As we walked, his handler dropped back and it was just him and me. I tried to put a few words together to thank him for what he'd given me as a kid. But, as you can imagine, my words were sloppy and stuttered. I was about as articulate as I might have been as a 10-year-old. I bet he gets that a lot.
But he put an arm around my shoulder and talked about how much he'd enjoyed playing, how much he loved the game and the fans.
The greatest part was that he actually meant it. He seemed humbled by my offer of thanks, somewhat reluctant to accept any sort of "hero" status (I didn't use that word), and fully comprehending the impact he'd had on me (and by extension, many, many others -- again, I'm sure he gets this a lot).
The next day, when he was signing autographs in the concourse, I got in the already-long line just as his signing time began, and I was still about 15 people back when his allotted time ended. But the line behind me stretched off into the distance. And so Harmon just plain kept on signing.
I got my picture signed, and a bunch of people who had been behind me in the line also got their stuff signed.
Even after however many hours (years) he'd been doing it, he was cheerful and gracious.
One of the perks of working on this site is that I get to talk to a lot of people about behind-the-scenes baseball stuff. I can tell you that the admiration for Harmon is genuine and widespread. He is considered one of the all-time great players, one of the all-time great ambassadors for the game, and one of the all-time great teammates and team leaders. He's someone who recognizes that fame was a byproduct of doing what he loved, and that it came with responsibility.
He's lived up to that responsibility many times over.
I have much more from this amazing weekend coming, of course. But if you ever wonder about the name of this site, it's also another name for my favorite player.
"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 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
All three seating mounds
Note that, even though the scoreboard appears strategically placed, it's the outfield stands which block any potential view of the field from this roof.
This is the plaza as viewed from the A ramp.
They can put a camera just about anywhere. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
Looking toward the Farmer's Market site from the balcony of the 573 Club at TF
Midway Stadium (seen from our tailgating spot across the parking lot)
Here's a curious little room at the end of the circulation ramp. What could they be selling there?
Concept drawing of Coomer gate (click to enlarge)
Click to see the full-size image.
A mysterious smile from within a very deep planter!
The seating bowl of Citizens Bank Park overlaid on the Target Field site
This is an angle I have not used very much, from the top of the Fifth Street ramp. Because the wall is so tall (forget about watching a game from here for free -- OK, maybe with a step stool) I have to hold the camera up over my head and just snap, hoping I get something good. Here I did. This view then looks to the southwest.
TC caps everywhere! (Is that you?)
Not my actual kids!
Peering through Gate 34
Opening day, 2010
The lights went on, and it was a Good Thing
The limestone now wraps around onto the HERC side.
The Ron Coomer corner features a bar.
"Original" or "Dinger" Dog
The plaza has been finished off just beautifully.
The Metrodome is converted to its football configuration after the Twins game on August 29, 2002
Gate 29 Carew
We took refuge for a time in the Twins Pub where you can drink a beer (or just hang out) and listen to some ballpark tunes. The organ is decorated with a TC (of course) and what looked like drawings which Sue has received from kids.
This area will supposedly show the Twins chronology. Will it stretch back to 1901?