A Fitting Send-Off
Games (and Memories) That Matter
October 3, 2009 2:21 AM
Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)
This is it.
We won't have that old cement craphole to kick around for much longer.
Get it out of your system now.
Here's what I'll probably miss the most about the Metrodome: the complaining.
It has become something of a ritual. I've gotten pretty good at it, and such habits tend to die hard, especially when they've been so much fun. There are so many things to dislike about the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and really just about nothing to like.
Well, except for the history.
In today's comments there were plenty of folks who admitted they will feel a little sad as the Metrodome era comes to a close. The admissions were cautious, tentative, as if not wanting to step in front of a Dome-bashing freight train.
But they were also very genuine. It turns out that some people have special personal memories associated with the place: first games attended, special moments witnessed, family connections strengthened. We should've known.
August 2001 (a month later we were engaged)
To those fans I say: Don't let all the disparaging of the Dome tarnish those memories. They will always be special. Hold them close. Even through hating the Dome, I got a few of those myself.
2007, Noah's first game (Torii's last)
It's the darnedest thing, but real memories can be created, and real history can happen, in the most unlikely, even the most unpleasant of places. And when it does, you're stuck with the place as part of the memory.
All those great Twins moments (which I won't go into here because they've been pretty much pounded to death elsewhere) are inextricably linked -- and will be forever -- with that lousy place. That terrible, horrible, offensively bland, barely functional, cramped, dank, gray-blue, pressurized, rat-infested, un-baseball place.
The saddest event
Yet there they are: wonderful, beautiful, full-color baseball memories.
Do you remember that long, late night when the team got back from Detroit? I cheered til I was hoarse. My ears rang for days.
There was no game to watch, but that was some serious ballpark magic. Fitting, isn't it? My most special memory of the place was when there wasn't a game being played.
If you feel sentimental this weekend, go for it. I can't predict my reaction, and won't even try. I'll be at Sunday's game with my parents. It's unlikely that I will shed a tear, but you never know.
Rally Hanky (2002 ALCS)
Frankly, I hope on Sunday to be distracted by the presence of a meaningful baseball game being played in front of me. And I will be hoping that the ticket I bought to the "last game at the Dome" will one day be referred to as the ticket I bought for the "last regular season game at the Dome".
I went out to Target Field to get pictures of the celebration sign being installed, but the place was buzzing with activity and pictures just had to be taken. So here are a few stragglers from the other day.
Above the Carew gate
What are they hanging over there?
Artist at (very painstaking) work
Work beneath the scoreboard
Work on one of the side panels
There must be millions of details needing tending
B ramp at left, ballpark at right (and visible far away through the tiny crack)
Rooftop scaffolding, for the wind veil installation?
Twins in HD on the big board
I see an opportunity in this view for an Abbey Road-style promotional photo! Mauer, Morneau, Nathan and Cuddyer walking toward the ballpark. The only question: which one takes off his cleats?
A quick scheduling note: The Twins announced today that they will turn on the canopy lights first thing on Monday morning and let them burn for 100 hours. That means a couple of nights for gawking -- which I'll do on your behalf if you can't get down there, of course.
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This page was last modified on October 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.
This is as close as I could get to a pedestrian-eye view of Seventh Street (looking west away from downtown). It's inviting, not imposing, and remarkably dignified.
A glimpse of the rather plain west facade (the side which faces the HERC plant).
Here's the field of posts which will support the third base side of the grandstand. Some walls have started to appear about where the Northstar riders will enter the park.
Here is Seventh Street viewed from the west looking toward downtown. This will probably be the most pedestrian-friendly side (other than the plaza), but only if there is some psychological barrier between the people on foot and the people in their dangerously fast-moving automobiles.
Mauer steps in for the first time.
I'm too short to see over that wall. How about a little platform or something?
The Polo Grounds (left) and Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium)
No, that's not Kent Hrbek. It's catcher Glenn Borgmann.
This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.
June 29,1936 - May 17, 2011
The Metrodome is converted to its football configuration after the Twins game on August 29, 2002
Uh oh. A code of conduct. Clearly posted. I'm not gonna mention any names, but you know who you are... (Click to enlarge.)
These images are found at the top of the staircase, which leads to the Suite Level.
This is the trapezoid (for lack of a better name) in right center. Be sure to notice section of seats just below the pavilion and above the fence (which I hadn't noticed before). For those who are interested, what looks like an old-style scoreboard is in fact a high-def video board which will look, at times, like an old-fashioned scoreboard.
Steps going up at Gate 29/Carew
Notice that the wooden-backed club seats are now covered by a green tarp for protection from the elements.
Main concourse, looking south toward the area behind home plate.
Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)
Two signs visible from beyond the confines of the ballpark.
Nine spots for hops bats.
Of the players up there, only Bert does not have a gate with his number (28) on it at Target Field. You know, there is that door underneath the skywalk on Seventh Street between gates 14 and 29...
Not much facade left to be finished at this point.
Also from the B ramp entrance off of Third, a look up at the tiny crack between ballpark and parking ramp
I took this because of the view reflected in the store windows. (The store is cool too.)
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