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?
"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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Legends Club fireplace (there are two)
Winter approaches. But one day baseballs will fly where now there are cranes.
Dedicated closed-captioning ribbon board
This is as close as I could get to a pedestrian-eye view of Seventh Street (looking west away from downtown). It's inviting, not imposing, and remarkably dignified.
The Overlook, as seen by outfielders
Look at all those flag poles! But wouldn't the one from Met Stadium look great just inside the gates in the middle of that entrance plaza?
The HERC promenade side.
At the base of the B ramp, the foundation for the center field stands.
A detail from the above image shows that the section signage is now in place
I don't exactly know what this is. A first-aid station? Concession office?
The main concourse.
Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
More flowers, more pennants.
Section 237, Row 15 (top of the Trap)
This is a background image extracted from one of the blueprint pages. It's essentially a schematic of the park (Terrace Level). In it you can see the shape of the various seating areas (to a certain extent).
A portrait of the 573 Club.
Peering through Gate 34
Home Run Porch Terrace
This is the revised version of the center field pavilion (without the restaurant). It looks like there are no seats, just some ledges for people to sit on. It reminds me of the seating on the "bridge" which sticks out of the new Guthrie Theater. Anything which lands in the trees will presumably be a home run, so the "411" sign is apparently just for fun.
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
I finally found the corner of TF dedicated to the Senators. What a wonderful sight.