T.C. Bear is the Minnesota Twins mascot. On April 3, 2000, he was officially introduced to the state of Minnesota. T. C. is partially based on the Hamm’s Beer Bear, a mascot used in ads for Hamm’s Brewery, which was a founding sponsor of the Twins in their early years.
The letters “T. C.” stand for the “Twin Cities,” which are Minneapolis and St. Paul, respectively. Previously, a loon named “Twinkie” served as the mascot for the Minnesota Twins from 1980 to 1981.
Imagine going to a Twins game without him making his individual motions for each player as the starting lineups are announced, or roaming about the field, butting his enormous smile into fan photos, as he does.
Why Is The Mascot A Bear and Not A Set Of Twins As The Team’s Name Suggests?
Twinkie the Loon was the Twins’ mascot from 1980 to 1981, long before T.C. Bear appeared in 2000. Twinkie was quite the sight. Seen from above, he had short black legs, a body of black and white feathers, a large orange beak, large eyes, and a giant red He’d juggle and unicycle throughout Metropolitan Stadium.
But that’s another tale.
The T.C. tale is noteworthy because the previous manager Gene Mauch was a baseball purist who didn’t like the juggling avian and its antics distracting from the real business of baseball on the field. Twinkie the Loon didn’t go to the Metrodome with the team after two seasons. For over two decades, the club had no mascot.
Doepner recounted how the Giants’ Willie Mays bobblehead giveaway in 1999 sparked the Twins’ desire for further fan involvement. A mascot was reinstated after four successful bobblehead giveaways, according to Doepner.
A period when the Twins were trying to think of ways to give fans more than just a game to look forward to, Doepner said.
Several ideas were discussed, including wolves, raccoons, and bears, as well as an undefined species Doepner described as “a bigfoot or something.” Various advertising organizations and fans were consulted during the Twins leadership discussion. Would a wolf mascot terrify kids too much?
“They wanted something kid-friendly, and a wolf howling is probably the best option,” Doepner said. “You may have a loon making its lovely sound, and so on. And I think the friendly bear was just a natural fit.”