Twins Remove Statue Of Former Owner Calvin Griffith
The Minnesota Twins have announced the removal of a statue honoring former owner Calvin Griffith that previously stood outside of Target Field. The statue was originally placed outside the stadium in 2010.
Griffith, who owned the team from 1955 to 1984 before selling to Carl Pohlad, is credited with moving the Washington Senators to Bloomington, Minnesota where they became the Twins.
The removal of the statue centers around comments Griffith made in 1978 at a Lions Club dinner in Waseca. According to the Star Tribune:
"I'll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when we found out you only had 15,000 blacks here. Black people don't go to ballgames, but they'll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it'll scare you to death. We came here because you've got good, hardworking white people here."
He also went on to say that Rod Carew was "a damn fool" for accepting a contract that was beneath his value as a player.
The comments were published in the paper and likely were the driving force leading to Carew's trade demand before the 1979 season.
“While we acknowledge the prominent role Calvin Griffith played in our history, we cannot remain silent and ignore the racist comments he made in Waseca in 1978,” the Twins said in a statement. “We apologize for the failure to adequately recognize how the statue was viewed and the pain it caused for many people.”