Yes, Jeter. Of course. It was his night, and deservedly so. Even I, whose mother hates Derek Jeter, cheered for him. It was only the second time I've ever done so (the other being when I visited the original Yankee Stadium and pretended to be a Bomber fan for exactly one game). And tonight it felt weird and wrong and right and inevitable and necessary and splendid all at the same time.
Yes, Jeter. Of course.
But when I remember the 2014 All-Star game, here's the image that will probably always mean the most to me:
Now, I'll admit that this looks like a picture which could have been taken under a variety of different circumstances on any number of nights during this season. But that's only because I've removed the context. Let me rewind and zoom out.
Moments before I took that picture, I took this one, which shows the context in all its glory:
That's what I'll remember. That's the memory I'll cherish. Our boys. Doing it on the Big Stage. Right here at home. In that beautiful ballpark. Making it look easy. Saying, in effect, "Hey, we hope you like our city and our ballpark, but we've got some real players here, too. We play real baseball here."
When Perkins and Suzuki stepped onto the field, I was standing next to an usher who was simply bursting with pride. With each pitch, she grabbed my arm and gushed. Her smile was broad and genuine, like that of someone seeing something for the first time, though she was clearly past retirement age.
Her smile was contagious, but it didn't matter. Everybody wearing a TC logo was smiling already.
At least for this night, let the win-loss record be damned. This was a Twins Win moment not to be forgotten. True ballpark magic.
There were times, in the past week, when I started to get the feeling that the Convention Center would be a very empty place this weekend. Simply put, it seemed like everyone wanted to give away their Fanfest tickets.
On September 10, 2008, the Twins called the media (including yours truly) to the roof of Target Center to announce their pipe dream of starshine at their nearby, gradually-materializing new home.
It was a very cheery event, with tons of back-slapping and gleams in the eyes of politicians and other notables. There were hot dogs and Cracker Jack, bats and balls festooned with prototype All-Star logos, and lots of posing after the requisite speech-making. In the near distance cranes soared and silently twirled, and orange safety fencing adorned construction edges which would one day be actual places.
It is rainy in the Twins Cities today. The sky is as grey as it gets, and the chances of actual sunshine are around zero percent. There is more cold, and more snow, in the forecast.
My yard is still partially covered with snow, the top of which now sports a crust thick enough that my kids can walk across it without leaving footprints or, thankfully, getting their socks and shoes wet. The remaining cover is thickest out in the middle of the yard, about where home plate generally gets placed, right in front of the garden bed that my mom will fill with hostas in a few weeks. Those plants will be mined over and over all summer long for balls which got by someone's bat, but my mom doesn't seem to care. She's a fan.
Reports in the media have been generally favorable toward this year's TwinsFest reboot. I didn't get to go, but here are some highlights as reported by BPMers who did.
First, from CSG Mike:
The crowds were not bad on Saturday afternoon from 1-3pm, considering it was "sold out." I think they probably limited it to the right number of tickets. I would compare it to a full game scenario in the LC. Make sense? Overall the spaces seemed rather disjointed. Unlike previous TF where it was all held in one giant space... They used the Suite level, LC, and service level (-2)...
"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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The outline of an infield has appeared on the asphalt in advance of the ground-breaking on Thursday night.
Glass going in over the Oliva gate.
From the ground beneath the troubled skyway.
Hit gap, win suit!
I do love the upper concourse. Feels like home already.
Red is old Yankee Stadium. This diagram comes from FieldOfSchemes.com
(Click to enlarge.)
The lights went on, and it was a Good Thing
These images are found at the top of the staircase, which leads to the Suite Level.
Some brick work out in the centerfield pavilion.
Section 331, Row 9
This is where the main ticket office will be.
Artist at work
OK, just how many servings per container?
This is what passes for imagination at Miller Park -- they didn't even get the shape right! (Source: LP)
We bumped into Jerry Bell (at right)!
The Ballpark Wall! (really stunning)
Discovered on the upper concourse!
Dave St. Peter introducing the first physical models of the ballpark in June 2007
Justin Morneau, mobbed after a game-winning homer on June 9
This would be a beautiful streetscape if there were ANY people.
Home plate mount from Met Stadium (Source: LP, courtesy Clyde Doepner)
Scoreboard installation in progress
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
Those two empty seats in the front row are where we started the game.
The green in question (click for very large version)
A flurry of action in front of the dugout before the game (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.
Gate 6 Oliva, with the 573 Club looming large over it (I wonder how Tony feels about that)
The green is a composite of the topmost seating areas in the new ballpark. The gray is a scale diagram of the Metrodome.
I will take a picture of just about anything.
Loading docks to the right, VIP entrances to the left.