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
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Of the players up there, only Bert does not have a gate with his number (28) on it at Target Field. You know, there is that door underneath the skywalk on Seventh Street between gates 14 and 29...
The green is a composite of the topmost seating areas in the new ballpark. The gray is a scale diagram of the Metrodome.
Greatest spot in the city for cooking up some hot dogs. And would you kill for that grill?
A spectacular golden hour
I think that's a pig up there on that vane!
Limestone will cover this pretty soon, but for now you can see where the escalator is.
Frost on the pumpkins, snow on the plaza
The outfield stands taking shape.
The top of a warehouse visible beyond a parking ramp.
From last week, you can see the piers taking shape. I believe that the front row, visible here as just forms and reinforcing rods, is the front edge of the plaza.
How many times did we water down our field as kids? More times than we played games, that's for sure!
8:32 PM The glare is gone. Elapsed time: 1 hour (approximately 3 innings).
Fifth Street louvers way up close
Circulation building with construction team on top
Detail at Gate 6
Griffith Stadium (notch visible in lower photo at far left)
Showing more of the context for the louvers.
Looking down what was Third Avenue, and will be a freeway entrance ramp beneath the outfield stands.
That's my mom. She scored the whole game on her Gameday program (bought for just $1 on the opening night special -- thanks guys!)
Concrete molds are being removed!
Champion's Club details (click to enlarge)
We'll be packed into the first five rows of section 136. Hey, Wilson! I'm bringing my glove!
Puckett atrium menu part 1
Here is the most recent outfield configuration, captured from the animation video. We probably shouldn't make too much of the logos seen on the scoreboard: Best Buy, Dairy Queen, Target, Pepsi, Dodge and Qwest...
This view looks through the opening in the fence where the crosswalk will be.
I'm not sure why there's a wreath on Gate 3. (I quickly checked the headlines for any dreaded Killebrew news. Whew.) It looks to be in celebration, maybe of the move.
At the base of the B ramp, the foundation for the center field stands.
There are some great banners on fencing down Target Way. I'm not sure just who sees them.
Larry DiVito, mowing
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