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 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
That's Fifth Street (and a tattooed arm) in the foreground.
Finally, a night game image -- complete with fireworks! (OK, it's either a construction photo which has been Photoshopped, or some lucky photographer spent the Fourth of July in the upper deck watching the fireworks over the river. Cool either way.)
Detail showing clubhouse and home dugout (click to see the entire drawing)
Here is Seventh Street viewed from the west looking toward downtown. This will probably be the most pedestrian-friendly side (other than the plaza), but only if there is some psychological barrier between the people on foot and the people in their dangerously fast-moving automobiles.
This is NOT Twins Territory anymore
That is the gun-metal gray wall of The Stadium just beyond the elevated tracks.
The Target Field grass, it turns out, will be green. (This is a photo representing the concept of grass only. The actual Target Field grass apparently will not contain dirt patches, weeds, or dandelions. Imagine that -- if you can!)
This is the view from the Seventh Street circulation ramp. It will eventually be covered by the wood louvers.
Jose Alvalade XXI Stadium in Lisbon, Portugal has towers much like I'm imagining to hold up our canopy while also making a bold statement on the horizon
Memorabilia on display in the Metropolitan Club
Wind veil install from across Seventh
A cold afternoon in 323, but we had our trusty Twins blanket -- made by my mom when Noah was born.
Click to see the full-size image.
(Click to enlarge.)
Hops! (conceptual only)
Twins in HD on the big board
Looking up Seventh Street (click to see what it looked like from the same spot in 1950)
Concourse ceilings (from the Ballpark Authority's May update)
The renderings and concept model differ here. MOJO thinks this is the perfect place for a party deck. Dave St. Peter seemed to agree!
This is the HERC Premonade with railroad tracks snaking beneath. (I think this should be named the Halsey Hall Premonade. Seriously.)
Bassett Creek's original path (Source: Metropolitan Design Center)
This concourse, the uppermost, was built on top of the now-hidden old concourse during the 70s renovation.
This view, also from the same warehouse roof, shows the newly-rebuilt viaduct on North Seventh Street.
This is from inside the B ramp, where an entrance to the plaza will one day be