Former Minnesota Twins coach and manager Ron Gardenhire will be on hand at Joe Faber Field Friday night when the Rox welcome the Duluth Huskies to the MAC for their home opener.

Gardenhire, who managed the Twins from 2002-2014, most recently was manager of the rebuilding Detroit Tigers from 2018-2020 before retiring in September. Since stepping back from Major League Baseball the man Twins fans affectionately refer to as "Gardy" has been relocating.

"Retirement has been good, we've been staying down in Florida for a while now," Gardenhire said. "We sold our house in Minnesota... so, retirement is good and we get to make our own plans now, which we haven't been able to do for a long time."

Gardenhire says that he is very familiar with Central Minnesota as an avid fisherman. He says he has made the trip up many times to visit his buddy's cabin.

"My buddy Walleye's family has a cabin on Lake Ossawinnamakee (in Crow Wing County) so every All Star break we would fly up there for three or four days," Gardenhire said. "I know that area really well, I've eaten in St. Cloud a thousand times, visited on the Twins Winter Caravan and I absolutely love it when I go up there."

The St. Cloud Rox open the 2021 season on Tuesday night at Mankato before coming to Faber Field Friday night for their home opener. Gardenhire will be on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, mingle with fans and sign autographs.

Rox baseball can be heard all season long on AM 1390 and FM 93.9 Granite City Sports.

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