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 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The lights have covers on the top, presumably to reduce light pollution
Marquette looking south
Gate 3 "Killebrew"
The old flour Gold Medal Flour Mill, located next to the new Guthrie theater (Source: RP)
This is the start of construction on the Northstar platform which will feed under the bridge and to a lobby with escalators and elevators just inside the ballpark's public concourse. Compared to the ballpark construction, this looks kind of puny. But the work just to get the trains to come has been positively Herculean. Future generations will look back at this with awe.
The gate has grown a row of sponsorship
This view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown and shows how the LRT tracks sort of snuggle up to the ballpark.
Two signs visible from beyond the confines of the ballpark.
Frost on the pumpkins, snow on the plaza
Home Run Porch Terrace
Looking the other direction, again from Ford Centre, you can see what's going on over the tracks. This will be a public promenade.
I had to hold the camera as far over my head as I could to get this shot, in which the infield is finally visible. It's a spot made for your average Timberwolves player.
Here's what they do in April at Comerica Park
And another angle looking at the overhang area of the right field pavilion. This looks to me like a great area to watch a game.
Target HQ main entrance. Ballpark resemblance? (Inset.)
I set up my late inning "office" at the drink rail behind section 206
Photo by Jeff Ewer (Click to enlarge.)
The Seventh Street facade
Compare this picture, from the open house in March, with the one above and you'll see that some furniture reconfiguration has taken place.
8:22 PM The sun has caused glare in the webcam, but you can still see the reflection affecting the upper deck behind home plate.
The 1963 team won 91 games! (Click to enlarge and see the names)
The Polo Grounds (left) and Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium)
Today's late-inning office.
The view down Sixth Street toward the ballpark site. A pedestrian bridge will extend this street right into the main entrance of the park. The regrettable facade of Target Center is on the left. Butler Square is on the right. Click on the image to see what it looked like on this very spot about 100 years ago.
Ballpark elevation viewed from the promenade (HERC plant) side. (Click to enlarge.)