This rock, estimated to weigh 125 tons, was unearthed January 2, 1980, at the site of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis.
Having endured centuries of glacial action and wind and water erosion, the rock was set to be destroyed by explosives at the stadium site when the First National Bank of Minneapolis stepped in to preserve it as a landmark for the city of Plymouth.
The bank enlisted the aid of the Soo Line Railroad Company and a heavy-duty hauler to transport the rock from downtown Minneapolis to Plymouth. The two-day move, which coincided with the grand opening of the bank's Plymouth Office, was completed on March 3, 1980.
The granite boulder, composed primarily of potassium feldspar and quartz, is estimated to be approximately 1.8 billion years old and could be much older. It is similar to rocks found near St. Cloud, Minnesota, and may have been deposited in Minneapolis during the glacial activity of the ice age some 11,000 years ago. The size of the rock suggests it was part of a knob broken away from a low hill.
An alternate story, as reported in The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Souvenir Book, holds that they actually did try to blow it up, but it didn't work, and it would have cost too much money and taken too much time to keep trying until it was gone. Also, by then there was apparently some sort of public sympathy for the rock. (I suppose that makes sense, since this was the era which gave us the notorious pet rock.)
(Has anyone else ever noticed that the US Bank logo contains a stylized home plate?)
By unusual coincidence, that rock was originally situated almost on the exact spot where many of J. C. Romero's game-blowing wild pitches as a Twin would one day land... (Congrats to the Phillies and the former Twin -- who by some weird quirk of fate actually got the win in the deciding game 5.)
Here's a story which ran on Fox News at 10 after the conclusion of game 5 of the World Series. It's about weather issues, but has lots of great interior shots of the ballpark.
I have to admit that Citizens Bank Park looked completely awesome on TV. It has a unique seating bowl, which looks to contain a whole bunch of "neighborhoods" (as I imagine that ours will). Also, there was one shot and quick story about some area of the outfield seating which was built to evoke the old wildcat bleachers across the street from Shibe Park. That's a great idea -- I just hope they're cheap.
The upper decks did look to be pretty far up, and it made me wonder how that park's height compares to Target Field, but I haven't been able to find any info on that yet.
And here's an interesting story for those who skipped that last part of game 5. Did a statue of William Penn play a role in the long drought of championships in Philly? Read more about this supposed curse here.
Hmm, did Minneapolis build anything in 1992 that might be cursing our ability to win world championships...? (I'm open to alternate nominations.)
Finally, here are some stray shots from my twilight trip down to the site the other night.
A closer look at the grid on the Pro Shop.
The HERC promenade side.
A view from up (and in) the street.
This is also the promenade, where the first indications of the final texture of the walkway can be seen. This layer of concrete is going on top of gravel (as has been done over on the plaza).
Once again, Noah is holding his ears because of the traffic noise.
Actual LRT tracks are now in the street, and buses now pass over them before entering the transit hub.
Steel meets concrete, with the last rays of sun visible through the suite and concourse openings at left.
"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 3044 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The first pitch.
Ballark Authority members listen to the LEED introduction
Target Plaza looking toward the grandstand
Typical SRO view upstairs.
A mural featuring the names of a bunch of Minnesota towns.
The storage tunnel is barely visible at left behind that guy.
The Polo Grounds (left) and Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium)
The old flour Gold Medal Flour Mill, located next to the new Guthrie theater (Source: RP)
Just to the right, more ticket machines. These things are everywhere.
Mystery door on Seventh Street...
Looking down Sixth Avenue toward the plaza
Tony Oliva, R. T. Rybak and Mike Opat
Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)
The view through a construction "knothole".
This view clearly shows the curve in the left field stands and the relationship of the first row with the playing field (no overhang to speak of in left).
The finished product.
The Target Center rooftop patio. Hardly glamorous, but a great view of the ballpark.
The visitor's clubhouse at Target Field. (Photo by Javen Swanson)
Today's late-inning office.
Knothole non-view #1
Section 331, Row 9
ATM-style ticket machines have appeared beneath the steps to the B ramp (you can also enter the B ramp directly by walking past the ticket machines)
Dude, this is NOT a multi-use facility.
Close-up on the diagram of the Club Level with finishing materials (click to enlarge)
The main concourse is a very busy place at all times.
Here's an idea of what these Loge Boxes are all about. That guy is a waiter with no fans to serve. They seemed to have one server for about every four boxes.
The outfield stands taking shape.
Wrigley Field. Paradise? Not from these seats.
Dan Kenney, my tour guide
Glove from above
The Fifth Street side is pretty busy. There's a small street entrance to the B ramp, then ticket booths and an entrance gate, a rare exterior section not covered in limestone, the wooden screen covering the circulation ramps, the administration building, and finally (just out of view) the interface with Northstar. All of that sits behind the LRT action. How pedestrians will interact with this side of the park is a great mystery to me. You know that Metro Transit won't be letting them cross the tracks anywhere but at either end of the block...
Limestone still dominates the Seventh Street walkway from a pedestrian point of view. But brick take over as you move upward -- a concession to cost, no doubt.