Eight Weeks and Counting
February 17, 2010 12:11 AM
Minnesota is a beautiful place.
You know it's true, but these days you just have to keep telling it to yourself. Our weather is beyond chameleon-like; it's deep into shape-shifter territory. It also has this sadistic side which seems to appear at this time every year.
But take heart. Eight weeks from now there will be outdoor baseball in Minnesota. It's certainly possible that the only visible grass in the state will be at Target Field. But that's OK.
If you're starting to have doubts, banish them! One or two days in the 40s is all it will take for much of this white blight to wash down the nearest sewer drain. Even if the temps stay small, there's heat beneath them there Colorado-grown blades of grass (rumors about frozen heating tubes notwithstanding).
Of course, you know as well as I do that there will be naysayers. In fact, the national media will saying nay essentially in unison, and especially loudly if one or more games of the opening series are delayed or postponed. It seems like anybody with a keyboard instinctively thinks that it isn't Minnesota baseball without a roof. "Are they insane?" we hear them say.
Well, we're not. In fact, we're out in front on this one. There's just no denying that, in this case, the conventional wisdom is flat out wrong. (For background, click here, here, and then here.)
But you're going to need your "roofless cheat sheet" to counter those Nervous Nellies, those Chilly Charlies, those Fearful Fredas. So there it is at the right. (Clip and stick in your pocket to be whipped out when somebody besmirches the meteorological reputation of our fine state and new ballpark.)
Do you prefer charts? Here are some I nabbed from Outflux.net (based on NOAA data).
And if you need more credible reporting on the subject, check out this Sports Illustrated article.
Up On the Rooftop
I climbed up to the top of the Minnekahda building one sunny but very chilly morning last week. The big things haven't changed much since the last time I was up there, but the overview you get from there is nothing short of spectacular. Here's hoping one day there's a party deck up there with some stands and jumbo screens tuned to the action. It's not Wrigleyville, but who cares. That would be completely awesome.
Note that, even though the scoreboard appears strategically placed, it's the outfield stands which block any potential view of the field from this roof.
The images on that wall appear to be of great Twins moments in history.
I still counted 11 flag poles...
Balcony of the Town Ball Tavern.
You've made it this far. You can make it eight more weeks! Take a deep breath and repeat after me: "Minnesota is a beautiful place."
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This page was last modified on February 17, 2010.
"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.
How many times did we water down our field as kids? More times than we played games, that's for sure!
Big board, as viewed from section 327, row 9.
Looking up toward Seventh Street.
Here's a first view of the surprisingly spacious walkway on Fifth between the ballpark and the LRT platform.
Seville's certainly will benefit from 81 games a year played about a block away! (When I walked by on this day, the place looked deserted, but I stand corrected!)
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.
This area will supposedly show the Twins chronology. Will it stretch back to 1901?
Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)
Now, why is there horse shit on the street next to Target Field? (I saw it in two places. Mounted police maybe?)
Remember the pitch heard throughout Twins Territory? What an amazing day that was, April 12, 2010. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Hops! (conceptual only)
Love the lighted, translucent panel
Viewed from the sidewalk on Seventh Street. No skyway infringement needed.
At the other end of the bridge, the configuration of the tracks has become clear.
The former Ford manufacturing plant (now Ford Centre).
There must be millions of details needing tending
Two signs visible from beyond the confines of the ballpark.
I'll admit that this makes me nervous. It's pretty easy to step into the path of a train (which is true at various points along the line, but still...)
Fan number 3,030,673 came through this gate a few moments after I took this picture.
Notice that the wooden-backed club seats are now covered by a green tarp for protection from the elements.
One thing that the design disguises nicely is that the Pro Shop (and other key components) are actually built over lanes of freeway. That can clearly be seen here.
A sampling of seats at Fenway Park
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