Regardless of what happened last year, or during the offseason, or even a decade ago...
...the first pitches of every new season afford a team with something not found almost anywhere else in life: a clean slate. Is there anything more beautiful (in this context) than rows and rows of zeroes?
You are allowed -- nay, expected -- to slough off what has gone before. In fact, the sloughing off has already been done for you. The counters are all reset. All that is expected going forward is that you will hold your head up high, dig in and make something of this new opportunity, something big, something special.
Five minutes after I took this picture, large chunks of this sculpture were sliding around on the floor. Omen?
Between those dusty numbers from last fall and today's zeroes, there have been changes. Some faces are gone, some are arrived. Some are healed and sport new smiles in place of old grimaces.
Most of all, within the zeroes is that renewed chance of catching lightning. That's what they did in 2002, after all.
Pick your analogy: The toolbox has new tools. The palette has new colors. The menu has new selections.
Buffet in the Carew Atrium
Each new season is like a plate of goodies just waiting for the plastic wrapping to be removed. What will they taste like?
Spotted through a kitchen door on the suite level
For our part, the fans come out to the ballpark for the first time each April with a freshness, even if that does not exactly include optimism. It's been long enough, we think, and it's time to see what the Starting 10 can make out of all these zeroes. Pundits be damned, we're allowed to have some hope, and by gosh we will.
The ballpark, for its part, does not disappoint.
About 30 minutes before game time
That's one thing which has not changed: This is the same edifice it was when last we left it. The acquisition of a new ballpark is not like signing a free agent. The player will be gone long before the bonds are retired. This is an important thing to remember. (The same is generally true of radio announcers. Welcome, Mr. Provus.)
Target Field is actually starting to look a little lived-in -- a good thing, I think. There are finally some dents in the railings...
...and the furnace is on the fritz...
...but this is where we come to watch the Great Game turn a bunch of zeroes into, well, who knows?
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This page was last modified on April 11, 2012.
"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 3003 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Detail of the Puckett wall hanging
A view straight on of the Pro Shop area and ticket windows (just barely visible). The piers you see beneath the plaza are already almost completed (see final photo).
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
Clyde Doeppner proudly displays colored bricks he scavenged from the Met during its demolition. These are the colors in question!
This would be easy to miss, but I found it on a cart located directly behind the Batter's Eye seating on the upper concourse in center field.
A photo taken as my meter ran out.
Banners on the parking ramp are a great touch. They help manage scale and turn a lemon into lemonade. On my way there today I passed the WCCO building and remembered how the Twins schedule used to be painted in giant form on the side of that building (which is no longer visible). Wouldn't that be a great thing to resurrect on the side of that ramp? A giant Twins schedule. I always thought that was cool.
I don't exactly know what this is. A first-aid station? Concession office?
Love the red flowers -- just like the original concept drawings. That NEVER happens.
Better them than me
Here's the entrance from the seating bowl.
From about two blocks away you can finally get an idea of what it looks like. Just to my left (but out of view) was a valet parking stand where a limo was idling.
From the Downtown Council's 2025 Plan, a Metrodome "Revelopment" and a strong indication of where they think a new Vikings stadium should go.
Chef stand and menu in the Carew atrium
Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Who Owns What (Click for larger version. Source: Ballpark Authority)
Click to enlarge.
These outfield stands will likely remain visible to passersby.
This is the entrance behind home plate (not visible in the renderings which have been released). It shows that the upper deck is set back from the facade -- a very good thing if it remains in the final design.
You can get a hand-carved sandwich, or ice cream while pondering the career of Julio Becquer.
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
A little higher angle shows how the two stations are close to one another but distinctly separate. The oval, glass-enclosed area is the entrance from the Northstar platform below into the ballpark. The LRT platform is comparable to the other stations along that route.
The overhang as seen through the unnumbered gate
The right field overhang as seen from Seventh Street (with dude)
A sharp-eyed reader caught me trying to make the best of a bad situation with my SP-570UZ on Sunday afternoon
Since pictures of the ballpark are forbidden, perhaps you'll enjoy this shot of the lovely apple tree in my front yard.