MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced Friday that veteran broadcaster Bob Kurtz will take over as their public address announcer for the 2005 season.

Kurtz, the play-by-play voice of the NHL's Minnesota Wild on WCCO, replaces Bob Casey, who died Sunday after a battle with liver cancer and pneumonia. Casey was the only PA announcer in the club's history, and handled more than 3,000 games at Metropolitan Stadium and the Metrodome since 1961.

The club said Kurtz's role would be an interim one. He will handle all 2005 home games while a permanent replacement for Casey will be sought for 2006 and beyond.

"I'm honored and humbled that the Twins considered me for these responsibilities this season," Kurtz said. "Whoever said 'everyone's replaceable' surely never met Bob Casey. I'm certainly not going into this season trying to replace him in any way, shape, or form, because Bob Casey will never be replaced. I'm just going to try and do my best until someone else is on board."

A longtime member of the sports broadcasting community, Kurtz has been with the Wild since 2000 and spent 11 years before that working for New England Sports Network. He also performed Twins television play-by-play duties from 1979-86 and for the old North Stars from 1979-88.

"Despite heavy hearts over the passing of the legendary Bob Casey, the Minnesota Twins organization must move forward in finalizing preparations for the 2005 season," Twins president Dave St. Peter said in a statement. "As we dedicate the 2005 season to Bob Casey, the Twins and the Casey family are thrilled Bob Kurtz accepted the invitation to serve as the team's interim public address announcer. His broadcast work -- both locally and nationally -- made him a logical choice to serve that role during the coming season."

Kurtz won't assume his duties until April 9, the Twins' second home game. The April 8 home opener vs. the White Sox will be an all-game tribute to Casey. There will be a tribute on the field before the games and members of the Casey family will share PA duties.

"As special as Opening Day was for Bob Casey, we are certain he'd find great joy in knowing the public address responsibilities were being handled by his loved ones," St. Peter said.