Denny Broberg can't talk about life without the Minnesota Twins.
It's just too hard.
While Broberg's speaking abilities are somewhat limited, on this subject, no words come at all. When he's asked about it, the 81-year-old man just gets tears in his eyes and shakes his head.
The news that major league baseball might eliminate the Twins has been a blow to many residents, said Shelley Hartzburg, who works in the Bethesda Pleasant View nursing home's activities office in Willmar.
Hartzburg patted Broberg's shoulder when he became upset. "Denny will change the whole schedule of his day to watch a game," she said.
Broberg, a resident of nursing facilities for more than 50 years, said he enjoys watching all types of sports, but he has a special love for the Twins and especially former Twins player Kirby Puckett. A wall in his room is filled with Puckett memorabilia.
"It's too bad Puckett can't play," the Kerkhoven native said.
Many residents, like Tillie Bredeson and Marvin Bonnema, watch every game the Twins play.
"I like ballgames better than football," said Bredeson, 87, who lived in rural Willmar for many years. "I don't understand football."
Bonnema, 87, said he watches the games in his room, where he has a big-screen TV. Bonnema is a native of Prinsburg.
Some residents watch the games in TV lounges, but Bonnema said the crowds get too talkative for him, because he likes to concentrate on the game.
Bredeson said residents sometimes have parties to watch Twins games. "When they lose, there's a lot of talk," she said. "They say, 'They should have done this,' and 'They should have done that."'
Some people refuse to come to meals if a game is on, she said. (The staff delivers their meals in those cases, Hartzburg said.)
Bonnema shook his head about the Twins possible demise after such a good season, saying, "I just don't understand it."
Bredeson said she didn't understand either, because "they've had crowds galore."
The team will probably still play next year, Bonnema said, but he didn't know what might happen after that.
When it comes to building a stadium, the three don't fully agree.
Bonnema said he thought people who don't go to games shouldn't have to pay for a stadium.
"I don't want the Twins to go," Bredeson said. "I think we should do all we can to help them. They build other things that aren't so necessary."
Broberg agreed with Bredeson. "I hope they stay," he said.
As she put a comforting hand on Broberg's shoulder, Hartzburg had a suggestion for baseball officials who want to eliminate the Twins: "I think they should come talk to Denny a little bit."
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