Twins gear up for 55th annual Winter Caravan

Expansive midwest event will make 40 stops beginning Jan. 12 in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins on Monday announced details for their 55th annual Twins Winter Caravan, which will feature more than 40 stops throughout the Upper Midwest from Jan. 12-22.

The Twins Winter Caravan, presented by AmericInn Hotels and Suites, is one of the longest running and biggest team caravans in professional sports. It's set to feature four different legs that head throughout Twins Territory over a two-week span. It includes visits to schools, hospitals, local businesses and more, while also featuring a Hot Stove night program where fans can interact and ask questions.

It all starts on Jan. 12, with two different legs starting in Minnesota. New Twins manager Paul Molitor headlines the first leg, which heads south, and will be joined by closer Glen Perkins, third-base coach Gene Glynn and broadcaster Kris Atteberry.

General manager Terry Ryan will also join the first leg on Monday night for a Hot Stove program in St. Paul and another one on Thursday in Red Wing, Minn. Twins president Dave St. Peter will also be there to join Ryan in St. Paul on Monday, while assistant general manager Rob Antony will appear at the annual banquet for Class A Cedar Rapids (Iowa) on Tuesday night.

The second leg features former Twins player and current broadcaster Dan Gladden along with right-hander Kyle Gibson and left-handed reliever Caleb Thielbar. The second leg heads north with two stops in North Dakota in Fargo on Tuesday and Grand Forks on Wednesday. St. Peter will join the second leg for the night program in Fargo.

The second week of the Caravan begins on Jan. 19 with two more legs heading out. Left-handed reliever Brian Duensing and second baseman Brian Dozier are on the first leg with broadcasters Jack Morris and Dick Bremer. It features one stop on Sioux Falls, S.D., on Monday night, but otherwise stays in Minnesota with night stops in cities such as Mankato and Rochester. It wraps up on Thursday in time for the annual Diamond Awards on Jan. 22 at Target Field.

The final leg also begins on Jan. 19, and includes outfielder Jordan Schafer, infielder Trevor Plouffe, broadcaster Cory Provus and Twins legends Bert Blyleven and Tony Oliva. It goes north with the first night stop in Alexandria, and also features a stop in Wahpeton, N.D., on Wednesday afternoon. It wraps up on Thursday with the final three stops in Ortonville, Benson and Willmar.

For more information, specific times and locations will be announced in the coming weeks on www.twinsbaseball.com/caravan.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.