MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA • The Minnesota Twins hired Ron Gardenhire as their new manager on this day in baseball history, even though they weren’t sure there would be a team to manage by the time opening day 2002 rolled around. Gardenhire replaced manager Tom Kelly who retired.
Whether Gardenhire would have a team to manage was in question because Major League Baseball owners voted November 6, 2001 to eliminate two franchises – most likely the Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos – because of their low revenue and inability to get new stadium deals.
As it turned out the Minnesota Twins got a new stadium deal and remain in Minneapolis. Montreal did not get a stadium deal. The Expos franchise left Montreal for Washington, D. C. in 2005 and became the Washington Nationals.
ESPN, (AP-Associated Press), “Twins spared through 2003 in lawsuit settlement“
South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale), January 5, 2002