Where Do The ‘Robes’ Rank Among the All-Time Best Minnesota Twins Gimmicks?

(Above cover photo courtesy of Dustin Morse)

Minnesota Twins masher Josh Donaldson gifted all his teammates with high quality robes before they enter postseason quarantine. The pictures of players wearing the robes before the game were cool, and all but the real fun began when Nelson Cruz started putting his robe on teammates returning to the dugout after they came up big. 

And with that, a legend was born. 

This isn’t the first fun gimmick of sorts the Minnesota Twins players have embraced over the years. I decided to toss on my robe — bought at Kohls and nowhere near as nice as the ones Donaldson gifted — and rank my favorites. 

5: Piranhas – 2006-07 – The only one on this list that was created by someone who wasn’t a Minnesota Twin. The lovably goofy White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen dubbed some of our scrappy players like Nick Punto and Jason Bartlett ‘Piranhas’ for how they were always getting on base. The final part of the infamous quote is so classic Ozzy. “People worry about the catcher, what’s his name, Mauer? Fine, yeah, a good hitter, but worry about the little [guys], they’re on base all the time.”

4: Smell Those RBIs – 2006 – Started by our oft-naked backup catcher Mike Redmond, we all smelled those RBIs that season. The story goes that Redmond would tell hitters to always “smell those RBIs” when they were up to bat with men on. It caught on like wildfire with the official hand gesture (repeatedly strumming your nose with your index finger) and t-shirts being sold outside the Metrodome. The fact that ‘Naked Guy’ Mike Redmond coined the bit just made it all the more fun. 

3: Robes – 2020 – The only reason the Rally Robes (is that what we are going with? Have we landed on an official name?) aren’t higher is because the story is still being written. Here is hoping the legend keeps growing and these become a unanimous No. 1 after the Twins win the World Series and every single one of us opens up our own Rally Robe on Christmas morning. 

2: Dance Parties – 2015 – Torii Hunter returned to the Twins in 2015 and injected a boost in leadership – but more importantly, he created the Dance Party. After each Twins win they would celebrate by dancing in the clubhouse after. It started innocently enough but soon escalated to the point of fog machines, light shows, costumes, etc. It was fun. Sports should always be fun. 

1: Bomba Squad – 2019 – For the majority of my life the Twins were anything but power hitters. I remember how big of a deal it was in 2006 when Justin Morneau became the first Twin to rake 30 jack sammies since 1987. Then…the BOMBA SQUAD came around. Five different dudes mashed 30+ bombas and set the MLB record for most homers in a season. It was such a fun summer for the Twins that also ended with 100+ wins and red BOMBA SZN Homer Hanky. Lets just not talk about what happened in the postseason. Hopefully the robes bring us better luck this year.