All in the family

Loyalty key for Twins, whose owner, management have tenure that spans decades

All in the family

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Jim Pohlad's official title with the Twins is owner and chief executive officer, but he's quick to joke that he refers to himself by a different -- albeit corny -- title.

"My main role is CFO: Chief Fan Officer," Pohlad said. "I view myself as the No. 1 fan."

Now in his 31st season with the organization, Pohlad has been affiliated with the Twins since his father, Carl, bought the team in 1984. He's been in his current role as owner and CEO since his dad passed away in 2009.

Pohlad's strategy as owner is not to meddle, but instead to delegate to his top executives, who include president Dave St. Peter and general manager Terry Ryan. Pohlad said he tries to stay out of the way for the most part, unless something needs his approval.

"Day to day, it's about talking on a frequent basis with Dave and Terry, just for them to let me know what's going on," Pohlad said. "I try not to get involved in the management decisions. There are clearly big decisions from time to time, but they don't happen very frequently."

Pohlad is also known for his loyalty. The trio of top brass has quite the staying power, as St. Peter is in his 25th season with the Twins and Ryan is in his 29th, including stints as GM from 1994-2007 and 2011-present. The Twins also have had just two managers since 1986; Tom Kelly was at the helm from 1986-2001 before current Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire took over in '02. Consistency has bred success along the way, as the Twins won two World Series under Kelly in '87 and '91, plus American League Central titles under Gardenhire.

"It's our No. 1 objective," Pohlad said. "That doesn't mean we want to accept less than good performance from any given position. The fact that people are loyal to the organization and have been here for a long time plays a big part in it."

Even with that loyalty and continuity, Pohlad knew that the Twins couldn't compete without a new stadium, as the club had played indoors in the outdated and dilapidated Metrodome since '82. He and his father worked diligently for more than a decade to bring a new ballpark to Minnesota.

Their vision became a reality in 2010, when the Twins moved into beautiful Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. It increased revenues for the club, and Pohlad believes that will help the team compete with higher payrolls as a result.

"It was like going from playing in black and white to playing in color," Pohlad said.

Target Field is set to be on full display when the Twins host the All-Star Game this year for the first time since 1985. Pohlad said the dream wouldn't be possible without the foresight of his father, along with the help of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.

"We're super eager," Pohlad said. "It's been almost 30 years [since the city's last All-Star Game]. So the fact that there are 30 teams and it cycles through was one reason for our thinking and, of course, opening up a brand new park was another. The Commissioner was very supportive of us getting a new ballpark, so it all just came together perfectly."

Rhett Bollinger covers the Twins for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.