November 27, 2009 2:17 AM
You've had your turkey and pumpkin pie, and you're deep in the groggy throes of the tryptophan, but I bet you still noticed that things have changed around here.
That's right: we've got another MVP on our hands. (Nobody gives a crap about web site redesigns.)
Here's a little something that I noticed two Saturdays ago when I went down to the park to see the first Northstar train pull into the station:
Hey! An unnumbered gate!
Yes, this little gate is tucked around behind the Northstar circulation building, and it doesn't have a number. In the sequence of gates, it's right between #6 Oliva and #14 Hrbek.
Hmm. Can you think of any Twin who wears a number between 6 and 14 and might one day have it retired and attached to a Target Field gate by the team?
OK, that's putting the cart before the horse a little bit. They're going to need to re-sign him first. And a few other quality players. But still...
I was able to peer through the gate. Just another amazingly cool peek into the new amazingly cool ballpark:
A peek through a tiny gate.
(Yes, while other media people get tours, I peek through gates. I'm 10 years old.)
One benefit of riding the Northstar train is getting a look inside the circulation building. Even though this part isn't connected to the rest of the ballpark, it's still Twins Territory.
The entry from the platform to the ballpark.
A mural featuring the names of a bunch of Minnesota towns.
Up inside the circulation building. (That's the LRT platform visible through the windows.)
This is where you will put out your butts -- I mean enjoy some pretty flowers.
Riding the Rails
If you are a Facebook fan or Twitter follower, you know that Noah and I got on the Northstar train and rode to Big Lake last Saturday. Us and about a billion other people.
It was standing room only until we got about halfway home. What were all these people doing? Same thing we were: checking out the route and amenities and everything.
Here we are waiting for the first train to arrive at the station (Nov 14).
I'll probably never have a reason to ride that train again, but there's something very engaging about seeing your city from a completely different vantage point. You have moments when you recognize the back of a landmark, and you discover that places you know actually have different place names from a train.
You also get to see a lost history of the city documented in metal awnings, loading platforms and abandoned track spurs which used to serve all of these ancient warehouses. For some, this would be boring. For me, it was fascinating almost every moment. (Hmm, maybe there is a reason for me to ride that train again...)
I used to live adjacent to these tracks in northeast Minneapolis, and always wondered what it might be like to ride a train on them. Turns out, it made me seasick.
This probably wasn't a very common reaction among riders, but it nabbed two of us in our party (my brother and his family also joined us). It's easy to understand when you realize that those tracks move through some pretty serious freight yards on their way to Fridley. They have to go slowly, and there are trains moving at different speeds on each side, and the cars have a bouncy ride that is common for commuter rail, but quite different from LRT.
Add to that the fact that, since we were standing, we had to fold in half to look out the windows. A deadly combination.
Once we hit 50 MPH, in the stretch past Anoka, and had a few of Noah's crackers in us, everybody recovered just fine. I wouldn't let it deter me from riding, because the solution is simple: don't look out the window!
Here are a couple of sights from the trip.
Our conductor in Big Lake
With the engine behind us, we got a real sense of how fast we were going by looking out the front (back) window
Arrival back at Target Field
Not only is there a new look here, but there are new features -- including details on two new services which will be available in the next couple of months.
You can read up on: TC Traders and InGameMagic. The latter is free, the former for a nominal charge.
You may also notice that the front page of this web site no longer has any Google ads -- at least not for the next few weeks. That's my way of saying thanks to the folks who donated so generously and unexpectedly.
There's a donate button in the upper right of this page if you feel so inclined. I will use any donations to extend the ad-free period, with the goal simply being that donations replace the (somewhat measly) ad earnings, which go to cover the direct expenses of the site.
One final thing is that the old domain name, though it will still be recognized, is now the former name of the site. So RIP, TwinsBallpark2010. You done good. Hello, BallparkMagic. (Update your bookmarks!)
Thanks for your patience while I got all this ready. Now we can get back to talking more frequently about baseball and our new ballpark.
The past is the future. Seriously.
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This page was last modified on December 3, 2009.
"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 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The rough outlines of our urban trench. (North is up.)
Click to enlarge. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
I noticed this detail while taking the previous picture. I figure that it must be the VIP entrance from the surface parking lot. I don't think there is any parking inside the ballpark, so this entrance will likely be for suite-dwellers and other VIPs, though I can't say for sure whether players will enter here.
This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.
Banners on the parking ramp are a great touch. They help manage scale and turn a lemon into lemonade. On my way there today I passed the WCCO building and remembered how the Twins schedule used to be painted in giant form on the side of that building (which is no longer visible). Wouldn't that be a great thing to resurrect on the side of that ramp? A giant Twins schedule. I always thought that was cool.
The Target Center rooftop patio. Hardly glamorous, but a great view of the ballpark.
Hot dawgs! Getcher hot dawgs!
A little more imaginative is the circulation building for Northstar.
One half of those windows are well-used.
This is the Carew gate covered in plastic.
The main concourse.
Gate 29 Carew (note the walkway above open to the street where you can shout down at your lost friends to tell them where to meet you)
Flag poles, fencing, main entrance gates
Not much facade left to be finished at this point.
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
Supports viewed from beneath. These seats will be just a few feet from the outside edge of the building!
Looking through the Oliva gate, you can see the outfield stands.
Grid for the ironwood louvres is in place
Here's a correction: The LRT platform will actually be able to load outbound trains from both sides.
From an earlier visit: Don't bother with those escalators either. They were also roped off. And how about a bench? Or a planter? Or even a trash can? That woman is doing the only thing she can: leaning up against a post to do her texting.
The first completed mural
Saints between innings
Is it possible to take a bad picture of this building?
Winter approaches. But one day baseballs will fly where now there are cranes.
Clyde Doeppner proudly displays colored bricks he scavenged from the Met during its demolition. These are the colors in question!
JohnW provides this shot of a construction barricade on First Avenue
Approach in the A ramp to the skywalk over Seventh
BPM - Ballpark Magic
BRT - Bus Rapid Transit
DSP - Dave St. Peter
FSE - Full Season Equivalent
FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)
HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)
HPB - Home Plate Box
HRP - Home Run Porch
LC - Legends Club
LRT - Light Rail Transit
MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)
MOA - Mall of America
MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)
NYS - New Yankee Stadium
SRO - Standing Room Only
STH - Season Ticket Holder
TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium
TF - Target Field
Selected Bibliography - Analysis
First Edition (1992)
Second Edition (2006)
Selected Bibliography - Surveys
Second Edition (1987)
Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000, large coffee table)
Original edition (2000, round)
Revised edition (2006, round)
(2001, medium coffee table)
(2002, small coffee table)
(2003, medium coffee table)
(2004, very large coffee table)
(2006, very large coffee table)
Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
Book and six ballpark miniatures