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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
This may look like just some guy (perhaps a spy) headed for the train. But it's actually the Northstar engineer!
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.)
Ballpark magic: Infield materializes (click to enlarge)
Usher Anna hands out Homer Hankies
Stairs and escalator down to the platform
Glass going in over the Oliva gate.
Section 125, Row 1
Write your own caption. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
The main ticketing area beneath the restaurant.
This mural is behind the staircase. The window looks onto the promenade, and the door goes to a kitchen.
A recent view of the Bud deck in progress
TC gets ready to release the hounds. (Kids get to run the bases after Sunday games.)
More of a bird's-eye view of the same area.
This is where you will put out your butts -- I mean enjoy some pretty flowers.
This is the plaza as viewed from the A ramp.
The pink thing is a mascot. (Actually, with a damn fine mascot actor underneath.)
Also warming things up are these planters.
Here's the entrance from the seating bowl. It's down the outer moat, just beyond the last of the Dugout Box sections.
Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.
Gate 34 Puckett
Dancing for the cameras
Approach in the A ramp to the skywalk over Seventh
That's Noah and my brother, Chris, checking out the Loge Box amenities
Poles through the gap
Chef stand and menu in the Carew atrium
Champion's Club details (click to enlarge)
The Fun Zone/Rescue Area in Oakland during the second inning
The Guthrie Theater's Wurtele Thrust Stage seating
Ballark Authority members listen to the LEED introduction
Ballpark elevation diagram, viewed from Fifth Street. (Click to enlarge.)
Integrating the administration building was really a great idea. Actually, there will be more things inside than just offices, but that will probably be some sweet space.
Trains now rumble regularly beneath the promenade.
The heretofore unseen north facade (click to enlarge). Does it look like a ballpark? And what's with the bamboo?
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