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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
(Click to enlarge greatly)
This is from inside the B ramp, where an entrance to the plaza will one day be
Mystery door on Seventh Street...
This is where the plaza meets First Avenue
From the TV camera platform -- the view you'll see on TV
Click to enlarge
(Click to enlarge.)
The saddest event
The county of my birth!
Looking back toward the ballpark from Third Avenue and Fifth Street. Again, the track configuration is now clearly visible.
The circulation ramp on Fifth Street is shaping up very quickly.
Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)
Love the lighted, translucent panel
Section 237, Row 15 (top of the Trap)
I set up my late inning "office" at the drink rail behind section 206
A path for workers -- don't touch the plaza! -- in front of three giant Chia pets
No arches. No brick. No girders. Classic.
Stairs and escalator down to the platform
More of a bird's-eye view of the same area.
A sidewalk has sprouted between the HERC and the LRT tracks!
Looking up toward Seventh Street.
The entrance at Gate 3.
After the rain. (We were in the wrong spot to see the rainbow...)
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...
I finally found the corner of TF dedicated to the Senators. What a wonderful sight.
Pawlenty makes it official!
I have no idea what this is or does, but as gear goes, it's totally boss, man. (Attached to a railing just off of the Trap)
Look closely and you'll see limestone on the front of the press box!
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