MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Even after the game was over, Drew Oling and Alyssa Spehar stayed standing, holding their "2003 Central Division Champs Maybe Next Year Sox" sign.
It took just over 30 minutes, before it was official -- the Minnesota Twins clinched their first AL Central title on home ground.
Spehar -- with a "No. 1 Twins Fan" painted on her right cheek -- screamed as she and Oling, who are both from Duluth, watched the Metrodome Jumbotron that showed the Detroit Tigers ending Kansas City's playoff potential. Just minutes before, the Chicago White Sox had the same hopes diminished in New York.
"Detroit was surprising, they were the only ones I was worried about, they came through big," Oling said.
Earlier in the night, the Twins sealed at least a share of the division title after beating the Cleveland Indians 4-1. As the other games were televised, the remaining Metrodome crowds filtered down through the bleachers, embracing the field.
Just under half of the 33,650 in attendance stayed after to watch the Twins secure the title as their own.
As the Twins returned to the field as champs, the cheers erupted. The players tipped their hats to the fans; right fielder Jacque Jones ran through the outfield waving a towel.
Champagne doused fans leaning over the guardrails. The noise turned to chants of "Eddie, Eddie" when closer Eddie Guardado emerged on the diamond.
The celebration poured onto the streets, car horns were honked and Homer Hankies from the 2002 season were waved out windows.
The focus shifted to the potential playoff opponent.
"Bring on the Yankees," one fan yelled.
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