April 11, 2012 12:08 AM
New seasons start with such great hope.
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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
A few details worth noticing (Kauffmann Stadium, New Comiskey, Comerica Park, Source: LP)
The future history of Minnesota ballparks will go here
This terrible picture shows the netting in place through a knothole on Fifth
This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.
Here's another view up Sixth Street toward where the plaza will meet First Avenue (it will hug Target Center all the way).
A timeline of design and construction of the ballpark. (Click to enlarge. Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
This was actually taken from the top floor of the International Market Square.
Franchise history before Minnesota. (Click to enlarge.)
Most of the main concourse is filled with construction materials...
5:45 PM, section 327, row 9, standing: sunshine.
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.
Original outfield configuration
Home Plate Box, Section 111, Row 8 or 9-ish (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Name that ballpark
This little item stands just to the south of the site, where the volleyball courts used to be. It has to be related to exterior finishing elements, which means this is the first glimpse of the actual stone to be used. Very buttery.
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
Section 101, Row 27
Today's late-inning office.
The entrance at Gate 3.
B ramp improvements are finally becoming usable. The doors lead to the plaza beneath the skyway steps.
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
Wind veil framing
Lunch break at the top spot. (Grandstand)
Click to enlarge greatly
The main ticketing area beneath the restaurant.
A cold afternoon in 323, but we had our trusty Twins blanket -- made by my mom when Noah was born.
You write the caption...
It was in and then quickly out of his glove. You gotta make that play.
Though there's nothing there now, you have to believe they'll find a way to add a party deck up there at some point.
Touring the Rapid Park site (L-R: Commissioners Wade, Vekich, Sykora, Cramer, and tour guide Chuck Ballentine, source: RP)
Walkway construction is progressing
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