The Minnesota Twins quietly removed Calvin Griffith’s stature from in front of their stadium last month in response to a national groundswell of doing away with past racist images. Will the team’s longtime logo be next?
Lifelong Twins fan Dr. Charles Crutchfield III recently revived his idea of several years ago about redoing the team’s “Minnie and Paul” logo that looms large in the Twins’ ballpark—two White players dressed in white, shaking hands in front of a white ball across a white Mississippi River.
“I simply wanted a respectful and subtle, yet very significant update to this logo that honors and reflects the team, the fans and players of different backgrounds,” the longtime dermatologist, MSR contributor and Twins season ticketholder said.
The 60-year-old logo, which is also a patch worn on players’ uniforms, is a throwback to the days when Griffith owned the Twins and the club was virtually all-White. It stands 46 feet tall at centerfield and lights up whenever Minnesota hits a homer. If longtime corporate brands Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben can be permanently retired in recent weeks, why not good old Minnie and Paul, if not retired at least modified or redesigned?
Crutchfield earlier this month conducted an informal poll on Facebook on whether the Twins’ logo should be changed, stay the same, or be done away with altogether. He also presented his own proposed new logo for review. He received around 150 responses: 85 percent like a modified logo, 12 percent want something new, and three percent prefer to keep it as is.
“It’s tough to get 97 percent on anything,” said Crutchfield of the results, “so there’s an overwhelming support for a refresh.” He reported this to Twins President Dave St. Peter.
“I’m very familiar with the results,” said St. Peter last week. “The Minnie and Paul [logo]…is a fan favorite and one our fans love.”
Asked if the logo might need a makeover given its racially insensitive design by current standards, St. Peter said, “It’s an ongoing conversation inside our organization. We are going through right now a brand identity study. We don’t want to make this decision [on the logo] in a vacuum and want to do it as part of that study.”
The Twins president told us that if any changes are made, it won’t happen until 2022 at the earliest. Crutchfield commented when he heard the proposed timeline that at least Twins officials have listened and taken his poll seriously. He said he believes the team will do the right thing and add some color to the two White players.
“It would be nice to look at that scoreboard and see Kirby Puckett, Tony Oliva, Rod Carew and Torii Hunter—the sooner the better,” concluded Crutchfield.
Twins display front-office diversity
Earlier this month in our multi-part series on front office diversity we challenged the Twins’ diversity and inclusion efforts. Last week the team hosted a “Minnesota Twins Front Office Diversity Roundtable” that featured Black employees in their front office.
Amateur Scouting Director Sean Johnson, Senior Scouting Advisor Deron Johnson, Pro Scouting Fellow Navery Moore and Advance Scouting Analyst Josh Ruffin talked about their careers in baseball and took viewers’ questions during the July 21 webinar. Their comments will be featured in a future column.
Charles Hallman is a contributing reporter and award-winning sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.