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Twins Blog: The Twins/Brewers Bowling Ball Bet

A case of beer, dinner, $10 or perhaps a car wash. When it comes to sports, no bet is too large or too small. Especially when it involves a friendly rivalry. An unusual one is "brewing" in the border battle between Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Minnesota Twins are in the middle of a four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers. The teams are splitting the series right down the middle. The first two games were played across the border in Wisconsin, the final two, here at Target Field. It's great for fans who are confident in crossing the border and want to make a vacation out of it.

Fans of the "Brew Crew" are gathered in spots throughout Target Field. The gentle razzing between fans has become a fun part of the atmosphere.

A few years back, a bet left a former WCCO-TV assignment editor in a "hairy" situation. Well, hairless is really what it did. Fellow Twins blogger Peter Nelson and Jordan Steward, a Wisconsin native, made a deal: loser of the Twins-Brewers series would have to shave their heads. When the games were over, Jordan was brought into a conference room and a few people took turns shaving his head. That was the moment he learned you never bet against the Twins.

Similar side bets happen between fans of any sport and any team. But it's the unlikely wager between the Twins and Brewers most fans don't know about. The clubs have two bowling balls on the line, the future owner is determined by the winner of the series.

There's a backstory to this bizarre deal. I'll "spare" you whole story since it started in November. According to the Brewers (link: a team building event at the Major League Baseball Industry Meetings in Florida involved a bowling tournament. When the meeting wrapped up, each team was sent their logo-branded bowling ball.

One technical problem: The Twins ball was sent to Milwaukee and the Brewers' ball came to Minneapolis.

The Twins, being the friendly neighbors they are, sent their ball to its rightful owner. The Brewers, however, decided to hold the Twins ball hostage and have a little fun with it. The balls are now a traveling trophy. Whoever wins the season series will get to keep them. If the series is split, the team who scores the most runs will be the winner.

Going into game four of the series the Twins lead it 2-1. One more game tomorrow will decide the fate of the bowling balls. While the Brewers have one of the best records in the league, I think (hope) the Twins are going to get their ball back.

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