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Twins Caravan times its WDC visit perfectly

Minnesota hitting coach Tom Brunansky talks to WDC students in the company of infielder Brian Dozier and relief pitcher Glen Perkins.1 / 4
Twins mascot T.C. Bear was mobbed by WDC students.2 / 4
WDC elemntary student Brooke Self thinks about a question posed by Twins announcer Dan Gladden Thursday morning.3 / 4
Wadena-Deer Creek students Sean Carlson, left, Garrett Redning and Jeffrey Umland were in the crowd cheering last Thursday when the Minnesota Twins sent a Winter Caravan delegation to WDC Elementary.4 / 4

Not everyone loves baseball but when the Minnesota Twins Winter Caravan comes to town they always create a carnival atmosphere.

This year's 54th Caravan took 13 players, five broadcasters and four coaches to more than 60 cities. These travelers logged more than 4,500 miles across the frozen tundra of the Upper Midwest.

Not every pro sports team but they should. The Twins have made some smart marketing moves and seeing pro baseball players in January, in Minnesota, is probably the best tonic for the winter-weary people they visit. It tells you that spring is on the way and major league baseball's spring training season is right around the corner.

Two current Twins, Brian Dozier and Glen Perkins, joined two Twins legends, Dan Gladden and Tom Brunansky, in an appearance last Thursday at the Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary School. They brought T.C. the Bear along for good measure. On hand to greet them were hundreds of excited kids - chattering away, doing "the Wave", laughing, dancing and singing.

Gladden, now a Twins broadcaster, emceed the event and posed questions to the players and their young fans. T.C. and WDC mascot Wooly the Wolverine engaged in contests ranging from free throw shooting to wiffle ball hitting to dancing. It was fun for everyone and thanks to the hometown crowd, Wooly pulled off a victory.

The Twins have had three straight years of sub-par finishes but their record did not matter to the WDC faithful last week. It was 20 below outside but spring, and baseball, were keeping the WDC gym nice and warm..