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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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awesome. can't wait! let see those white sox get the brooms out this weekend! go twins!

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 02:48 AM by zj Highlight this comment 1

Rick, it will hopefully be a meaningful OCTOBER baseball game on Sunday. As one of the Twins fans who is not old enough to have gone to an outdoor Twins home game, I can't wait; but it will be bittersweet to see the home of my childhood memories come to the end of its run.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 04:13 AM by James Highlight this comment 2


You're right! (I forgot to change my handy ballpark calendar.)

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 09:58 AM by Rick 3

"Target Field" and the Target symbol on the back of the scoreboard were lit up last night. Didn't realize they were going to be lit, but it looked pretty cool.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:05 AM by Chad Highlight this comment 4

Speaking of rat-infested. How to keep them out of the new park? Will they even bother to try? I remember going bat hunting at the old Met with a friend of mine who worked there. There were zillions of bats there.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:12 AM by B.W. McEvers Highlight this comment 5

They designed that canopy at TF to keep out the pigeons, but I don't think you can rat-proof any building with so much basement.

Come to think of it, the Metrodome was probably doomed to rats because it's pretty much all basement!

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:43 AM by Rick 6

Rick - do you know, how far below street level is the playing field at TF? I think the Dome field is 38 feet below street level.
It doesn't appear to me that TCFBS is very far below street level, because that student gate has the huge staircase going up to the main concourse.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:51 AM by luke Highlight this comment 7


That's a tough question to answer because there are so many "street levels" in the area. All of the adjacent streets are at different levels: Fifth Street, Sixth Street, Seventh Street, I-394, Third Avenue.

The playing surface is 35 feet below the plaza level, which is about as close to a reference point as you can get.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 11:10 AM by Rick 8

Great post, as usual Rick.

And your right...the memories are created regardless of the venue.

I remember going to Opening Day at Met Stadium one year when it landed on my birthday (April 22!) with my dad. He's gone now, the Met's gone now but that memory isn't.

My son and I have gone to every Opening Day together now since he was 6 - even though we hate the dome.

He and I were talking last night about all the great games and fun memories we have had just from this year.

Opening Day. Game 2 when the Twins were down by three in the bottom of the ninth with 2 outs and 2 strikes and came back to win. Him taking a batting practice ground rule double off the face and then sticking around for all 17 innings of the game. Getting to see our friends honored on the field for winning a state championship, and then singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" for the 7th inning stretch. My daughter's excitement seeing her picture on the "big screen".

So while the dome is a terrible place to see a game, I know I'll have these memories for years, and undoubedtly they will have a few of these and more to pass on to their kids.

I'm not sure I'll shed a tear either, but like it or not the dome will always be part of fond memories.

And THAT is the important part!

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 11:58 AM by 2bb Highlight this comment 9

thanks Rick. just curious.

I remember going to my first Dome game in 1986. We were either playing Texas or KC...I was only 8.

I went to a game against the Indians in 1987, and a lady 20 rows behind home plate got hit by a broken bat. Still can't figure how it got up that high, and over the netting. But it did.

And, in 1987, I was 9 years old, and stayed up until way past 11pm, waiting with 55,000 fans for the Twins to come back from Detroit.

Other than that, I don't have too many Metrodome memories.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 12:38 PM by luke Highlight this comment 10

AAA to my last post - Rick, in that 1982 pic, what did they make the warning track out of back then, linoleum? The pic looks like the warning track had just been mopped two hours before game time.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 3:03 PM by luke Highlight this comment 11

I was at the game last night, and got a pocket schedule and calender. Both had inaugural season logosm along with the 50 year anniversary logo. They look nice!

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 3:56 PM by BB Highlight this comment 12

really bummed right now about the gophers loss earlier today. almost came all the way back for the win at the end too, which made it that much harder to stomach in the end. :-(

go twins! go (cough) white sox!

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 4:05 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 13

My first game was at the dome in the 90's against the O's and Cal Ripken. That's a big deal for a kid from South Dakota. Went to college in MN and still live here and have been to many many games since. For me, it wasn't about the venue because I was just happy to get to see the game at this level in person. Yeah looking back its a dump but its all i know. Target Field will make the experience that much better.

We will be at the Met for the last game and we will be making a trip out to see the lights at night (maybe on more than one occasion). I will have the new SLR camera, new tripod and high hopes for amazing pictures, memories and game. Hope to see you all there!

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 4:12 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 14

BB - do you think they'll pass those out at the final game?
I'm hoping the Mirosoft Word generated "certificate" isn't all we get.

Beta - I watched that game from beginning to end, and I totally agree. From the Gophers' holding penalty on the opening kickoff - to the Gophers' 88 yard return for a touchdown...the back and forth between the two made for an interesting, but frustrating game.

There were tons of offensive mistakes by the Gophers today. I suppose we should be glad we only lost by 3.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 4:24 PM by luke Highlight this comment 15

Jared, Where at in SD? I'm a Brandon guy. Those trips in the mid 80's for me with the fam were priceless.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 4:29 PM by Locker Highlight this comment 16

I've been pretty darn lucky this year when it comes to Twins games at the dome. I stayed long enough to see Crede hit his walk-off grand slam, I got to see Morales hit his walk-off single, and the other two games I've been to ended up as W's for the Twins. But the game I was happiest to see this year was last nights game, because I got to go with my dad. As a college student, basically all of the games I see now are with friends, but I wanted to make sure the last game I ever saw at the dome was with the person who took me to my first game.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 4:41 PM by Oaks Highlight this comment 17

I've seen all I've wanted to see from Jose Mijares over the past 3 days...ADIOS MUCHACHO!!!!

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 5:45 PM by kevin in az Highlight this comment 18

The clubhouse in the new ballpark looks really nice, a big step up from the dome clubhouse. I also like the signage in the concourses.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 5:57 PM by NewGuy Highlight this comment 19

Mijares still needs to lose a few pounds...he can hardly jog from the bullpen to the mound. Imagine what it'll be like next year for him when the bullpen is in center like it should be ;)

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 6:04 PM by Deenels Highlight this comment 20

I'm from Yankton. I was born in '84 so I was a kid at the time of my mentioned first visit. It also was a family "vacation" and no doubt my 4 sisters and I tortured my parents. It was a game against the Orioles and I went and got one of those plastic helmets, but not a Twinks one, it was a Mariners one! How lame was I? What can I say? Ken Griffey Jr. was my favorite player at the time. But the Twins were always my favorite team.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 6:05 PM by Jared Highlight this comment 21

If anybody can post the inaugural season logo, that would be cool to see.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 6:18 PM by Twins Territory Highlight this comment 22

I have jpgs of the inaugural logo and the 50 seasons (not too clean a scan; how can I post?

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 7:06 PM by fiesta Highlight this comment 23

fyi - the white sox vs. tigers game is on mlb network if you have that channel. if you have comcast digital level cable you should have the mlb network channel.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 7:21 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 24

I'm sure this has been posted already, but just in case, here's a story int he startrib about the flag pole..

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 8:29 PM by Jcm-Baseball Highlight this comment 25

Are the lights at TF already aimed, or will they be doing that during this upcoming test?

Rough one for the Gophers, but did I actually see some empty seats up in one of the corners!? Gophers vs Badgers? Brand new stadium? Empty seats? Hopefully it was just an illusion.

Twins can't be stopped.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 8:39 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 26

I thought I had seen a short glimpse of the Inaugural logo, can't remember where, but it looked pretty cool.

Expectorate, I think the seats you saw were up in the U of M student sections. It may have been too cold for some, but then again, there were some crazy nuts out there in their war-painted skins.

It was gratifying to see that there was alot more gold than red. Bucky fans were put way up in the top in two corners of the stadium (at least from what I saw) - and they even mentioned that on ESPN - that at the Dome, red far outweighed the gold more often than none.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 9:20 PM by luke Highlight this comment 27

I would like to issue an apology to the Minnesota Twins...

At the end of July I doubted the team and tossed the season up on the board as a "loss." I am sorry. I made a mistake. Please excuse my moment of faithlessness.
Thank You.

Ok, now that that is out of the way... Let's Do This! Wooot!

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 9:23 PM by Andrew Highlight this comment 28

Looking at your "Abbey Road" picture above - the Twins should buy the giant Grain Belt sign and put it on the Ford Center. It would look great as you come up 5th st, and would give the folks in the grandstand some "neon love," since they won't have a very good view of the Dudes. (I'm sure Anheuser-Busch won't mind)

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 9:24 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 29

I know we'll eventually get links/pics of the Twins "new" logos for next year. Hopefully they arent as bad as this anniverary logo (click my name) for the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers (courtesy of UniWatch).

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 9:32 PM by luke Highlight this comment 30

what an awesome day,

1. a badger win to cotinue our streak with the axe, and to keep all four of the gophers trophy cases empty, (I'm sorry gopher fans but that is sad) a twins win, and a detroit loss, tomorrow is huge, you couldn't really ask for a better way to send off the dome.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 9:39 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 31

Shouldn't you be a Brewers fan? Also, count the national championships... 6 for us and hmmm... I rest my case.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 9:55 PM by Jim Highlight this comment 32

Let's get City Center to buy the sign, and put it on top of their parking garage, to cover part of the Multifoods Tower.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 9:57 PM by David_Mpls Highlight this comment 33


don't get all sore and butthurt because you lost to us for the sixth time in a row and your seniors will have never touched the axe in their entire gopher career, you should be mad as hell, but don't take it out on me, you owe it to your school to be mad and demand a higher level of play from them, to be honest with you we should have beat you by a lot more than we did, I honestly almost feel bad for how pathetic and sad your program is, but then I stop myself from feeling bad b/c it was your choice to either attend, or choose to be a fan of a university that has four "rivalries" with trophys that they struggle to be competitive in any of them. So if you gopher fans want to continually bring up the fact that you have 6 nat'l championships that is fine and your right, you won them, but us Badgers demand more of our football program today, we do not rest on our successes of 100 yrs ago, we stay hungry for the future, and we expect to win, and we do.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:05 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 34

On Wisconsin!

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:06 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 35

expectorate - there were no empty seats in the student section. every game is sold out. the empty seats you see on t.v. (this is noticable every game) is because all of the students crowd together downwards and towards the middle, thus making it look like there are some empty student seats way up in the corners of the student section. i have heard that the U of M is going to reduce the width of each bleacher seat in student seating next year and up the number of student tickets sold which will eliminate the "empty corner" illusion some see on t.v.

jim - exactly. for any becky football fan football history and reflection starts in 1992. all other records, accomplishments, etc. by them or any other team doesn't matter. in fact in many of their minds college football did not even exist prior to 1992. they seem to have completely forgotten what a "special" little team becky badger football in the 1980's. can you say don morton?!?!? please dirwin!

p.s. dirwin - go stick your finger in an electrical socket you becky troll.

all i know is all of the meaningful records (all-time series, national championships, big ten championships, all-americans) are still in the gophers favor and always will be.

go gophers! the gophers will get becky back at their place next year. guarantee it.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:11 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 36

dirwin is a fool. 100 years ago?! this is exactly the crap i am talking about in terms of their revisionist history. the gophers last national championship was in 1960. is that 100 years ago?! becky's last national championship in football was when?!?!?! and you have been playing football for almost as long as the U of M.

when looked at in a COMPLETE historical context the becky football program is rather mediocre and pathetic. you won a couple rose bowls in the 90's during down big ten and pac-10 years against weak ass pac-10 teams. whoopty frickin' doo!

i will take actual national championship history (from any decade) over a couple rose bowls any day.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:16 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 37


please, this is so typical of a gopher fan, and exactly what I was talking about, you guys need to focus on making yourselves better, b/c it doesn't take a genius to see that your program is awful. And Jesus please change your uniforms, they are hideously ugly, and your cheerleaders are fat, that is not a lie just look at them, you guys are a high school program with a big stadium. You will not win at camp randall next year, i guarantee it.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:18 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 38

and your cheerleaders are ugly too, i've never seen a school with ugly cheerleaders but you guys did it

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:19 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 39

That was the most pathetic display of run defense I have ever seen today. That Gopher defense is a complete joke.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:20 PM by ace Highlight this comment 40

dirwin - keep denying it. btw - what are you 12 years old? you are showing more and more of just who you are with each and every post. some of the shots you take at college aged kids are pathetic. get a life you loser.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:23 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 41


college aged kids are adults, they are not children, but since you have that in your mind it is not surprising that why us badger men continually kick the crap out of you little gopher boys.

P.S I'm 27

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:25 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 42

by how senile and anal you are I would put your age 75?

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:26 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 43

we both watched the game today, the only one who is denying anything is you, who refuses to say that anything is wrong with your program and have blind faith that it will fix itself, well it's been 5 decades with that loser attitude and nothing has happened, the gophers suck and you suck personally

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:28 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 44

well, as usual your responses make absolutely no sense. it sounds like you are 27 going on 7. your parents should be so proud. done chatting with you now. PISS OFF loser!

p.s. wisconsin still sucks.....

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:30 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 45

dirwin7, not sure I'd consider last years game a beatdown. Badgers had to come back from a 21-10 halftime deficit to squeak out a win against a Gophers team that was without its best player (Eric Decker). Let's keep it real, these two programs are not all that different from one another.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:31 PM by ace Highlight this comment 46

Dirwin = d bag

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:32 PM by Jim Highlight this comment 47

This calls for a Royal Rumble between Betaband and Dirwin7. Both are guaranteeing victory next season. History tells us both can't be right. I want an official wager publicly declared on Rick's site and then followed up upon next college football season.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:39 PM by Max Highlight this comment 48


I'm in

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:41 PM by dirwin7 Highlight this comment 49

since dirwin and i are only a couple of years apart in age i am more than happy to settle for the just "royal rumble" part, if he is game.

he can even bring some of his big, bad becky buddies, if need be. ;-)

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:42 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 50

Why in the hell is gopher football being discussed right now?!?! They are not a good football team and they lost today. Crazy. There is a pretty big baseball game case you were looking for something to talk about...

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:57 PM by trosy29 Highlight this comment 51

the gophers and football in general weren't being discussed until our resident becky troll decided to open his trap and start talking a lot of shit. i will stand up for the gophers program regardless of whether or not YOU think they are a good team or not. deal with it.

but, i do agree with you on one thing.....let's get it back to the twins and the big game tomorrow.

btw - i just read on the mpls star tribune site that it will be carl pavano starting on 3 days rest tomorrow.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 11:04 PM by Betaband Highlight this comment 52

Not feeling good about Pavano pitching on 3 days rest. Methinks it could get ugly.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 11:04 PM by ace Highlight this comment 53

You can register at and then host the image there and post the link or you could e-mail it to Rick and I'm sure he'll gladly post it. As he's mentioned, it's rick [at] this domain.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 10:15 PM by Twins Territory Highlight this comment 54

How is it possible to be a Twins fan and a Wisconsin fan? That is just fuckin sick.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 11:17 PM by MATT Highlight this comment 55

Betaband, don't get me wrong, I am a gopher fan through and through, I just think they don't have very good team this year. Just my opinion. My primary gopher love is hockey though. Don't follow the football program that heavy.

Yeah, Pavano will be interesting, but Duensing has been a little shaky lately, and Pavano brings the veteran experience to a huge game. Our bats are hot right now though, and the kc pitcher is young and over an 11 era in his last two starts.

Just got my tickets for the potential 163rd game. I would much rather my next game be Game 3 of the ALDS.

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 11:23 PM by trosy29 Highlight this comment 56

It's called growing up in Minnesota and wanting to go to a school that could offer four years of outdoors, competitive football. That's how you become a Twins and Badger fan. I know that's why I did it. Hatred can be such a complex thing, eh?

Posted on October 3, 2009 at 11:52 PM by The Legacy Highlight this comment 57


Who will be at the Twins game tomorrow and where are you sitting?

Posted on October 4, 2009 at 12:02 AM by Max Highlight this comment 58

Like Jim said earlier, you guys should be Brewer fans.

Posted on October 4, 2009 at 12:03 AM by MATT Highlight this comment 59

Max, I will be there tomorrow in my usual spot, section 116, row 7.

I got tickets for all three games this weekekd and I hope Sunday is just as good, if not, better, than Friday and Saturday's games.

Rumors were flying around at the Dome on Saturday that there will be Homer Hanky's handed out on Sunday. I hope that is true!!

It's going to be one heck of an atmosphere on Sunday!

Posted on October 4, 2009 at 12:51 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 60

I'll be sitting right over by the Target Field countdown sign (sec. 141), row 17.

Posted on October 4, 2009 at 02:26 AM by robback Highlight this comment 61

You can be a Twins fan and a Badgers fan... I'm a Minnesotan who got his degree in Madison. (So, yes, there is yet another reason to hate me, believe it or not.) But I wouldn't trade it for anything. Going to school there was the best decision ever...

.. gotta get ready to head over to the Dome. This afternoon is going to be crazy.

Posted on October 4, 2009 at 09:29 AM by The Truth Hurts Highlight this comment 62

Sec 120, row 31. See you there!

Posted on October 4, 2009 at 10:50 AM by expectorate Highlight this comment 63

today's tigers/white sox game is on wgn.

i have to go to the airport at three which is going to suck...

Posted on October 4, 2009 at 10:55 AM by annoying customer Highlight this comment 64


Posted on May 3, 2013 at 6:44 PM by bulldog Highlight this comment 65

This page was last modified on October 3, 2009.

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