Twins fan and local activist Mike (Sammy) Samuelson dies

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 29, 2013 - 1:46 PM
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Mike 'Sammy' Samuelson (right), with Julian Loscalzo and Tom Bartsch at Target Field in 2010. Samuelson died Monday.

Photo: file, Star Tribune

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On Friday night, Mike (Sammy) Samuelson spoke to several hundred people gathered at the Nicollet Island Pavilion for an annual baseball banquet put on by a number of his friends. He received a lifetime achievement award and was subjected to some of the heckling that he routinely dished out over the years.

Former Twins Jack Morris and Tom Brunansky were among the featured speakers, as well as Twins president Dave St. Peter and retired umpire Tim Tschida. But the longest ovation of the evening came for Samuelson, who was known more as "Sammy" than by his first name.

Samuelson, 57, died Monday morning after battling leukemia and other physical ailments for a number of years.

In a column written by the Star Tribune's Jon Tevlin last month, Loscalzo said that Samuelson did the kind of work "where you are appreciated for a short time, then you're gone. Nobody puts up a plaque for you. He challenged the powers that be and it cost him jobs, but it came from a value system that Sammy lives by."

Tevlin also wrote: "Not long ago, Sammy asked his doctor if he should buy season tickets for next year. The answer was no. Sammy waited for a couple of days, then said, 'What the hell.' He bought the tickets.

"Then I called Dave St. Peter and said, 'Dave, if I don't make it to April, can you give my wife a refund?' It's the first time anyone asked him that."

You can read the full column here.

Visitation will be Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Willwerscheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Ave., St. Paul. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, 1500 Franklin Ave. SE, Minneapolis.

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