Dick Bremer, Joe Mauer share ceremonial first pitch at Twins home opener

The Minnesota Twins hosted the Cleveland Guardians Thursday in the 2024 home opener at Target Field, and for the first time in 40 years, Dick Bremer attended the game as a fan.

After four decades in the TV booth, Bremer stepped away from his broadcasting role with the Twins and has remained with the team in a community-based role. Bremer was honored before Thursday’s home opener by having the Twins’ TV booth in the press box renamed the "Dick Bremer Television Broadcast Booth" in his honor.

A plaque in his name now hangs on the wall outside the Bally Sports North booth. Bremer got choked up when accepting the plaque from Twins' President Dave St. Peter.

"I've been watching, and it's different. I've had some time to prepare for what this was all going to be like," Bremer said Thursday.

His day wasn’t over. Wearing a No. 40 jersey, the Twins had him throw out the ceremonial first pitch. His catcher? None other than Joe Mauer. Back in January, Mauer was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first try on the ballot.

In recent years, Bremer made the "left hand toast" a staple on social media to celebrate the team. After every Twins' win, home or away, Bremer would make himself an adult beverage, take a picture of it in his hand and post it to Twitter. It was always with the left hand, as wins are in the left column in the standings.

Since Bremer stepped down, Cory Provus was named the new TV voice of the Twins.

As for Thursday’s game, the Twins have had better days at the plate. They struck out 15 times and were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position in a 4-2 loss to the Guardians in front of 35,595 fans at Target Field. The Twins had 15 games in 2023 where they struck out 15 times. Their single-game season-high last year was 18. 

"I don’t know what to tell you. We’re looking at the at bats, I do think we can get better as a team and try to get those pitches in the zone and make better decisions on the pitches we’re seeing," said shortstop Carlos Correa, who had three of the Twins' seven hits on the day. "It’s easier said than done, but we don’t want it to be like last year where the first half completely was a mess for us."

Minnesota’s runs came on an Edouard Julien opposite field home run to left in the fifth, and Willi Castro scoring on a wild pitch in the seventh. Byron Buxton had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh and the Twins trailing 4-1, but he struck out on four pitches, his third strikeout of the day. Max Kepler popped out to second to end the threat after Castro scored.

"We obviously didn’t get the job done when we had the good opportunities and we had the people out there on base. We just have to do a better job, we just have to have better at-bats, flat out," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said after the loss.

The Guardians got three of their four runs on four hits and a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning off Pablo Lopez, who takes his first loss of the season. The Twins fall to 3-3 and are off Friday before hosting the Guardians on Saturday.