Minnesota Twins Gardenhire, Mauer help recruit Parise

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Getting Minneapolis-native Zach Parise to return home was obviously a big and expensive effort on the Minnesota Wild’s part, but they didn’t do it alone.

Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reports that Minnesota Twins star catcher Joe Mauer and manager Ron Gardenhire participated in the recruitment video sent to Parise. However, this wasn’t a simple courtesy cameo.

Well before Parise became a free agent, Gardenhire had a signed photo of the former-Devils captain on his Target Field bulletin board. Parise has also joined the Twins for batting practice a couple times over the years and met Mauer in the process.

Gardenhire offered Parise “18,000 rounds of batting practice” if he signed with the Wild, along with a $5 bill that he displayed on camera. Somehow, we don’t think Parise will take the money, but now that he’s signed with his hometown team, he’ll probably be spending significantly more time with the Twins.

That should make Gardenhire happy. Maybe Parise will even sign a new picture of him wearing a Wild jersey to replace the outdated one that Gardenhire has.