Rand: Twins' World Series fever lives

  • Updated: October 25, 2012 - 11:38 PM

A transplanted Twins fan will pay tribute to their two titles this weekend.

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Kent Hrbek's grand slam was a hit with Greg Gagne, Kirby Puckett, who had a fine day himself, and Don Baylor, who wasn't a slouch, either.

Photo: John Croft, Star Tribune file

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And we'll see you ... tomorrow night?

That's the hope of Paul Harris, anyway. Harris, a displaced Minnesota native and Twins fan now living in suburban Denver, is keeping his fandom -- and the memory of the Twins' two World Series titles -- very much alive. Thursday was the 25th anniversary of Game 7 of the 1987 World Series; Saturday marks the 21st anniversary of Game 7 in 1991. And to mark the occasions, Harris is throwing a big party at his house Saturday in Denver, complete with multiple TV replays and rooms full of memorabilia.

"The first time we had [a party like this] was the 10-year anniversary in 1997," said Harris, who was living in Brooklyn Park at the time. Work has since brought him to Denver, but that doesn't mean the party has to stop. "I thought, 'This would be pretty cool to do again.' We have a bigger place out here, so I was able to put up even more displays."

Those two championships have a special place in the hearts of many Minnesotans, but Harris has particular fondness. Now 46, he was 21 at the time of the first World Series title. He attended all eight World Series games combined in 1987 and 1991 -- when the Twins went 8-0 at the Metrodome.

"I thought it was such a special time in the state," he said. "It was so much of a community thing, a unifying thing, and it's worthy of remembering."

The party this year will be much the same as it was in 1997, with this caveat: Technological advances have made some things easier. Harris plans to run a radio broadcast replay of the Twins' call through his iPod. On three different TV screens, highlights from 1987 and 1991 will remind partygoers -- many of them displaced Twins fans as well -- of good times.

Harris and his wife, Karen, moved to Colorado in the mid-2000s and therefore weren't here for the opening of Target Field. Their fondest memories come from the Dome, and Paul Harris can be counted among those who will be sad when the building is torn down to make way for the new Vikings stadium.

"I hope they put a memorial up there or something," he said.

If not, Harris will always have his memories -- kept alive even now, many years and states removed.

MICHAEL RAND

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