Kernels introduce Minnesota Twins as MLB affiliate
The Cedar Rapids Kernels are pleased to announce the signing of a four-year player development contract (PDC) with the Minnesota Twins. The contract will run through the end of the 2016 season.
“The entire Twins organization is thrilled to join into partnership with the Cedar Rapids Kernels and we look forward to working with the Kernels organization on the field and in the community,” said Jim Rantz, Sr. Director of Minor Leagues with the Twins.
“The Kernels have an outstanding reputation throughout professional baseball and the Twins are excited to bring our players and staff to Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium for the 2013 season. We are confident that this relationship will grow into one of the strongest affiliations in minor league baseball.”
Kernels President Gary Keoppel said, “We are very excited to begin a new chapter in Kernels baseball with our agreement with the Twins. Our fans have expressed their desires for an affiliation with a Midwest team and now that has happened.”
The announcement took place at a press conference at Perfect Game Field. In addition to Rantz, Bill Smith, Assistant to the President and GM; and Brad Steil, Director of Baseball Operations represented the Twins organization.
The announcement ends a 20-year partnership with the Los Angeles Angels that saw 89 players come through Cedar Rapids on their way to playing in the bigs and one MLB player made a rehab start (Ken Hill – 1998). There were 11 All-Star appearances made by those 89 players that appeared in Cedar Rapids between 1993 and 2012 at this point including a trio this season. (Mike Napoli, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo)
There have been 12 players who have played in Cedar Rapids throughout the years who have gone on to play for the Minnesota Twins since they moved from Washington in 1960. We had 9 players play for the franchise at its original home in Washington to bring the overall franchise total to 21 players to the best of my knowledge. Danny McDevitt (Cedar Rapids Raiders – 1956) was the first Cedar Rapids player to appear in a game for the Twins. McDevitt worked out of the Twins bullpen in 1961. John Roseboro (Cedar Rapids Raiders – 1955) was our only player to appear in a MLB All-Star game as a Twin (1969). The 1988 season saw three former Cedar Rapids players; Jim Dwyer (CR Cardinals – 1971), Les Straker (Cedar Rapids Reds – 1980) and Freddie Toliver (Cedar Rapids Reds – 1982) play for the Twins, the highest total of former Cedar Rapids alumni to be on the Twins roster in the same season. Alexi Casilla (Cedar Rapids Kernels – 2004-05) has the longest tenure of any former Cedar Rapids player with seven seasons playing for the Twins with Phil Roof (Cedar Rapids Braves – 1960) coming in second with six seasons with the Twins.
The list of Cedar Rapids alumni who have played for the Minnesota Twins
John Roseboro (Cedar Rapids Raiders – 1955) – 1968-69
Phil Roof (Cedar Rapids Braves – 1960) – 1970-76
Sal Campisi (Cedar Rapids Cardinals – 1966) – 1971
Les Straker (Cedar Rapids Reds – 1980) – 1987-88
Jim Dwyer (Cedar Rapids Cardinals – 1971) – 1988-89
Freddie Toliver (Cedar Rapids Reds – 1982) – 1988-89
Mo Sanford (Cedar Rapids Reds – 1990) – 1995
Kevin Jarvis (Cedar Rapids Reds – 1992) – 1997
Ramon Ortiz (Cedar Rapids Kernels – 1997) – 2007
Alexi Casilla (Cedar Rapids Kernels – 2004-05) 2006-12