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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Footings for the Seventh Street walkway from the A ramp.
CBP: retro in facade only
The Ballpark Wall! (really stunning)
The back gates at Comerica park, like everything else, a bit overwrought.
The blue line now indicates where the back of the accessible seating ends and standing room begins.
I meant to include this shot the other day. It's the new LRT bridge being built next to the remaining half of the Fifth Street bridge. The new half is almost TWICE the width of the portion torn down. And the other end runs right into a HERC administration building! (Click to see the view from nearly the same spot about 85 years ago.)
Looking back toward First Avenue
I know these are giants bats with hops growing inside, but... Hmm...
Dan Mehls, Mortenson Construction
Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.
From last week, you can see the piers taking shape. I believe that the front row, visible here as just forms and reinforcing rods, is the front edge of the plaza.
The media had some beautiful foliage to use as a background.
Wood-backed seats viewed through gate 6
Click to enlarge
Also from the same lobby, other window, a view which will clearly disappear before too long...
These are the footings for the staircase which will connect the plaza to the skyway.
Photo by Jared Wieseler
Frost on the pumpkins, snow on the plaza
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
July 7, 1966 (Click to see the entire scorecard with ads)
The Northstar stop has a name.
Gate 3 ticket window
Workers against green
Walkway sneak peek
The plaza has been finished off just beautifully.
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