On July 31st, The Minnesota Twins honored one of baseball’s most renowned pitchers and former Minnesota Twins Knuckleballer, Joe Niekro. To honor this knuckleball legend, The Minnesota Twins hosted “Brain Aneurysm Awareness Day” at Target Field on July 31, 2010. President and Founder of The Joe Niekro Foundation, Joe’s daughter, Natalie, attended with a special on field ceremony prior to the game. Natalie was joineded by former teammates, Minnesota Twins alumni, Dan Gladden and Tim Laudner, along with Robert Brown, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist and brain aneurysm specialist. During the game, fans were encouraged to participate in a “Text to Give” campaign by texting the word Strikeout to 20222. By doing so, a $10 donation to The Joe Niekro Foundation will appear on the donor’s cell phone bill. A portion of the night’s proceeds will go to brain aneurysm research at Mayo Clinic.
The Twins organization is one put together ballclub and I was thoroughly impressed with the follow through and dedication they showed to this very important night. Not only did they create an amazing video introducing the foundation and night to the Twins fans, but continually promoted the goal of the evening, which was to Text and Give a $10 donation to The Joe Nieko Foundation. Throughout the evening, there was a true presence of the foundation as the jumbotron, TV screens, scoreboard and radio stations all gave tribute to the famous Knuckleballer. I personally want to thank everyone that took part in this amazing awareness night and let you know how much your support to this incredibly important cause means not just to me, but to people across the country. I have received an influx of emails these past few days of people sharing their stories of how an aneurysm has effected their life. Each and every thing we do is making a difference, so I ask you to continue walking with me in this fight.