All-Star FanFest opens at Convention Center

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 12, 2014 - 8:55 AM

The 400,000-square-foot showcase should have something for everyone.

From yoga, to throwing your arm out at the fast-pitch game, to asking questions of baseball royalty, the “world’s greatest indoor baseball theme park” opened Friday morning at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Fan Fest, which runs from Friday through Tuesday at the Minneapolis Convention Center, opened its doors to a throng of fans young and old at 9 a.m.

Among the early highlights: Twins legends Rod Carew and Tony Oliva posed for pictures with fans near the entrance to the sprawling space, while Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven put on a pitching clinic for young fans.

Adult tickets are $35, but there is a buy one, get one free offer Friday and other special offers during other days of the Fan Fest.

The five-day FanFest includes artifacts from the Baseball Hall of Fame, a participatory exhibit detailing the history of baseball in Minnesota, and meet-and-greets with current Twins players and former major league greats, including 11 Hall of Famers — Bert Blyleven, Rod Carew, Paul Molitor, Orlando Cepeda, Andre Dawson, Rollie Fingers, Fergie Jenkins, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield.

Bring your checkbook, your appetite, your yoga pants, your fastball and whatever else you need to take a swing at 400,000 square feet of baseball paradise:

Meet the stars

About 50 baseball legends and current players will be available for photos, Q&A sessions and autographs. Highlights include:

Rod Carew and Tony Oliva: Photos 9 to 9:30 a.m. Friday; Q&A 10 to 10:30 a.m. the same day (and then Oliva again 11:30 a.m. to noon).

Paul Molitor: Autographs 10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday and Tuesday; Q&A 1 to 1:30 p.m. Monday; photos 2:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Kent Hrbek: Q&A 3:30 to 4 p.m. and autographs 4 to 6 p.m. Friday.

Tom Kelly: Photos 1:30 to 2 p.m and Q&A noon to 12:30 p.m. Friday.

Bert Blyleven: Photos 10 to 10:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday; Q&A 10:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday.

Joe Mauer: Photos 9 to 9:30 a.m. Monday and Tuesday; Q&A 10 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday; autographs 11:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday.

Sweat a little

Mauer will have a clinic for kids on the FanFest diamond from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Monday.

Other clinics will be held on the diamond throughout the five days, by legends such as Blyleven, Kelly, Hrbek and Molitor.

Fans can swing a bat at the home run derby Monday or in the batting cages, practice their slides on the FanFest field, or test their arms at the pitching station.

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