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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The bridge is Seventh Street.
I didn't check the menu too closely, but it looks like all the standard fare is available, and not much of the non-standard stuff.
Lower deck view of the out-of-town scoreboard.
Here's a rack of lights being prepared for lifting into the canopy.
Approach in the A ramp to the skywalk over Seventh
Let's be honest and say that this promenade, which will face the HERC plant, won't be the most exciting part of the streetscape. It has to be provided for circulation reasons, but there won't be much to see unless vendors and other attractions take root here.
Snow-blowing the field
Reverse view, now looking down Sixth toward the park. The Met Stadium flag pole will be right there!
This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.
Looking back toward First Avenue
Detail of the train tunnels (click to view the entire drawing)
Staging for the next section (Home Plate Box)
Looking back toward downtown from the end of the balcony
The closed concession stand.
Solution for a hot night, just inside Gate 34 (that's a cool mist, by the way, not hot steam, which would be kind of cruel)
At the end of the balcony you can see down the promenade.
A closer look at the bridge and walls. You can see where the tracks will be laid.
This was billed as a diagram of a super-suite. I'm not quite sure just where this (or these) will be located.
Note the speakers hanging beneath that deck
Infield dirt used as accents
Larry DiVito takes a last check of everything before the game starts
Walkway construction is progressing
Here's a detail from the above image, showing the LED strips up close.
Hardware in the window! (But why are there three trophies? 1924?)
Integrating the administration building was really a great idea. Actually, there will be more things inside than just offices, but that will probably be some sweet space.
2014 Twins ASG promo bat.
A little more imaginative is the circulation building for Northstar.
Work on one of the side panels
First Avenue at left, bike parking area at lower right
Giant screened images! (573 Club, my back to Seventh Ave windows)
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.