The 2009 Ballpark Construction Calendars are finally here, after an unexplained production delay at the printer. They look great, and will make terrific stocking-stuffers. Please note: It's a limited edition, so don't delay! They aren't all sold yet, but they will be.
Here are the final images:
The link above will take you to the calendar info page, but if you're ready to buy, just click here ($14.99 plus $2.00 shipping for each calendar):
That will take you to PayPal where you can pay with a credit card (without even becoming a PayPal member if you don't want). If you'd rather pay by check or money order, make your check payable to VideoMakers, and send it, along with your shipping information, to:
If you already locked in a lower price, you should have received a PayPal invoice by email. That contains a link by which you can send your payment electronically, but feel free to use the above address for alternate payment methods.
Orders will be shipped First Class on the same day payment is received, so there's still plenty of time for Christmas delivery!
It's a small book, but tells the story of the franchise (including the Washington years) through a series of quotes from players, managers, reporters, authors, and fans. There's no narrative, just quotes. It's unique, a very fast read, and lots of fun.
The author, Alan Ross, has a bunch of books like this for various teams. But unlike so many sports books written by non-fans, this one really captures the spirit of the franchise.
Coolest. Gift. Ever.
I have a friend who is a season ticket holder, but not very excited about the new ballpark. She's someone who would trade blue sky for guaranteed 70-degree weather. I've tried reasoning with her, but to no avail. She's fond of saying, "Sure, it's on the skyway system. But when I get there, I have to sit outside."
There will always be nay-sayers.
But this particular nay-sayer has a heart of gold, because the Twins sent two extremely cool premiums to long-time season ticket holders, and she didn't want them so she gave them to me:
The countdown clock is, well, just that. It doesn't have any buttons, and doesn't appear to do anything else. The back is held on with screws, so I could probably open it up to see how it works. But I won't do that. It does just what you might want such a thing to do.
And from that countdown clock came the countdown you see at the top of this page. In case you haven't figured it out, it's set to go off at 1:06 PM on April 5, 2010. What will happen at that moment on the countdown clock is anybody's guess. But I hope I won't be home to see it!
And the hard hat matches those used at the ground-breaking and other publicity events. I'm not sure it actually counts as protective gear, but it's cool.
Here are a few new pix from my quick trip down to the site last week. It's getting harder and harder to see new things from the street. Eventually, pedestrians will be shut out from the fun. But for now, you can still get tasty glimpses.
View level as seen through the Seventh Street circulation ramp
The admin building (note TF logo on banner)
Circulation building with construction team on top
The right field overhang as seen from Seventh Street (with dude)
From the B ramp, 6th level elevator lobby window
Also from the same lobby, other window, a view which will clearly disappear before too long...
This is from inside the B ramp, where an entrance to the plaza will one day be
"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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
This appears to be the floor to the home dugout!
Also from the B ramp entrance off of Third, a look up at the tiny crack between ballpark and parking ramp
That warning sign doesn't mention anything about the potential for bludgeoning or limb removal by the revolving doors...
Looking back toward the ballpark from Third Avenue and Fifth Street. Again, the track configuration is now clearly visible.
Purple flowers above Second Avenue
A glimpse of the rather plain west facade (the side which faces the HERC plant).
Wright's Marin County Hall of Justice, San Rafael, California (1959)
A path for workers -- don't touch the plaza! -- in front of three giant Chia pets
Concept drawing for the fan/player appreciation wall. (Click to enlarge.)
(Click to enlarge.)
The Ballpark Authority at work (Source: RP)
Time to paint those supports Vikings-purple.
Thome steps in.
The right field foul pole seen against a backdrop of Butler Square (itself a site of great significance in the history of professional baseball in Minneapolis)
Viewed from an A ramp elevator lobby.
No arches. No brick. No girders. Classic.
That's part of the wind veil, waiting in the B ramp for installation
Wayfinding within the B ramp is still a work in progress.
This would have been the HERC side, though it's unclear just how far over the plant the retracted roof would have gone. My fear was always that they would have to shorten the track and more of the roof would have stayed over the ballpark. The only good retractable roof is one which disappears when not in use. I don't think they could have realistically created such a thing.
August 2001 (a month later we were engaged)
Work going on under the steel.
Larry DiVito takes a last check of everything before the game starts
Section 117, Row WC (applies to all the back rows under the Legends Club seating)
This design has a rather generic quality to it, but they appear to have considered the B garage. Though it isn't part of the model, they've clearly left room for it.
The Fifth Street side is pretty busy. There's a small street entrance to the B ramp, then ticket booths and an entrance gate, a rare exterior section not covered in limestone, the wooden screen covering the circulation ramps, the administration building, and finally (just out of view) the interface with Northstar. All of that sits behind the LRT action. How pedestrians will interact with this side of the park is a great mystery to me. You know that Metro Transit won't be letting them cross the tracks anywhere but at either end of the block...