Jim Wiesner, a beloved baseball lifer who worked for the Twins since their arrival in 1961 as a clubhouse attendant and equipment manager for 37 years, died Sunday, a day after his 77th birthday.

Wiesner had been struggling with health issues since suffering a pair of recent strokes, said T.J. Wiesner, Jim's son, on Monday.

"He was a baseball man through and through," T.J. said. "He loved the players, the players loved him, and he loved doing his job. He was regarded as one of the best equipment managers in the game."

The Twins honored Wiesner with a scoreboard tribute during Monday's game, and former players and friends paid their respects on social media.

Jim Kaat wrote Monday on Twitter that there "was no more loyal" Twins fan than Wiesner, adding, "Loved the players and served them well."

Added Bert Blyleven on Twitter: "No one, I mean no one loved the Twins more then Jim Wiesner. He was a great clubhouse man and a friend to all. RIP my friend."

Wiesner became a batboy for the old St. Paul Saints at age 13 before graduating to clubhouse attendant from 1958 to '60, their final three seasons of play. He became Twins visiting clubhouse attendant the following season when the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota, a position he held for 24 years.

He became Twins equipment manager in 1985 and quickly became a player favorite.

He and Kent Hrbek had a particularly close bond, T.J. said, and his father rode with the first baseman in the 1987 and 1991 World Series parades.

"He loved him like a son," T.J. said. "I always considered kind of like a brother."

Hrbek wrote on Twitter: "I had my greatest memories in the Major Leagues with Wiesy. God must of needed to upgrade his clubhouse manager. RIP my friend. Love ya."

When Wiesner left the Twins, a former Twins batboy he had hired, Mark "Lunch" McKenzie, snapped him up as an assistant at Concordia, where he also was deeply loved by his players, T.J. said. "Everything about him was baseball," he said.

Wiesner was admired for his dedication and work ethic, but also the joy that he emanated.

"I've never gotten up in the morning and said, 'Geez, I've got to go back to the ballpark,' " the elder Wiesner said in 1987. "I feel there's not a lot of people who can say that about their jobs. I know a lot of people that say, 'Oh, geez, today's only Thursday.'

"… The bottom line is you've got to love your work. And I love it."

Wiesner also spent 25 years as visiting clubhouse manager for the Vikings. He is survived by his wife, Margie; his son, T.J., a former Twins bullpen catcher and St. Paul Saints bullpen coach; daughter, Barbie; and five grandchildren.