includes the ballpark lunch, provided by Twins radio affiliate WELY, and a chance to mix and mingle with the Twins, who are in the midst of their 55th annual goodwill tour across the upper Midwest.
One lucky fan will also leave with a new television, donated by Midcontinent Communications, and various autographed items will also be part of a raffle - with proceeds going to youth baseball in the Ely area.
Morris, now a member of the Twins broadcast team, will join Twins radio play-by-play voice Cory Provus and two present day Twins: shortstop Eduardo Escobar and pitcher Hector Santiago.
Twins Mascot TC the Bear will also be on hand for a program that will include a meet and greet session, the presentation of a highlight video, and a chance to ask questions.
The free lunch includes brats, hot dogs, chips, potato salad and a beverage.
The Twins’ visit has become somewhat of a winter tradition in Ely. This marks the ninth time since 2004 that the caravan will stop in Ely.
In all, the 2017 Twins Winter Caravan includes stops in more than 50 communixwties across the upper Midwest from Jan. 16-26. It’s presented by Mayo Clinic, Fox Sports Net North and the Twins Radio Network, which includes local station WxELY.
Several teams of current and former players visit schools, hospitals, businesses and service clubs and take part in traditional “hot stove” dinner programs.
The current and former Twins and broadcasting personalities who have appeared at winter events in Ely since 2004 include former manager Ron Gardenhire, former pitching coach Rick Anderson, Twins legends Tony Oliva and Tom Brunansky, broadcasters Dick Bremer, John Gordon, Dan Gladden, Kris Atteberry and Morris, and players including Matt Guerrier, Mike Redmond, Brendan Harris, Pat Neshek, Glen Perkins, Boof Bonser, Lew Ford, Corey Koskie, Grant Balfour, Brian Duensing, Chris Parmelee, Trevor Plouffe and Anthony Swarzak.