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Peterson's Twins memorabilia is a hit this month at senior center

When Jerry Peterson took a print of the Twins stadium to be framed by Bill Sylvander, little he did he know much of the rest of his Minnesota Twins memorabilia would be on display in the glass display case in the senior center at the Tilden Community Center.

Bill and Ann Sylvander are in charge of the display case at the center, and some of their items have been displayed there as well. They're always looking for others' collections and Peterson fit the bill more than expected.

Peterson is a Twins fan, of course, although he admits it has been tough the past couple of years. It goes back years ago when his son was sick and in Children's Hospital. Twins slugger Kirby Puckett came to the hospital to see him and a photo was taken.

Peterson also works for the Minnesota Twins in security. He has been doing that since 2001.

"It is the greatest job I've ever had," said Peterson. "It's fun."

Peterson previously worked for the Minnesota Department of Corrections for many years.

He wears a shirt which identifies him as Twins' employee, checks bags at the gates and walks around the field to make sure control is maintained. He can escort people who are unruly out of the stadium, too. Plus, he can see outdoor baseball.

It has been during the past 12 years that Peterson has primarily collected his Twins items.

"Actually, a lot of them have been items that have been given out, such as the bobble heads," he said.

His collection also includes a Twins jersey, a hat, a calendar, statues and photos. He is still collecting a few things too.

Peterson enjoys working for the Twins and working at Target Field.

"They are a great organization," he said. "That was really some kind of special day when they opened Target Field."

The Sylvanders are happy to have Peterson's memorabilia for the month of April, the start of the baseball season.

"We are excited to have Jerry's display this month," said Ann Sylvander. "We are trying to get a different display in the case each month, something of interest, a collection, a hobby, some treasure that should be shared with others, rather than sitting in a drawer, box, or closet someplace.

"Jerry seemed so excited to have his things on display at the Tilden Community Center we gave him and Carmen a building tour. There are many things that go on at the Tilden Community Center in a week.  Jerry joined the Senior Center that day! He could hardly wait to come back and play cards."

More on the display case

The Sylvanders are members of the Senior Center. When the move was made into the remodeled Tilden Community Center, something caught their eye.

"We noticed an old trophy case was being used as a bulletin board; the glass doors and shelves were not there," said Sylvander. "After some searching, the glass doors were located and re-installed. We ordered and donated movable glass shelving."

That was a little more than a year ago. The case is locked and is also lighted, perfect for displays.

The Sylvanders did not end their interest with the newly-remodeled case.

"To generate interest we started the first few months just displaying some of our collections," said Sylvander. "It was February so the first display was old, antique valentines of Bill's father and a few we have acquired.

"The next month, March 2012, is Bill's favorite and he has been asked many times to display again due to popular request. The subject was Cracker Jack. Bill collects Cracker Jack items from way back to 1900s, belongs to the Cracker Jack Collectors Association, and attends their conventions regularly."

That was also the first month that Senior Center coordinator Laurie Thrush and Community Education Director Mary O'Brien asked the Sylvanders to speak to the Lifeworks Services clients about the display cases. It has become an ongoing monthly event.

Anyone with a collection they would like to see in the display case can stop in at the Senior Center.