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Ray Barton, Minnie and Paul

  • Blog Post by: Suzanne Solheim
  • April 21, 2010 - 1:15 PM

The story behind Minnie and Paul is an interesting one.  The old school Minnesota Twins logo of two fellas shaking hands across a river was created by Ray Barton, who passed away at the age of 80 with cancer at his home over the weekend.

Back in 1961, the St. Paul illustrator, who freelanced for advertising agencies and other companies in the Twin Cities, was paid $15 to create the design.  He assumed the image would be slapped on some cups and things at Metropolitan Stadium.  Little did he know, it would become one of the team's official logos, and nearly 50 years and three stadiums later, a giant mechanical sign towering over the center field wall.

Like many artists, he was not too fond of his own work.  According to his son, Tony Barton, Ray didn't especially like the Twins logo.  But now every time a Twins player hits a homer, Barton is immortalized as Minnie and Paul light up and greet each other.  It's pretty awesome, in a cheesy sort of way.

Sadly, Barton never made it out Target Field, but hopefully he caught the "Handshake" commercial which first brought his logo to life during Super Bowl XLIV.  For whatever reason, Minnie and Paul seem to have accents that closer resemble New Jersey and Long Island rather than the Twins Cities...  but, here's the commercial one last time.  Enjoy.

 

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