A lasting tribute to Tony

By Kelly Thesier
Updated: January 19, 2011

FARGO, N.D. — Twins president Dave St. Peter joined the Caravan on Tuesday night for the leg’s night stop at the Hub in Fargo and he provided updates as to what’s going on at Target Field for the 2011 season.

St. Peter’s big announcement to the packed crowd was that the Twins will be unveiling a Tony Oliva statue outside Gate 6 on Opening Day.

During his 15-year career in Minnesota, Oliva batted .304 with 220 home runs, 947 RBIs, 870 runs, 1,917 hits, 329 doubles, 48 triples, and 86 stolen bases in 1,676 games played.

Oliva was elected to the All-Star game his first eight seasons, surpassing Joe DiMaggio’s previous record of six. After retiring, he served as a batting coach for the Twins.

His No. 6 jersey was retired by the Twins on July 14, 1991. Oliva’s statue will join the three statues that are all currently in place at Target Field — Hall of Famers Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett and Rod Carew.

“Tony we all know is a player with a Hall of Fame resume and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the Veterans Committee voting that takes place next December,” St. Peter said.

“But he’s also probably been as good an ambassador as we’ve had in our franchise. So we as an organization frankly felt really good about the fact that Tony Oliva should be the next statue.”

“Over time there will be additional legend player statues, but we are really proud of the fact that there will be a Tony Oliva statue on or around Opening Day next year.”