Friday, March 21, 2014

Remaking and Analyzing the Twins' 1991 Dancing Video (with GIFs!)

That video changed my life.  I was aware of it from my childhood days back in 1991 when I watched a lot of Twins baseball and therefore, Twins advertising.  Then, I forgot about the video for a good 20 years.  I saw it a couple years ago and I literally have not stopped talking about it since then.  How does this get made?  Who decided on this idea?  Why did these players agree to take part?  Does Tony Oliva know how to point?  We're going to answer a few of those questions today.

I have created a series of animated gifs to properly analyze this video.  In addition, I am going to propose a current Twins player for each of the roles, in a frantic attempt to try to re-create this video with the current team.  If anyone has the ear of a Twins' official, Twins' advertiser, or Twins' player, please get this post to through the proper channels.  Remaking this video would literally change the World.

Let's begin.

Dancer #1 - Willie Banks

Signature move - "The Willie Shuffle"

When you can dance like that, a 6.00 ERA is acceptable.  Banks is clearly the stand-out in this video, when it comes to actual dancing.  He's got style and he's got moves.  He's got a sideways hat, so you know he's cool.  You can see Kent Hrbek's signature move in the background, but I've got a clearer image that I'm saving for later.

Current Twins Player to take his place - Oswaldo Arcia

For my money, Arcia has the most charisma on the current team and I'm 100% certain that he's hiding some sweet dance moves.  He doesn't have to try to replicate Banks' moves, he just has to be the standout in the new video.  Remember, we're remaking this video, but I didn't say anything about a shot-for-shot remake.  We can do some updating.  I'm quite certain the colors in this video were only available in the 90s.

Other players considered - Eduardo Escobar (charismatic) and Mike Pelfrey (it would be hilarious)

Dancer #2 - Denny Neagle

Signature move - "The Super Spin"

Neagle is standout #2 in the video.  He's a pretty good dancer, but if you look, he requires intense focus on his dance moves.  While Banks appears loose and fun-loving, Neagle appears to be counting the beats in his head and trying like heck to not screw up.  There is also a brief moment when he actually becomes stuck to Banks and likely had to be removed later:

Current Twins Player to take his place - Brian Dozier

Dozier has charisma, but I imagine that he'd take his dancing just as seriously as Neagle did.  Dozier is a young man and it would be fun to see him join Arcia at the hip.  Literally.

Other players considered - Joe Mauer (I imagine he takes dancing very seriously) and Michael Tonkin (he's tall so it would be funny)

Dancer #3 - Jack Morris

Signature move - "The Hall of Fame Hip Wiggle"

Signature move #2 - "Juggling across the room without balls"

Two signature moves!  Morris is my MVP from this video and I'm not sure why this isn't on his Hall of Fame resume.  Morris appears to be legitimately enjoying himself and that makes him all the more charming.  It may seem like I am teasing him, but I honestly enjoy his work in this video and he's my favorite "character."

Current Twins player to take his place - Kevin Correia

You need a veteran for this part and a savvy one at that.  Correia looks like he could loosen up a bit, so this would be good for him.  Plus, I'm quite certain that he has some fun dance moves in his repertoire and I'd be excited to see what they are.  He'd be required to grow a lush mustache first.

Other players considered - None.  I'd cast this new video as a Kevin Correia vehicle and never look back.

Dancer #4 - Kent Hrbek

Signature move - "Aggressive Pointing"

Hrbek appears to be enjoying Willie Banks' dance moves and he wants everyone to know it!  Pointing is impolite, but you'll have to excuse Hrbek here, as watching Willie dance evokes animal instincts.  I'm pointing aggressively at my screen as I type this.  It's impossible to stop.  Although, at one point in the video, Willie's dancing is too fly and it actually injures Hrbek:

Later in the video when Willie Banks appears to be shot, it can only be assumed that it was an act of revenge from the previously injured Hrbek:

Current Twins player to take his place:  Josh Willingham

Willingham has proved his willingness to be silly in a commercial, famously appearing in a muumuu after losing a bet to Glen Perkins.  I am also certain that Willingham knows how to point or can be taught how to point.  Plus, he's a veteran and a power hitter, just like Hrbek was in 1991.

Other players considered:  Joe Mauer again (Can robots point?) and Kurt Suzuki (not enough power, perfect amount of veteran).

"Dancer" #5 - Tony Oliva

Signature move - "Falling in love"

DOWN IN FRONT!  Oliva is the only former Twins player (at that time) in the video, but he makes a lasting impression. The video starts with an extreme close-up of his smiling face.  Then, he kind of moves into the background.  At one point, he completely forgets how to point at someone:

Is he doing air quotes?  Is that a butterfly?  Is he trying to take flight?  Oliva needs to take some pointing pointers from Kent Hrbek.  Going back to the beginning of the video, I was able to isolate the exact moment when Tony Oliva and Willie Banks fall in love: 

Such admiration!  Denny Neagle is carefully thinking of his next move.  If someone could make a video that's just this still image with Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love" played in its entirety, that would be great.

Back to his overall role in the video, I believe Oliva is a trained EMT, so he was likely able to revive Hrbek after he was nearly killed by Banks' sweet moves and he probably at least attempted CPR after Banks was shot.  I could be making all of that up though.

Current Twins player to take his place - Kent Hrbek

Yeah!  A good remake at least gives a subtle nod to the source material.  If we bring Hrbek back in the Oliva role, we'd have a tie to the old video and we'd get to see Hrbek fall in love with Oswaldo Arcia.  Win, win!

Other players considered:  Jack Morris (another homage, but it would be impossible for him to not shake his hips and that was not a characteristic of the "Oliva" part).

"Dancer" #6 - Randy Bush

Signature move - "Sitting"

It took some intense investigation to place Bush, but he's there and here's a nice still image of his signature move:

You can clearly see his number 25 uniform.  There are also moments where I recognize his hairline, but that just makes me a weirdo.  He's also pointing, but he doesn't point with the aggression of a Kent Hrbek or the confusion of a Tony Oliva, so he just gets credit for some solid sitting.

Current Twins player to take his place - Alex Presley

Presley is a bench outfielder who might get some unwarranted starts and he's pretty nondescript.  He's also almost certainly capable of sitting and potentially pointing.  I'm not sure if I recognize his hairline.

Other players considered - Mike Pelfrey (I do recognize his hairline) and Chris Parmelee (we know he's capable of sitting).

"Dancer" #7 - Tom Edens?

Signature move - "The Edens Elbow"

I have no patience for horseplay.  Tom Edens should be suspended for 50 games for this rogue action.  One might say that Jack Morris instigated this elbow with his fake punch, but he's smiling and clearly having a good time.  Plus, Kent Hrbek nearly falls down in a domino effect from Edens' dangerous elbow.  We cannot sit idly by while Tom Edens murders everyone on our favorite team.

But wait, is that even Tom Edens?  Honestly, I can't tell.  I'm not kidding you when I say that I watched this video about 500 times to try to determine the identity of this horseplay artist.  In isolating frames, I came to the conclusion that his uniform starts with a 2 or a 5 and that the player is Caucasian.  This means the following players could be our elbow thrower:
  • Number 25 Randy Bush - not him, he's already in the video, plus he's standing and not sitting
  • Number 51 Carl Willis - not him, no mustache
  • Number 53 Mark Guthrie - not him, no birthmark
  • Number 58 Denny Neagle - not him, not smooth enough, not capable of human duplication
  • Number 59 Tom Edens - the only remaining candidate and therefore, our dangerous batterer
Mr. Edens, if I am besmirching you and you are not the person in this video, please reach out to me at and I will print a full retraction.  If you can identify the guilty party, I will absolutely tear them apart in a future post.

Current Twins player to take his place - Ryan Pressly

He's a middle reliever and it would be borderline impossible to pick him out of a lineup.  He wears a number in the 50s, so maybe that is Pressly in the video.  Are we sure that Pressly can't travel through time?  Has anyone asked him?  If it isn't, perhaps he could bring some class to the new video and invent a better, less dangerous signature move.  "The Pressly Patch?"  Like an exaggerated Cabbage Patch?

Other players considered - Caleb Thielbar and Edgar Ibarra

Dancer #8 - Some freaking extra!

Signature move - "Wandering on set in his replica Twins jersey"

What the H is this?  I was trying like mad to figure out the 8th player in this video.  It was taking forever.  Then, I noticed this dude with no jersey number.  You can clearly see him in the image above.  He's in the middle.  Who let this idiot in?  They couldn't find one more Twins' player to fill this role?  This is disgusting.  In the updated video, we'll get a real player.

Current Twins player to take his place:  Vance Worley

Well, he's technically a real player.  Worley would bring some much-needed swagger and glasses to this role.

Other players considered - Anyone within walking distance of the set apparently.


Yep, I agree. This video was a rousing success.  Hats off to everyone involved.  The remake will be epic.  There will be special effects, dinosaurs, 8 actual players and tons of pointing.  The kinks from the '91 video will be ironed out and the '14 video will become an instant classic and probably a 30 for 30 on ESPN.

Let's finish in the best way I can think of:  watching Willie Banks dance, Kent Hrbek point and Tony Oliva try to fly away once more:


  1. Mind blown! I have to say, however, that the only dance move I could even imagine Mauer doing is the Robot. I don't think there's any dance move called "Bilateral Leg Weakness," but then again, I know very little of dancing, so I may be wrong.

    1. Ha, maybe when Willie got shot, it was actually a random case of bilateral leg weakness! I'd pay a rather large sum to watch Mauer do the robot.

  2. And also, thank you for posting this. Just breathtaking. I did not know that this existed until today.

    1. Much obliged, it's one of my favorite items of Minnesota Twins' history.

  3. One of your funniest articles ever. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, I appreciate that! I really had fun writing/creating it.

  4. Brad, please seriously consider the following. As evidenced by the final gif in the presentation, the impostor player (seated next to Tony Oliva) is making the same hand motions as Oliva- which you have identified as ‘poor pointing’. I wonder if this indicates that he too is in love with Banks, or possibly that he is in love with Oliva and is expressing so through imitation. Obviously, those are the only two possibilities. Either way, it seems a love triangle worth attention for the upcoming, 2014 remake. Additionally, I would like to point out that Mr. Oliva and the impostor player’s hand movements may be misunderstood, and suggest that they are actually busting a move well ahead of their time: the ‘hot guitar solo wild finger waggle’. This move can be observed on the regular, in present times, at your local live rock music venue. The Twin Cities has a wealth (if such can be said of it) of commercial style rock bands, as supported by 93x and the like. Catch one of these bands at one of the aforementioned establishments, and you are likely to witness some over enthused fan (much too close to the stage relative the general emptiness of the floor) with hands outstretched toward a shredding Mark Tremonti protégé, fingers waggling a-wildly with vibes of admiration/awe/encouragement. I’ve always wondered where that move came from, but now, thanks to your careful examination and analysis, perhaps the mystery is solved: Tony Oliva- batting champ and dance innovator. One last thing, a request, if I might: would you please offer your 2014 dance video remake replacement replacements for the recently departed Alex Presley and Vance Worley. It is paramount.

    1. The more I look at the imposter, the more he looks like Denny Hocking to me. That would be the ultimate, if somehow a young Hocking wandered on set that sparked his entire career. As to his love for Willie Banks, who wouldn't love someone with moves like those? He's got so much charisma!

      If Oliva is truly a rocker as his dance style may indicate, then I have more respect for him. I was once partial to some radio rock. I liked Seether for a time. I still play Audioslave from time to time. If he's simply "rocking out" then that excuses him and I take back all my mean comments about his ability to point.

      Vance Worley will be replaced by Jason Bartlett because he's barely a real player at this point. Alex Presley will be replaced by Jason Kubel because I think he can handle pointing and he'll likely need to sit down from time to time because he's getting old.

      The more I think about it, the more I just loathe that imposter. It nearly ruins the video. I bet he put Oliva up to that shoddy pointing. He probably told him that was how they do it in "Hollywood" and Oliva got all starry-eyed for a brief moment. What a joke.