Prince was dead. The iconic musician, whose ability to be cool knew no bounds, had died at age 57, found at his Paisley Park estate near Minneapolis. Music fans, culture buffs and regular-ol’ people who grew watching “Purple Rain” were stunned.The news shocked us all when it was confirmed Thursday:
In Minnesota, they loved Prince just a little bit more than the rest of us. He was their icon, their homegrown superstar who traveled the globe but always came back home. So it was poetic, really, that it was raining Thursday in Minneapolis. The Twins posted this picture saying farewell to Prince.
Prince wasn’t the biggest baseball fan around. He was way more into basketball. But Prince’s music is at least a big part of the baseball experience for Twins fans. After a majority of the homers hit by Twins players, Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” plays throughout Target Field.
Fans love it, because they’re from Minnesota so they’re required to love both Prince and Twins homers. That particular pairing has been a tradition since 2010 when Target Field opened. And it wasn’t necessarily about picking a home-run song. It was about figuring out a way to put more Prince in the baseball product.
“When we moved to Target Field,” Dustin Morse, the Twins’ senior director of communications told Yahoo Sports, “it was a way of rebranding. How do we incorporate Prince? What about if we did this after we hit a home run?”
There are a handful of Twins employees who work specifically on the in-game entertainment. But you know how it is with music: Everybody has an opinion and very rarely do people agree. Except in this case. Everybody thought it was perfect. That’s the power of Prince.
You know how some ideas in a brainstorming session are so good and so right on that they get adopted on the spot? Yep, that. So whether it was Jim Thome in 2010 or it’s Miguel Sano in 2016, fans have come to expect to hear Prince’s voice after a home run leaves the yard.
“I think most of the people in Twins territory appreciate Prince,” Morse said. “So it just made sense.”
Whether planned or unplanned, Prince has been connected to the team over the years. Here’s an example: Torii Hunter started the tradition of making Twins rookies sing “Little Red Corvette” to the rest of the clubhouse. This is what it looked like in 2015:
The Twins are on the road right now, but they’re playing at home again Monday. After the shock wore off of Prince’s death, members of the Twins’ front office jumped to work to think about how they’d pay tribute to Prince at their next home game. Things are still in the idea phase, but musically or otherwise, you can bet Prince will be remembered the next time the Twins play at Target Field.
Going forward, especially in the immediate future, every Twins homer and every note of “Let’s Go Crazy” will probably be a little more special to Minnesotans too.
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