ST. PAUL (AP) _ Thousands of fans lined the streets in near-freezing temperature today for a confetti-strewn parade honoring the Minnesota Twins, kicking off celebrations in the Twin Cities marking the team’s second World Series victory.
A cavalcade of pickup trucks carried the team through downtown St. Paul as fans, many wrapped in blankets, cheered and threw streamers and confetti.
″I’ve got goose bumps all over - this is the greatest 3/8″ Twins third baseman Mike Pagliarulo told a WCCO-TV reporter.
St. Paul police estimated there were 120,000 fans along the whole parade route in St. Paul, said captain Richard Smith, director of the state Capitol Complex Security Division. He said there were no incidents in the parade’s early moments.
The loudest cheers went to hometown heroes Jack Morris, who grew up in St. Paul, and Kent Hrbek, who grew up in nearby Bloomington. There also were cheers for popular center fielder Kirby Puckett.
″I was expecting a lot worse. It’s not raining,″ said Joshua Kohnstamm, 35, of St. Paul, who brought his 3-year-old son Simon to watch the parade. ″It signifies the beginning of winter now that the baseball season is over. It’d be a lot colder if we had lost.″
Mary Bollmann of Inver Grove Heights gathered in the area with her two teen-age sons and two of their friends. She said they had tried to reach downtown St. Paul to watch the parade but were turned away by ″wall-to-wall people,″ even though she got there about 90 minutes before the parade was scheduled to begin.
″I think the neatest thing about this series, it was the little guys that helped win it,″ she said. ″Minnesota could have cooperated and given us a nice day. I suppose we should be glad it’s not raining.″
The day’s festivities were to continue in Minneapolis later with a parade and a sold-out rally at the Metrodome.
The Twins were scheduled to visit the White House Thursday and meet with President Bush.
Gov. Arne Carlson proclaimed today ″World Champion Minnesota Twins Day″ and said the parade and party would honor the ″worst to first Minnesota Twins.″
The governor also sent a letter to Atlanta Braves owner Ted Turner congratulating the team on a ″superb effort.″
Organizers said fans would get a better look at players this year than they did during the 1987 Twins’ victory parade, when an estimated 500,000 confetti- throwing fans jammed city streets and sidewalks 15-deep, often only for a glimpse of the players.