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Twins organist Sue Nelson celebrates 25 years with team

Twins organist Sue Nelson celebrates 25 years with team
Twins organist Sue Nelson celebrates 25 years with team 03:11

MINNEAPOLIS – A Minnesota Twins icon is celebrating 25 years with the organization -- but she's not on the field.

If you've been to a Twins game, you may not have ever seen Sue Nelson, but you have definitely heard her.

WCCO photojournalist Nick Lunemann and reporter Adam Duxter went inside Target Field to help you get to know the longtime organist.

Twins organist Sue Nelson CBS News

Nothing makes a day feel special like a day at the ballpark

If "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is the sound of baseball, then Nelson is the sound of the Twins.

"I'm here to cheerlead and get the people clapping and get the people excited about the game," Nelson said. "It's just so fun, it's no music, you know people say, 'Oh, a musician,' there's no musicianship to this. It's cheerleading. I suppose I am somewhat of a musician."

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For nearly a quarter-century this cheerleader has seen it all.

"I started 25 years ago, so I've seen the really good of the Twins, and then some of the not so good," Nelson said.

A sight to which most Twins fans can relate.

Nelson is a true Minnesotan.

"Mankato," she said. "A Maverick through and through and through."

She's easily the club's most loyal fan, and she has fans of her own.

"Somebody the other day said, 'I was in the hospital and this nurse Lynn said to tell you hi because she knows you,' and you know with connections like that, that was from 25, 23 years ago," she said.

Before giving players like Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Torii Hunter a little pep up to the plate, she was cheering on Neal Broten, Brian Bellows and Dino Ciccarelli

"I started the North Stars March 18, 1981," she said, "and it was a game and the guy called the morning and he said, 'The guy didn't show up. Do you think you could?' And I said, 'I've been waiting for you.'"

Spending 25 years watching America's pastime, you tend to pick up a few fun facts.

"Babe Ruth hit a home run in three stadiums that are left: Fenway, Wrigley and Sleepy Eye," Nelson said.

And a few stories.

"It's really fun talking about the old players from the olden days," she said.

Much like the stadiums graced by the Sultan of Swat's big bat, Nelson herself is a bit of a rarity.

"Half of the teams in the major leagues still have organists," she said. "There's only two that you can see and talk to."

It's an unwritten rule that the Twins can't play ball until Nelson plays.

"It's not a music job, it's a cheerleading job and that really is altogether different," she said.

Since 2011, Nelson has only missed eight games due to an illness and having her appendix removed.

You can find her doing what she loves inside the Twins Pub on the third level just behind home plate.

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