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Baseball lovers excited for another Twins Caravan Wednesday morning

BRIAN KORTHALS/DAILY GLOBE Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire shakes hands with Katherine Kazemba after she won a bobblehead doll at last year’s Twins Caravan event held at the YMCA. This year’s Caravan will be in Worthington Wednesday and Windom on Thursday.

WORTHINGTON — Outdoor baseball made a return to Minnesota with the opening of Target Field almost four years ago and, while the weather outside may be a little too frightful for peanuts and cracker jacks right now, baseball will be here before long. The Minnesota Twins have taken notice.

The 2014 Twins Winter Caravan got off to a start on Monday and has stops planned in nearly 50 communities across the Midwest, including two locally, in Worthington and Windom. It is all in an effort to ramp up excitement for the upcoming season — which starts in earnest — in less than a month.

Wednesday the Caravan will be in Worthington, as local radio stations have brought the team to the Worthington Area YMCA at 8:30 a.m. This year Brian Duensing, Ryan Pressly and Dick Bremer are on the docket to appear. The same three men will make a private stop at Windom Area Middle School on Thursday.

“We’re very excited to have the Caravan here in Worthington,” Worthington Area YMCA executive director Andy Johnson said. “We hosted them last year. We are just glad we can play host to this and invite people to come and hear about the upcoming season.”

The Twins finished last season 66-96, good enough for third place in the American League Central.

Duensing is a south-paw pitcher and was drafted from Nebraska in the third round of the 2005 amateur draft. The 30-year old put together a 6-2 record through the 2013 campaign, striking out 56 batters and walking 22.

Much more recently, Pressly made his debut last year. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2007 amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox and later was brought in on the 2012 rule 5 draft. He had an earned run average of 3.87 through 76.2 innings of work.

Leading the Caravan will be Dick Bremer, sports broadcaster for Fox Sports North and play-by-by announcer for the Twins and of many teams at the University of Minnesota.

Johnson said he hopes many fans will take advantage of the opportunity afforded to them to hear about — and to meet — the Twins at the YMCA.

“Anytime we can have professional athletes come to a town like Worthington and they can reach out to our community who supports them, it is a great deal,” Johnson concluded of Wednesday’s Caravan stop. “We look forward to playing a role in that.”

They’ll come early in the morning, so there won’t be a chance for younsters to be there, but it will be great for adults to come and meet these people and possibly get pictures and their autographs.”