A week ago today, on July 14th 2012, the Twins honored Camilo Pascual by inducting him into the Twins Hall of Fame. Known for his curve ball, Camilo Pascual played for the Washing Senators in 1954 until they moved to Minnesota and became the Minnesota Twins. Hew stayed with the Twins, including playing in the '65 World Series, until 1969 when he went to the Reds.
I'm a big fan of Twins HOF day each years since 2000 - and like to get there early to collect one of the 5,000 pins that you can obtain after entering the park each year. To my surprise, during a Twins game two days before, I heard about how Camilo would be signing autographs before the game at the pro shop. I thought that would be a pretty fun thing to attend, as he isn't here in Minnesota often, and who knows if he'll ever be back again.
After waiting at gate 34 for a while, a Twins gate guard announced that if we were there for Camilo we better get over to gate 29, which had a line already. As we were making our way to the back of the line, up walks Mr. Pascual. A Twins handler approached him and told him "all these people are here for you" to which he smiled and walked on to the front of the line. Curiously, it was outside Target Field - so you didn't need a ticket to meet him, which many people seemed aware of. That also caused concern for pin collectors such as myself as we were worried we couldn't exit the ballpark and be re-admitted).
The gentlemen in line behind us was talking with Camilo on the way up, telling him about how he remembered watching him pitch against Whitey Ford as a kid, and Camilo told him about striking out Mickey Mantle numerous times.
As the line progressed Clyde Doepner (the curator for the Minnesota Twins) was patrolling the line, checking out what people had and giving tips to let the ink dry.
Eventually we made it up to Camilo, he was fun to briefly talk to with his thick accent and seemed generally happy to be there. Clyde was right - he does have a real "Harmon-eque" signature - beautiful and legible.
The induction ceremony was fun, even if after all these years its hard to understand much of what Tony Oliva says. Also in attendance was former Twins player (and later Dayton's employee) Julio Becquer - along with Tom Kelly and Rod Carew. Later during the 7th inning stretch Camilo sang take me out to the ballgame with his wife and a bunch of kids, which was fun to see. He seemed to be having a good time. It was a fun day, and great to see Pascual finally admitted to the Twins Hall Of Fame.