Pulled pork aqcuired. Super yummy. Fresh bun. Lots of pork. Just the right temperature. Definitely my favorite new ballpark food.
It was served by a volunteer for an organization which apparently exists solely to put together volunteer groups, or something like that. The guy tried to explain, but couldn't get anything out beyond "private school" and "the arts". I couldn't piece it together.
Before deciding to walk across, I considered a pair of tacos at Senor Smoke's. But something about 2 tacos for $5 just sounds like it couldn't possibly be very good. Perception is reality, right?
On my way over, I heard, for the first time that I've noticed, a freight train horn. It was just a few short toots, but really makes nice background ambiance.
I also witnessed an exchange between a pair of young jocks and an elderly woman. The guys were just moving through the crowd and accidently, and very gently, bumped the woman's arm. One of the guys turned around and gave a truly sincere apology (though it probably wouldn't have been necessary). The old woman was on her cell phone, and gave them a look like, "How dare you interrupt my call."
Also, private message to the guy standing with his back against the batter's eye wall: If you're not watching the game fom there, I will take your spot.
Battery's getting low. This may be my last update until tonight, when I'll have a bunch of real pictures to show.
1:53 PM -- Section N (Borrowed seat)
Twins spring to life. Took a couple of innings to remember how to hit the ball, but all is well.
Looks like I'm going to have to walk all the way out to center field for a pulled pork sandwich. (Same would be true for a corn dog or mini-donuts.) Sure wish everything was available in each quadrant of the building.
Got a look at the "weather" room before the game. All they're watching today are clouds...
12:58 PM -- Puckett Lounge
Morales looking fine at first. Just heard John Gordon say that nobody has played first other than Cuddyer since Morneau went down.
Rookie mistake for Revere, or was it a designed play that went bad? Gladden says he's seen a play like that work, but my money is on nerves.
Standing room on the main concourse is not overly full. I found a fine place pretty easily. There were a few places deeper than they needed to be, so the lesson is: move around, people.
The smell of sauerkraut is, for some unknown reason, unusually pervasive today. Seems like I can't get away from it no matter where I go. (Of course, my allergies are just starting to let up, so maybe it's just me...)
Passing by gate 29, I can't believe that there's still a very long line of people waiting to get in. Weird. The stands are starting to look pretty full.
Had a friend tell me that there were fistfuls of tickets unsold out on the streets. Maybe that's the explanation. I'm sure that anyone who waited is getting in pretty cheaply.
Time for some lunch.
(By the way, I can't insert photos in the post. So be sure to check out the comments for current images.)
12:26 PM -- First Base Lounge
Watching Casilla triple to get things started. Looks like there is some energy there after all today.
What an amazing sight during the pregame! Before taking the field, the Twins took the field ceremoniously for the first time as AL Central Champs. Truthfully, they looked surprisingly rested.
Before that, during the highlights from last night's game, Jim Thome stepped up to the dugout rail to watch. He was a portrait of happy calm. SI curse? Not this guy. He knows what this is all about.
It's been said before, but what this team has been missing is a wise old baseball sage and future HOFer to bring out the greatness. It may be hard to overestimate what it means just to have this guy on the team -- let alone supply the power.
A telling moment was when the scoreboard showed video of the record-breaking fan coming through the gate. Thome's grin was actually bigger than when he had been watching his own highlights. He looked like a kid.
The SSB singer was a waify little thing who was a TwinsFest audition winner, but did a fine job.
Looks like Casilla was stranded at 3rd. Oh well. Lots of baseball yet to be played. Lots.
11:19 AM -- Carew Atrium
Pork Steamship with Cajun Cream is on the menu at the one-pass buffet. It's an evocative name, to be sure, though it doesn't look all that exotic.
Victoria decided not to come today because of her work load. I had purchased a ticket for her through TC Traders, but its value on the street (single ticket, section 323) was pretty low. No less than three guys either walked away or motioned to another broker as if to say, "go bother that guy." I finally got exactly one offer: $5. Needless to say, the ticket is still in my pocket. (I'll probably sit in that seat at some point later today.)
Event parking for these day games is off the charts. In at least a couple of places it wasn't actually "event" parking at all since the day rate is actually higher. For reference, Block E wanted $20. Rapid Park is the same for games like today, but half that on almost any other day.
Given the timing, I should not have been surprised to bump into Twins employees on their way to work. Near me on the bus was a guy who looked like a trainer, and I chatted with a scoreboard operator on my walk up Fifth Street. Though I didn't get his name, he's a 24-year veteran who runs one camera above home pate and another above the bullpen. He told me the harrowing story of a snowmobile accident which precipitated his switch from mobile camera to stationary. And it sounded like he's lucky his head is still attached...
10:49 AM -- Just inside gate 34
The new Homer Hanky just says "Championship Drive" with no date.
And George at the fruit stand (pictured below) tells me he sells mostly cups of carrot sticks, and "maybe one or two" pieces of fruit per game.
10:20 AM -- Bus
There's got to be a morning after
If we can hold on through the night
We have a chance to find the sunshine
Let's keep on lookin' for the light
Well, the party barely got started before it was cut short by a school night.
There's something fitting in that because, as we know well, winning a division is primarily a means to an end. Believe it or not, the next game is almost literally as important as the last.
I'm out at the ballpark today at the invitation of a very gracious host, and it's my goal to capture a sense of what the place feels like with its first division championship -- on its way to who knows what...!
This page was last modified on September 23, 2010.
"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.
Here's the field of posts which will support the third base side of the grandstand. Some walls have started to appear about where the Northstar riders will enter the park.
Catwalks provide access to the View Level seats (from the Ballpark Authority July update)
Franchise history before Minnesota. (Click to enlarge.)
Viewed from a different angle, it seems fair to wonder is some of those seats will have slightly obscured views. Yet, if they're cheap, that's not a problem.
Here's another look at the Oliva gate.
Mussina's first pitch. (Playing 3rd: Not A-Rod)
From the best seat in the house (Section 8, Row A), the right field corner is blocked. (No one may care. Fine with me. People should know.)
Very interesting detail starting to appear here.
Don Swanson, left, in-coming commander of the Richfield American Legion, and Joe Kennedy, right, out-going commander, are pictured with the Legion's new flag pole, which once stood at old Metropolitan Stadium. (Click to enlarge.)
Not sure what those supports are for -- probably stadia.
This guy at the Puckett atrium chef stand caught me taking the picture and said I should stop back later because he was "just getting started." I still don't know what he meant.
That is pretty close... (Grandstand)
The rendering which excited a fan base! (Inset is an enlargement of the pictured neon sculpture.)
Usher Anna hands out Homer Hankies
This is the Metropolitan Club as viewed from the future Ballpark Authority office space.
The first passengers are about to arrive, but the switch is set for the wrong track (those guys walked all the way out to correct it)
This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.
Lots of speakers, but in some places, no sound.
Fencing is going up all along the plaza
The media had some beautiful foliage to use as a background.
Inside the Metropolitan Club. Classic photo of a youthful Bob Casey at far right. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Freight trains run in very close proximity (Jerry Bell was standing at my left elbow when I took this picture)
If you want, you can ask those folks how the game is going -- and even get a little bit of info from the big screen (Grandstand)
The equivalent spot on the model.
Suite level view
Two signs visible from beyond the confines of the ballpark.
The plaza as seen from the B ramp.
The canopy as viewed through the outfield stands. The lighting approach, despite what you may have heard, is actually very traditional.
A Hrbek tribute wall marks the end of the Carew side of the club