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Chair: Not just signatures, 'these are heartfelt cries'

MINNEAPOLIS -- A grass roots group has collected more than
151,000 signatures urging baseball not to eliminate the Minnesota
Twins, surpassing its goal of 100,000.

Paul Ridgeway, chairman of the Keep the Twins at Home campaign,
said papers containing another 5,000 were waiting to be collected
from the offices of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.

"These aren't just signatures," Ridgeway said. "These are
heartfelt cries (of fans) who want their team to stay."

Ridgeway and his group arrived in Chicago last week to present
baseball Commissioner Bud Selig with boxes containing copies of
about 110,000 signatures, pleading to spare the Twins from planned
contraction.

Baseball owners voted Nov. 6 to eliminate two teams but didn't
pick the franchises to be folded. The Montreal Expos and the Twins
are the leading candidates.

Ridgeway said he also plans to give copies to Gov. Jesse
Ventura, U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone and other legislators.