Opening Day, 2011. Along with the classic pitcher's duel supplied by starters Carl Pavano of the Twins and Brett Anderson of the Oakland Athletics (and a save by returning closer Joe Nathan) in yesterday's 2-1 win, there was the wistful, great unveiling of Tony Oliva's statue outside of Target Field. Tony made it a classic, speaking from the heart his gratitude for the people that helped him in life, and for the art of sculptor, Bill Mack. For so many of us, Tony is our all-time greatest Twin. You have to agree with Tony: Mack DID make him look so good! Then again, the artist was already given a wonderful subject to work with - the Oliva swing was art unto itself.
|Photo from mid-1960's Twins yearbook.|
But those were yesterday's glories. The present has arrived to give the man his due, and not just for him - it is to create a collective joy, for us all. Again, there is the art...
Below is a nice video from Rick Prescott (from the BallPark Magic site) of yesterday's National Anthem performance by singer Maria Versalles and guitarist Rick Oliva. They, of course, are the children of Twins greats Zoilo Versalles and Tony O. Nice touch! Watch for the well-timed jet flyover at the end! Rick also posted this wonderful video of Tony's speech, from another perspective. You can see Jerry Bell, Dave St. Peter, Juan Berenguer, et. al., joining in the festivities honoring Tony. Well done, Rick!
Here are two wonderfully filmed videos. First is an opening day "from the ballpark" sights and sounds piece, then another(from Rick Oliva's vaults!) from the Sept. 3, 2010 Twins legends game. Look for Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, and Jack Morris in the clip. As a Star Spangled Banner connoisseur, I really enjoy the rendition - stylish, without the overblown production as rendered by so many singers (see "cater walling," "Christina Aguilera"). A Twins Treat!
Opening Day - Beautiful Stuff!
2011 MN Twins Opening Day // Target Field from capture studios on Vimeo.
What a treasure that Tony Oliva is!
As Herb would say "...and the count rides along..."