Game 801 | January 25 | Josh Willingham, Scott Diamond, Cory Provus
With Twinsfest in its final year at the Metrodome, the Twins invited Willingham and Diamond to preview the 2013 season. Willingham had his best season in 2012 with 35 homeruns and 110 runs batted in. Diamond led all Twins starters in 2012 with a 12-9 record, also a career best.
Game 802 | February 7 | David Stern
The Commissioner of the National Basketball Association had announced plans to retire on his 30th anniversary on the job in 2014. He talked about the growth and financial strength of the league and the popularity of basketball around the world. He also reflected on the league's decision in 1994 to keep the Minnesota Timberwolves from moving to New Orleans.
Game 803 | March 5 | Jack Jablonski
The former Benilde-St. Margaret's hockey player was paralyzed from injuries received in a game in December 2011. He shared with Dunkers the story of his amazing battle to regain partial mobility and of all the hockey greats who have reached out to him. He talked of dreams of becoming a hockey broadcaster. Two months after his Dunkers appearance he was chosen by the Chicago Steel with the final selection in the USHL draft.
Game 804 | March 12 | Ross Bernstein
One of the most prolific regional writers, Bernstein shared his observations of how ethics and accountability from the world of sports translate into the world of business. The Minnesota native has now researched, written and published more than 50 books.
Game 805 | April 23 | Terry Ryan, Ron Gardenhire
After two consecutive seasons of more than 90 losses, the Twins general manager and manager talked about how some of the young players such as center fielder Aaron Hicks and pitcher Kyle Gibson, along with second baseman Brian Dozier and a combination of free agents should contribute to a better outlook for the 2013 season.
Game 806| May 7 | Rick Spielman
Just a week after the 2013 NFL draft, Vikings General Manager Spielman talked about draft-day maneuvers that led to the Vikings having three first-round picks that they used on defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd, defensive back Xavier Rhodes and wide receiver and return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson.
Game 807 | May 17 | Mayor R. T. Rybak
The Minneapolis Mayor said he would not run for reelection in November. He said with the building of Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium, plans for renovation of the Target Center and the proposed construction of a new stadium for the Vikings, that Minneapolis compared favorably with nearly any other city in the United States and that the city was well-positioned to compete for hosting major national events.
Game 808 | June 6 | Matt Birk
Despite winning a Super Bowl ring with the Baltimore Ravens, the recently retired NFL center and Saint Paul native, still thinks of himself as a Minnesota Viking, the team for which he starred. A Harvard graduate and six-time All Pro, Matt Birk was the Vikings "NFL Man of the Year" nominee for six consecutive years in recognition of his community service.
Game 809 | July 9 | Richard Pitino
Son of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, the 31-year-old Gopher basketball coach met with Dunkers shortly after being named to succeed Tubby Smith. The new coach said he had learned under two of the best coaches in the game, his father and Florida coach Billy Donovan. He came to the Gophers from Florida International where he took a young and inexperienced team to an 18-14 record in his first year as a college head coach.
Game 810 | July 23 | Leslie Frazier
Entering his fourth year as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, Frazier said he was optimistic following the performance of the 2012 team that came on strong in the second half of the season to finish 10--6 and make the NFC playoffs. He said the team should benefit from the addition of veteran backup quarterback Matt Cassel.
Game 811 | August 1 | Nick Price
Winner of two PGA Championships and one U.S. Open, Price, now 56, was in town to play in the 3M Championship (he finished three under par, tied for 52nd place and 14 strokes behind winner Tom Pernice Jr.). He told of growing up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and the challenges facing that country today. A 2003 inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame, Price in 2005 won the Bob Jones Award, the highest award of the USGA in honor of "distinguished sportsmanship in golf."
Game 812 | August 7 | Jerry Kill
The Gopher football coach said his young team benefitted from its bowl appearance against Texas Tech. He predicted strong competition for the starting quarterback job between sophomore Philip Nelson and redshirt freshman Mitch Leidner. His 2013 team achieved bowl eligibility in late October, and he took a leave of absence as head coach to focus on stabilizing his epilepsy. Longtime assistant Tracy Claeys served as acting head coach as Kill eased his way back into the job.
Game 813 | September 5 | Chuck Fletcher, Keith Ballard
Released by Vancouver, Ballard, a former University of Minnesota defenseman, was the Wild's major free-agent, off-season acquisition. Brought in to add experience to a young group of defensemen, Ballard said he was elated to come back to Minnesota where he played three years with the University of Minnesota. The Baudette native won two NCAA championships with the Gophers. Those teams sent three defensemen, Ballard, Jordan Leopold and Paul Martin to the National Hockey League.
Game 814 | September 19 | Bud Grant
The third winningest coach in professional football history behind only Don Shula and George Halas, Grant shared stories about his brief career with the Minneapolis Lakers, his near miss on a fatal airplane crash in Canada and his induction into the pro football Hall of Fame. His appearance came the same week as the release of his new book, "I Did It My Way," in which he suggested both scoring and rule changes to make professional football more interesting.
Game 815 | October 15, 2013 | Flip Saunders
Rumored to be a candidate to replace Tubby Smith as basketball coach at Minnesota, Saunders instead rejoined the Minnesota Timberwolves as President of Basketball Operations. The winningest coach in Timberwolves history, Saunders talked fondly about his years playing for the Gophers and the team his senior year that included Kevin McHale, Mychal Thompson, Ray Williams and Osborne Lockhart that compiled a 24-3 record.
Game 816 | October 24 | Michele Tafoya
A veteran of two decades as a sidelines reporter; Edina resident Tafoya joined the NBC "Sunday Night Football" crew in 2011. A California native, Tafoya came to the Twin Cities as a reporter/host for KFAN radio. She told the Dunkers that some oF her favorite assignments involved covering the Olympics.
Game 817 | November 7 | Cris Carter
Back in Minnesota to receive his Hall of Fame ring at a Vikings halftime ceremony, Carter said the Vikings and Dunker member Wheelock Whitney literally saved his life when the team picked him up on waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles. The Vikings got him into a treatment program to control his abuse of drugs and alcohol. At the time of his retirement, Carter ranked second in career receptions (1,101) behind only Jerry Rice.
Annual Meeting 2013 | December 10 | Sid Hartman and Dave Mona
Once again WCCO Radio Sports Huddle hosts Sid Hartman and Dave Mona interviewed a group of guests as the organization celebrated the completion of its 65th year.