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Day Game (After Clinch)

September 22, 2010 10:34 AM

2:33 PM -- Target Field (the day after)

Twins win!

2:11 PM -- Batter's Eye standing room

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

-- Kasha/Hirshhorn

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...!

Comments


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Posted on September 22, 2010 at 10:45 AM by Rick 1


Posted on September 22, 2010 at 10:46 AM by Rick 2

Bring 'em a win, Rick!

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 11:01 AM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 3



This is where the future transit platform (for the Central Corridor trains
primarily) will be built. View is from the Town Ball Tavern balcony.

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 11:14 AM by Rick 4


Posted on September 22, 2010 at 11:36 AM by Rick 5

Great pics today Rick. Keep them coming.

You bring up a good point about parking for weekday day games. It can be treacherous as you are competing with the downtown work crowd as well as all the contract parking. There are often huge swaths of open spaces yet they must be held for those with the monthly contract passes. It should be a real zoo exactly 2 weeks from today when the Twins open the Playoffs at 3pm against the Tampa Bay Rays...

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 12:19 PM by Max Highlight this comment 6



The 2010 AL Central Champs

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 12:45 PM by Rick 7

That logo on the 'Champions - Two in a Row' shirt, is that supposed to be Target Field??

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 1:34 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 8

I remember reading somewhere that once a game starts, they usually do not turn on the lights in the middle of the game and usually start any game that may need lights with them on. In the 4th the Twins turned on the lights, anyone know?

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 1:58 PM by tk Highlight this comment 9



For some reason, the concourses are super busy today.

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 2:27 PM by Rick 10

So what's the magic number now? -1?

Guess I'm just not used to the team clinching before the final day of the season!

:)

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 2:40 PM by Expectorate Highlight this comment 11


Posted on September 22, 2010 at 2:42 PM by Rick 12



It's not that cold, but this is one of the longest lines I've seen anywhere
today.

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 2:46 PM by Rick 13

They seemed to use the same grey-scale color for this years Champions T-shirt that they did last year.

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 5:22 PM by luke Highlight this comment 14

Lights --- once they are on they do not turn them off, not the other way around.

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 5:41 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 15

FTK,
the shirt looks like it's supposed to be the canopy from the street-level vantage point outside Hrbek's, i.e. looking up at the stadium from the west corner.

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 8:57 PM by theloniousjoe Highlight this comment 16

Home from the game. Very fun to see the backups having fun out there in the middle innings, Morales especially. Love the new Homer Hankies, with Minnie and Paul taking their rightful place front and center. And the 2-color screening make them almost worth the $2 price that they started charging last year.

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 10:23 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 17

...oops, too quick with the fingers...

They had so many cartons of the old Hankies to had out at the gate, it was unbelievable. And they were willing to hand out more than one to a customer. I was a little surprised that they didn't hand folks a new one at the gate, instead of just for sale at the shops. Ah, well, that's commerce...

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 10:27 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 18

Does anyone know if La Velle is still a White Sox fan or did he change to a Twins fan because of his job? He seems to get pretty riled up over some things when he's on the radio.

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 10:28 PM by FD Highlight this comment 19

I signed up for pay as we play for my full season playoff tickets, but don't think I've been charged yet on my card, has anyone else been charged yet?

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 10:40 PM by eightmenout Highlight this comment 20

It's only ironic the one day the Minnesota Twins set their all-time single season attendance record it happens to be the same day the Minnesota Wild sellout streak ends at 409 games.

That Wild sellout streak should have ended long ago, but now its
officially over.

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 11:24 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 21

Mike,

I did not know they counted preseason as part of their sellout streak. That seems a bit odd to me.

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 11:44 PM by TK Highlight this comment 22

What if they had a sell-out and nobody came?

I think it would be far more accurate to gauge interest in the team or game by actual attendance - the number of times the turnstiles clicked over. I don't think the park was any more than 3/4 full last night (which also indicates that a lot of people missed out on a great game). Maybe a "sell-out" with appreciably less than full attendance should more accurately be called a "scalper's sell-out", or some such thing. It is abundantly obvious that at least a significant % of STH are not really Twins fans, but are holding "inventory" for some other reason..

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 11:44 PM by Ben Highlight this comment 23

From the horses mouth on the Sellout streak, I too found it weird that pre-season was counted.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 12:40 AM by Josh Highlight this comment 24

On Tuesday, someone bought 2 tickets for ALDS game 1 in the Champions Club, Section 9, row L, for $1,750 per ticket plus 10% fee for a cool $3,854.95 on Stubhub.

(can be verified on the Stubhub listing tickets page, just click on section 9 when pricing your tix)

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 12:49 AM by eightmenout Highlight this comment 25

Tampa Beat NYY! Tied for best record!

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 07:18 AM by The Sooj Highlight this comment 26

Yup. Rick's '11' has multiple meanings today, but I believe he is tracking our Magic Number for best overall record.

Coincidentally, 11 is also the Rangers' Magic Number over the Red Sox, which will finalize the obvious 4 AL teams. And 11 is, of course, the number of postseason games left to win to take it all.

The link in my name is ESPN's League Standings, which makes it a lot easier than looking at the separate divisions and doing all that math...

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 07:41 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 27

oops. Of course that 11 between the Rangers and Sox was just a bonehead stretch at trying to find another '11.' That really has nothing to do with it... Gotta go get coffee... Hey, it's an off day for me too, I guess.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 07:47 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 28

eightmenout-

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 08:17 AM by twinswschamps2010 Highlight this comment 29

eightmenout-

Sorry for the double-post. I punched in the pay as we play for the tickets, and got no confirmation and I have not been charged. A little scary if you ask me. I did call my rep and he said I was good to go, and that the tickets would be mailed out on "9/27 or as soon as we clinch". Let's face it, though...no tickets are mailed out until the credit card is charged. I was suprised to see no email confirmation of payment or anything...did anyone else see that?

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 08:20 AM by twinswschamps2010 Highlight this comment 30

11=Twins wins to the World Series championship.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 08:20 AM by fiesta Highlight this comment 31

I'm guessing 11 is the # of days til the NLDS game #1.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 09:10 AM by twinswschamps2010 Highlight this comment 32

Make that ALDS :)

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 09:10 AM by twinswschamps2010 Highlight this comment 33

Anyone notified yet if they won the public "random drawing" for the opportunity to purchase ALDS tickets?

It really makes you wonder how many tickets will actually be available to the "general public" through the random drawing process.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 09:25 AM by Mike Highlight this comment 34

TWINS MAGIC NUMBER: 11 (for Home Field through AL playoffs)

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 09:29 AM by trosy29 Highlight this comment 35

TWINS MAGIC NUMBER: 3 (for Home Field in ALDS)

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 09:36 AM by trosy29 Highlight this comment 36

"It really makes you wonder how many tickets will actually be available to the "general public" through the random drawing process."

My guess would be only a token few so they can say they made tickets available. There are just far too many STH (a great many of whom are obviously scalpers) vying for tickets already. In years past a good strategy was to stay close to your computer and try to pick up some recently "released" tickets closer to game day. Not easy to do and who knows if it will work this year anyway. You would think weather might be a factor.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 09:45 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 37

Was at the game yesterday and sat in several differnet areas.Course grabbed my free parking space down on 5th street and brought my 2 fer $2.00 dogs into the game. Think the twins mind if I use their free dog condiments? LOL! Was a little chilly by the time I got there about 12:30 top of the 2nd inning. Saw alot of the game from the pavillion seats with the wooden backs as there were lots of empty seats there. Man we even beat the Tribe with our C squad lineup out there. Looked in the dugout a few times and only would see about 5-6 players most of the time. Must have been a big card game in the clubhouse going on! Near the end of the game the dugout was full again! Last game will be Sunday the 3rd. Then will be going to playoff game #2 on Thursday and game #5 if needed on Tuesday the 12th! Gee never did see any homer hankies being given away! Ohhh well LOL! Scankie vs rays game will be a big one tonight!

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 10:13 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 38

Wonder if we will see the vendors scattered across the cities selling Twins Championship merchandise like we did in 87 and 91? Or does MLB put the clamps on these guys now?

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 10:50 AM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 39

" --- free dog condiments --- "

Those of us paying $5.50 for a dog probably don't share that view, but can only congratulate you for being a smart shopper!

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 11:19 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 40

Yeah, TwinkFan:

I remember being downtown in '87 and buying our twin daughters little World Series t-shirts at a hastily set up storefront of merchandise on Nicollet. Just a big empty room with long tables and cardboard boxes of stuff silkscreened that day. I think it was somewhere around where Barrio is now. I have the cute little pennant that you got free with any purchase. Those were the days. Sure wish I would have thought to buy more, but we were young and penniless...

And in '91 I bought a 'Twice' sweatshirt from the same sort of haphazardly created vendor storefront. And that was before the series was over, so I had the hardest time convincing folks that we had to actually win the series it to make the word meaningful. (They had no clue that I was talking about the need to take 1965 into the equation.) My life goal since 1992 has been to burn that sweatshirt after a third series win. Or maybe Clyde needs one... not too many around, I don't think.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 11:33 AM by schweady Highlight this comment 41

It would seem like the "officially licensed" stuff would have more meaning and value.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 11:57 AM by Ben Highlight this comment 42

To twinswschamps2010, I had the same experience. I remember there was an initial statement that said your card has been changed or registered or something to that effect, and then no other notice or confirmation, and the list of tickets was gone the next time I checked. But I called, gave my acct. no. and was assured it was ok. So good luck. I haven't checked to see if my card has been charged yet.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 11:57 AM by robin Highlight this comment 43

Yea I was just joking on the condiements Ben! LOL! Hell I could of brought in a bunch of booze yesterday as they never even bothered to look in the Holiday Station store bag I brought in! I usually will heat those dogs up in the buns to soften them up a bit. I think they taste much better than the Big dog they sell at the game also. That little store has become my spot to stop before the game plus parking is free down the street on both sides! Course maybe I should not be telling you all this! LOL! Be interesting to see if they slap some meters up there next year!

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 12:08 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 44

Sure glad the boys got the game in yesterday. Looks like we would have had our 2nd rainout today! Anybody building an Ark yet? LOL!

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 12:22 PM by TwinkFan Highlight this comment 45

My son is working on his. Always makes me a little nervous when he does that...

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM by Rick 46

If your sick of having your ears bleed from GB Leighton's Twins song(or if you've long forgot about it and I just reminded you), here is a MUCH better alternative done by Craig Finn of the Hold Steady.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 12:41 PM by Kingduck Highlight this comment 47

Kingduck,

I like the song. I also like The Hold Steady. So.....I am kinda biased.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM by Joe117 Highlight this comment 48

I also was concerned that I hadn't seen the ALDS tickets charged yet. Spoke to my rep yesterday and says it will happen "soon" and that the tickets will start going out today and tomorrow.

I don't understand why the Twins didn't immediately charge the ALDS payments when we signed up, but they didn't.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 1:42 PM by jfh Highlight this comment 49

Anyone know why the California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels are celebrating their 50th Anniversary season in 2011 while the Twins celebrated theirs this year?

Both teams began play in 1961 so I am not sure how the teams figure this stuff out. Just thought it was interesting how both teams are celebrating in different years considering they both began play in 1961.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 2:05 PM by Mike Highlight this comment 50

Actually Ben, the stuff with the most value came WAY before all of this "officially licensed" nonsense. (No MLB hologram sticker on my 1961 home schedule coin purse, for example.)

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 2:08 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 51

Mike, I guess that's just the difference between celebrating your 50th year (Twins' way) vs celebrating the 50th anniversary of your formation (Angels' way). Looking at it from that West Coast perspective, theTwins are actually only 49-1/2 years old right now, so what's all the fuss about this year?
:)

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 2:14 PM by schweady Highlight this comment 52

Also, MLB may have a hand in those decisions.

Having two teams celebrating the same thing at the same time has the potential to water down each celebration. As it is, each team gets the spotlight to itself for a whole year.

What they do with the spotlight is up to the team, but keeping them from stepping into each other's light is in MLB's best interest.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 2:30 PM by Rick 53

This is the Twins' 50th season of operation here. Next year, like the Angels, will be the 50th anniversary, meaning 50 seasons have been completed.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 4:17 PM by Dr. X Highlight this comment 54

I think it has to do with marketing/selling merchandise. Why not milk two years out of merchandise sales (All-Star and 50th Season). Why would anyone make a twist cone when you can have both a chocolate and vanilla.

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 10:17 PM by tk Highlight this comment 55


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

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For some inexplicable reason, a lot of the new parks being built these days feature grand staircases like this one.



Clemson Memorial Stadium



The walkway under construction in the parking lot just outside the loading dock.









TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)









One of the many supports being built over the tracks.



"Original" or "Dinger" Dog









I don't exactly know what this is. A first-aid station? Concession office?






Just lighted panels... *sigh*






Time to paint those supports Vikings-purple.



Night (about the 7th inning)



5:45 PM, section 327, row 9, standing: sunshine.






Three weeks ago this was a patch of scruffy trees. Now it's a patio. In case you were wondering, that's where I've been...






The Metrodome is converted to its football configuration after the Twins game on August 29, 2002



Lunch break at the top spot. (Grandstand)



Skywalk over Seventh






Note the gigantic -- and very permanent -- M's on the gates at the base of these stairs.



Seville's certainly will benefit from 81 games a year played about a block away! (When I walked by on this day, the place looked deserted, but I stand corrected!)






Typical SRO view upstairs.



Here's the entrance from the seating bowl. It's down the outer moat, just beyond the last of the Dugout Box sections.



Legends Club seats feature in-seat service



Directly above gate 6 "Oliva" on the Club level.



Who Owns What (Click for larger version. Source: Ballpark Authority)



Home Plate Box, Section 111, Row 8 or 9-ish (Click to enlarge greatly.)



Noah is checking out the ample leg room and truly exemplary sight lines.



Nine spots for hops bats.



Catwalks provide access to the View Level seats (from the Ballpark Authority July update)



(Click to enlarge greatly)






The county of my birth!









From behind the wind veil






This is the start of construction on the Northstar platform which will feed under the bridge and to a lobby with escalators and elevators just inside the ballpark's public concourse. Compared to the ballpark construction, this looks kind of puny. But the work just to get the trains to come has been positively Herculean. Future generations will look back at this with awe.



First, an overview. The base of the plaza here will meet the base of Sixth Street at Second Avenue.






Just so you have a reference, this is an LD ("low def") scoreboard (inset is what the controller probably looks like).



A spot that's always full!


Glossary

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

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Selected Bibliography - Surveys
 


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Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
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