It makes no difference to Angie Lee that the Twins athletes have streets and avenues named in their honor.
It will, however, make her smile when the Twins start off their new season with a great game and a win. It makes her feel like all her loyalty to the team has been well rewarded.
Angie is not your run-of-the-mill fair weather fan, not by a long shot. She has been a staunch fan for a lot of years. At the fantastic age of 108, Angie has seen more Twins’ action than most people. “I was never athletic myself and didn’t have much to do with sports as a kid, but when I grew up and married my husband, Art, there was just no getting around it. Baseball was going to be a big part of our life, and I soon came to love it, maybe even as much as Art did. Art played as much baseball as he could, He was a good player, and he loved to go to see the Twins play. I guess I you could say I have enjoyed seeing the Twins play since 1936, and I still do. They are just the greatest guys,” said Lee.
Lee was born on Nov. 30, 1906, in Dawson, she has remained in the area all of her 108 years. She and her husband always lived in the Clarkfield area, where Art was the manager of Consumer Oil and Lee was a contented housewife and mother of one son, Jon.
“My son Jon loved sports as a kid and played lots of sports while in high school and college too, both Art and I loved to go watch him play at his games. It is hard to imagine but my son is now 76, doesn’t seem possible. He gets a kick out of my being a big Twins fan, and he might be a little envious of some of the things I have received from the Twins,” said Lee.
Lee has lived at the Clarkfield Care Center for seven years and has bonded with care giver/friend Jeanine Satre, who took it upon herself to make a real connection between Lee and the Minnesota Twins.
“I have worked at the Clarkfield Care Center for 30 years and I just felt that all Angie’s years of being a loyal fan should be rewarded so I got in touch with someone who was able to make it happen, I just wrote and explained that I was sure Angie must be their oldest fan and got a letter right back, and the gifts started arriving. It has been a lot of fun for all of us at the care center. We are like one big family here,” said Satre.
“Ever since Jeanine made the contact and told them how many years I have followed their games and how old I am, I have gotten gifts from them every year for my birthday. They just keep coming,” said Lee.
Lee’s living space at the Care Center looks like a small Twins club house. You get the feel of this fan’s loyalty when you knock on her door that displays a sign that tells you that you are entering the “Twins Zone.” This number one fan has a Twins collection that could be a small museum in itself. There are playing cards, trading cards, baseball caps, stocking caps, Christmas ornaments, figurines, and several bobble heads, blankets, T-shirts, posters, pictures and greeting cards that the team members have signed. Her most treasured gift thus far is the life-size cloth banner featuring Twins player, Joe Mauer.
“I don’t know who will want all this stuff when I am gone,” said Lee. “Jeanine says she will take it and she can have it all except him,” she said as she points to Joe Mauer. “No body gets him. Isn’t he a nice looking man? See down there at the bottom how they have the outline of his hand and shoe print?”
“I have Kent Hrbek’s card and Kirby Puckett’s signed first edition card, they are special. Kirby Puckett, I always loved to watch him play, he was good and a nice man, it was too bad he had to quit, and I felt bad when I heard he died. He always represented the Twins so well,” Lee said. The first edition of the Twin’s All Star Game 2014 official team year book is also one of her prized gifts which were sent to her.
“I am happy to see Torii Hunter is coming back. I like him. I also like basketball, the Gophers and I really enjoy watching the Links, Maya Moore, is a wonderful athlete. I wish they would get more credit, more recognition for the way they play. Those girls are very good athletes. I have never played basketball but it must be thrilling to be able to play like they do. They just amaze me,” said Lee.
“I think a good pitcher is needed, I am glad to see Joe Mauer back after his injury, and I think Hunter will be back in pretty good shape too. One thing I just can’t believe is how much money the athletes make now days. What a wonderful life that must be, to play a game you love and get paid to play it. When my husband and his team mates played they just did it for the fun of it but athletes now do make a lot of money, it is really something.
I like going to sports events, even outdoors but there is something about going to see the Twins in a stadium, the atmosphere, the excitement, all those fans there cheering their team on. It is just the most fun. Wouldn’t it be something to go see them play in the new stadium? I would be so excited, the first thing I would do is faint. I think of any of the players I would like to have met, it would have been Kirby Puckett; I still admire him even though he is gone. That new stadium would be fun to see though. Jeanine has told me I should go with her but I wouldn’t dare but it must be beautiful, it would be so exciting to see. Have pity on me,” Lee said, as she placed her hand over her heart.
She does take part in the activities at the center but passes on the Yahtzee and bingo if there is a game on. If anyone in the center wants to know what the score was all they have to do is ask Lee, she knows.
“I like most sports, but I never got into hockey much. It just seems like such a rough game. That is one thing I have always liked about the Twins, they are gentlemen, you don’t see them display bad manners on the field, and they are all good sports about the game.
I also like Tom Brunansky; he signs my card every year, another nice man. They just have a way about themselves, and we can be proud to have them represent our state. Those Twins are something and I always love watching them.,” said Lee.
“It has been so much fun to talk about the Twins, usually people just want to ask me how it feels to be 108 years old and then they always ask me what my secret is to getting to this age. I always tell them it helps to just keep breathing.” Lee said.
“I think we should have a Twins day here at the center. We could have a ball game outside, have hot dogs and popcorn and invite the community to come and just have a lot of fun. Don’t you think that would be great, Angie?” asks Satre.
“Oh yes, any kind of ball game and the excitement it brings with it would be fun, but I am not sure we could get the Twins here. We would probably have to ask a local team to play here. I would have a shirt and cap for it,” she said with a chuckle.