Stuck inside and looking for a baseball fix?
The Twins and Minneapolis-based REM5 Studios have teamed up to create “Twins XR: A Virtual Hall of Fame Experience” as a way for you to step into the Twins Hall of Fame without ever stepping foot out of your own home.
It launched Wednesday and is available to fans for free. It can be accessed on a smartphone, computer or through a virtual reality headset. Just pick an avatar — one with a baseball-shaped head, a Twins cap and one of five different Twins jerseys — and you’re on your way.
The XR (extended reality) experience takes fans through three different clubhouses sorted by era as fans learn more about their favorite Twins hall of famers. Off to the sides of the clubhouses are video rooms, where fans can watch old Twins highlights.
In the middle of the first clubhouse, there’s Harmon Killebrew’s “lucky bat,” used to hit a 520-foot home run, the longest in club history. In another, sits the Commissioner’s Trophy as the second clubhouse plays homage to team’s two World Series championship teams. The third clubhouse has a replica baseball from Johan Santana’s 17-strikeout game in 2007.
Twins hall of famers Michael Cuddyer and Torii Hunter had a look at the new platform on Tuesday, during which Cuddyer marveled at the details, down to the carpet — which is covered with Twins logos — noting that even the fibers in the carpet were visible.
“This is cutting edge, obviously,” Cuddyer said. “This is what I think baseball envisions when you are talking about the younger demographic and getting younger audiences involved in the game.”
The partnership came about after REM5 Studios approached the Twins with a demo months ago. Brian Skalak of REM5 Studios said the company has been working on the project hand-in-hand with the Twins for the past five or six months, focusing on the details and how to get the experience right for people who haven’t tried something like it before.
“The accessibility of it coupled with how cool the demo that our friends at REM5 pulled together was really what made us think, ‘Hey, this is something that we think is going to resonate with our fans,’ ” said Chris Iles, the Twins’ senior director of brand experience and innovation.