It's still hanging up there, floating on a cushion of pressurized air. And tonight, beneath its Glorious Grayness, beat the heart of a team that said, "We will win tonight." Then they did.
Sweetest words of spring: "Twins win."
It was another night when some might have thought twice about going to the game if it had been outdoors. In fact, Pat Neshek wants you to know that the players actually will miss the place for some very specific and plausible reasons.
In fact, I know that plenty of fans have not actually jumped on board the new ballpark bandwagon. They don't want to bundle up. They don't want to put on sun screen. They don't want to watch World Series highlights on the scoreboard during a rain delay.
They will come around. Or not. Doesn't matter. The Season of Goodbye is now well underway.
As mentioned yesterday, as a tribute to the old gray mare, I'm going to try and think of 81 Things I Won't Miss About The Metrodome (one per home game).
Thus, TIWMATM #2: Revolving doors.
Those are a crazy-ass thing to put on a ballpark, don't you think? I mean, ballparks should have great big gates that swing open at the end of the game to let fans stream out in either elation or despair. But stream is the optimal word here. There's no streaming out a revolving door.
That warning sign doesn't mention anything about the potential for bludgeoning or limb removal by the revolving doors...
But there very nearly was bloodshed last night at the one I passed through. It was moving at about Mach 2 when two of us tried to get into it at the same time. I won, she lost. But we both nearly got squished, and it would not have been pretty...
Instrument of evil.
Returning for a moment to last night's TIWMATM -- the sound system -- I probably don't have to say any more for you to know what I mean, but I'm going to.
There we were in section 233, row 21. That is one of those spots where the speakers are trained like a laser, and you get the full force of their nasal noisiness.
Basically, you can forget about having a conversation between innings (and I refuse to have meaningful conversation while someone is trying to hit, pitch or field). The sound seems to get louder every year, and somehow also more obnoxious. (This is separate from the ratcheting up of the general obnoxiousness of the promotions.)
Is it louder? Does anyone know? I mean, my hearing continues to deteriorate as I age, but the Dome continues to sound louder and louder. Are they trying to make up for the likelihood that we all lost a little bit of our hearing in there last summer?
If that sound system hasn't been tuned recently, it's about time. Modern digital technology can do a lot more with those crummy speakers than is being done now. It would certainly be possible to create a mix that is present but not deafening. That should be the goal. MSFC? Hello?
But why am I yammering? You didn't come here to listen to me going on and on. You want pictures. I know it. Here they are:
Click on this photo to see what it looked like on this spot 101 years ago (I'm not kidding)
Long ago I wrote about the history of the ballpark site. Back then I had no idea that the plaza would be stretching up from the old rail yard toward Target Center. So I didn't even bother checking the block on which the plaza would sit.
Well it turns out that that very block was, for decades, the site of the City Market, now known as the Farmer's Market.
In fact, trains carrying produce would come into the yard where the playing field now will be, and people would simply walk out to a box car and pick out what they wanted to buy.
I know it has nothing to do with baseball, but the connection with an earlier era's primary type of commerce seems somehow appropriate. (Click the above image to see the 1908 view from a warehouse that used to sit where the A ramp is now. It's a view of the very block on which the plaza is being built.)
Last night I searched and searched, but there were no Gameday scorecard vendors to be found. So I broke down and handed a buck to The Man (actually, it was a rather young-looking girl) only to find that it was stuffed with Gameday-brand analysis.
I checked their web site for some explanation, but none was forthcoming. Did they give up? Sell out? Cut a deal?
As one of their founding advertisers, I'm very curious. Anyone know?
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3003 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Look closely at the overhang. You'll see the on the right it is flush with the fence, and then it sticks out farther and farther as you move toward center. More fun for Michael Cuddyer.
Ready for action.
Main concourse, looking south toward the area behind home plate.
One more time from the third base side.
Detail of the Puckett wall hanging
Opening day, 2010
Giant screened images! (573 Club, my back to Seventh Ave windows)
Here's the current overview from the south side of the B ramp (from which the banner at the top of this page was culled).
This is the revised version of the center field pavilion (without the restaurant). It looks like there are no seats, just some ledges for people to sit on. It reminds me of the seating on the "bridge" which sticks out of the new Guthrie Theater. Anything which lands in the trees will presumably be a home run, so the "411" sign is apparently just for fun.
Detail showing clubhouse and home dugout (click to see the entire drawing)
Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.
LRT station has appeared.
Look closely and you'll see limestone on the front of the press box!
Note reflected sunset (7:30 PM). Could be a worry...
Bench seating just off the plaza
The Metrodome has sure been tarted up.
Larry DiVito, mowing
For $19.95 you can load up your plate (one trip only)
The limestone theme is apparently carried to the area behind home plate. This will look great -- and distinctive -- on TV. But watch out for those foul balls!
This area will supposedly show the Twins chronology. Will it stretch back to 1901?
At the end of the balcony you can see down the promenade.
Eleven flag poles
...but you can get a feel for what it will be like.
Did you know that the out-of-town scoreboard is covered by a black chain 1ink fence?
Detail at Gate 6
Plaza extension reaches toward First Avenue
The reverse angle shows that the signage will only partially obscure views from the top of the ramp. The wall is pretty high up there, so you'll need something to stand on, but it appears that this is one of the so-called "knotholes".
Justin Morneau, mobbed after a game-winning homer on June 9