FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins announced their plans for their home opener at Target Field on April 7 against the A's, with both clubs wearing Stand Up To Cancer patches as a show of support for general manager Terry Ryan and those impacted by cancer everywhere.
Ryan, 60, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in early February, and had surgery to remove a cancerous mass from his neck on Feb. 11. He's currently undergoing radiation treatment until late April. It's the second time the Twins have honored him this year, as all players and staff members wore Stand Up To Cancer shirts on the first day of official workouts on Feb. 22.
Both the Twins and the A's will sport special SU2C caps during batting practice on April 7. Following the game, the Twins batting practice caps will be autographed and auctioned off via twinsbaseball.com, with proceeds benefitting SU2C.
At the end of the second inning, all fans will also be invited to join players from both teams as they "Stand Up To Cancer." Placards will be distributed to fans as they enter Target Field and fans will be encouraged to personalize their placard with the name of someone they know who has been affected by cancer.
The day begins with free breakfast for fans located on the 7th Street side of Target Plaza from 6 to 9 a.m. CT. The gates then open at 1 p.m. for a 3:10 p.m. scheduled start.
Twins legends will be on hand at their respective gates, with Bert Blyleven representing fellow Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew at Gate 3, Tony Oliva at Gate 6, Kent Hrbek at Gate 15, Tom Kelly representing Rod Carew at Gate 29 and a Twins official representing Kirby Puckett at Gate 34.
There will also be several on-field performances, as Home Free, a local a cappella group that won Season 5 of NBC's "The Sing-Off" is scheduled to perform at 2:30 p.m., and the national anthem will be performed by local singer Thomasina Petrus. The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by Minneapolis-based actor Barkhad Abdi, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the film "Captain Phillips."