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Don’t worry, Twins fans, ‘Circle Me Bert’ isn’t going anywhere, Fox Sports North says

Sherri Richards holds her "circle me" sign at the May 12 Twins game in Minneapolis. Color commentator Bert Blyleven circles fans at games on the telestrator - when he's not on vacation. Craig Hashbarger / Special to The Forum

Many Twins fans were upset with Tuesday’s news that “Circle Me Bert,” the popular in-game tradition in which Hall of Fame pitcher and lead Fox Sports North TV analyst Bert Blyleven uses the telestrator to highlight sign-holding fans, was seemingly being phased out.

Not so, the cable network clarified on Wednesday via its Twitter account:

" ‘Circle Me Bert’ started as an organic on-air element and is not going away. It will continue in its original form.”

“Signs are still encouraged,” Fox Sports North added.

While Blyleven will continue to circle fans on TV, a new “Winners Circle” concept will be used in which fans at the ballpark and watching at home can get involved. Still sponsored by the Minnesota Lottery, the contest allows select fans and those nominated by friends and family to be recognized during Twins telecasts.

“Birthday? Anniversary? Other big occasion? Submit your photo and message for consideration to be acknowledged by the broadcast team during a Twins telecast this season and receive $100 in Minnesota Lottery scratch tickets,” the Fox Sports North press release read via Twitter.

Blyleven, who turns 67 on April 6 and is entering his 23rd season in the Twins’ broadcast booth, broke the news via his Twitter account on Tuesday:

“Just informed by FSN that there will be no more ‘Circle Me Bert’ and Minnesota Lottery winners for this coming season. I want to thank all the fans that made signs over the past 15+ seasons. Doesn’t mean you can’t still bring signs! Go Twins.”

Early Wednesday afternoon, Blyleven took to Twitter with an update.