Mankato, Minn. – The Mankato MoonDogs are excited to welcome former Minnesota Twins great Tony Oliva to town on Tuesday, July 20 when he will serve as the keynote speaker at the 2021 Northwoods League All-Star Luncheon Banquet at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in downtown Mankato.
The MoonDogs, who will be hosting the league’s mid-summer classic for the first time since 2007, will be putting on a two-day celebration of Northwoods League festivities on Monday, July 19 and Tuesday, July 20. Following Monday night’s Fan Fest and Home Run Challenge at ISG Field, the attention will move to the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center over lunch when the league’s all-star selections will be honored during the banquet that will be highlighted by the featured guest, Tony Oliva.
Oliva, who will be celebrating his 83rd birthday on July 20, played his entire 15-year career with the Minnesota Twins from 1962-1976. After making his major league debut on September 9, 1962, the Cuban-born Oliva went on to enjoy a prolific career for the Twins. The left-handed hitting Oliva won American League Rookie of the Year honors in 1964 which also started a string of eight consecutive All-Star selections (1964-1971). The outfielder went on to win a Gold Glove Award in 1966 and was a three-time American League batting champion, posting the top average in the junior circuit in 1964, 1965 and 1971. After his playing career came to a close, he became a member of the Twins coaching staff and is the only on-field team member to appear with all three Minnesota Twins’ World Series teams: star outfielder in 1965, hitting coach in 1987 and bench coach in 1991. Oliva’s number 6 jersey was officially retired in 1991 by the Minnesota Twins and he is a proud member of the Twins Hall of Fame. Tony is also in the midst of his 16th season in the Twins Spanish language broadcast booth.
The Northwoods League All-Star luncheon banquet, presented by Pepsi of Mankato and Tow Distributing, is open to the public. Tickets are just $30 and include lunch and the All-Star program which will run from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center. Tickets for the luncheon banquet can be purchased by visiting the MoonDogs ticket office at 1221 Caledonia Street (Mankato) or by calling 507-625-7047. Tickets for the Fan Fest/Home Run Challenge and the 2021 All-Star Game can also be purchased online at www.mankatomoondogs.com.
The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 27th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 250 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB Gold Glove finalist and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.mankatomoondogs.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.