Monday, April 29, 1901 -- William "Doughnut Bill" Carrick, who went on to lose 22 games in 1901 (or 23, depending on the source), throws the first Major League pitch at the original, hastily-assembled American League Park in Washington, DC. The Senators beat the Baltimore Orioles (later known as the Yankees), 5-2.
American League Park II (1904*-1910)
Thursday, April 14, 1904 -- Howard "Highball" Wilson, who started and lost three games in 1904 and would never play Major League baseball again, throws the first Senators pitch in the ballpark formerly known as Nationals Park on Georgia Avenue. The Athletics beat the Senators, 8-3, in an 8-inning game, which was shortened by either rain or darkness (details lost to the sands of time).
*There are discrepancies over when the team changed geographic locations. I'm using the Retrosheet data, which is based, in part, on the research done for Green Cathedrals.
Griffith Stadium (1911-1960)
Wednesday, April 12, 1911 -- William "Dolly" Gray throws the first pitch in the not-yet-completed steel-and-concrete ballpark that would ultimately become known as Griffith Stadium. The park was built in less than three weeks, after a fire destroyed the previous structure while the Senators were at spring training. On that day, 99 years ago today, the Senators defeated the Boston Red Sox -- can you believe it? -- 8-5.
Metropolitan Stadium (1961-1981)
Friday, April 21, 1961 -- Camilo Pascual throws the first ever Major League pitch at Met Stadium. Marty Keough, hitting lead-off and playing left for the expansion Senators, gets the first hit (to right) in that first at-bat, and scores the first run on a double-play ball hit by Gene Woodling. The Twins lose the game, 5-3, before an announced crowd of 24,606.
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (1982-2009)
Tuesday, April 6, 1982 -- Pete Redfern throws the first official Major League pitch at the Dome. He would fan Julio Cruz of the Mariners, and the first hit (and first run scored) would come on a homer by Dave Engle in the bottom of the first. 52,279 fans saw the Twins lose 11-7 (only 5,213 would show up the next day).
Meanwhile, Back In the North Loop...
This view, from the Minnekahda building (or possibly a predecessor), looks toward the right field corner. The City Market, at left, occupied the land where the B ramp and Target Plaza now stand (over I-394). And the Overlook now juts out just a little beyond where that driveway enters the railyard.
This view is from the roof of a warehouse which stood where the A ramp is today. The HERC is now located where the tracks turned north (toward the top).
This view, also from the same warehouse roof, shows the newly-rebuilt viaduct on North Seventh Street.
2006, Rapid Park
10 years ago, Bruce Lambrecht looked at this land and thought, "Why NOT a ballpark here?" It took a long time before anybody else saw the same potential.
Target Field (2010-)
Monday, April 12, 2010 -- At about 3:12 PM, Carl Pavano will throw the first official Major League pitch (likely to Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox) on a field of grass which now grows where, for more than a century, only railroad tracks lay.
The old railyard officially becomes Target Field, and Target Field becomes the home (in every sense of the word) of our team, the Minnesota Twins.
Here's a souvenir for you, kindly commissioned by our friend, clublevelfan. (Right-click here to download.)
Schedule of Events
11:30 AM -- Puckett Statue unveiled
12:00 PM -- Gates open
12:00 PM -- Twins BP
1:15 PM -- Red Sox BP
2:00 PM -- Grounds crew works
2:15 PM -- Pregame video
2:22 PM -- Raising of championship flags
2:34 PM -- Red Sox introduced
2:38 PM -- Twins introduced
2:46 PM -- Giant flag unfurled
2:47 PM -- Moment of silence
2:50 PM -- National anthem begins
2:52 PM -- Flyover/fireworks
2:53 PM -- Target Field video
2:58 PM -- Guests introduced
3:00 PM -- Retired numbers introduced
3:04 PM -- Ceremonial first pitches
3:05 PM -- Umps/mgrs to home plate
3:06 PM -- Opening video
3:08 PM -- Twins' lineup announced
3:10 PM -- Twins take field
3:12 PM -- First pitch
Like the season, and the ballpark, and the era, we're just getting started here.
"For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes!"
-- Dag Hammarskjöld
Or, as my mom used to say, "Now, you boys go outside and play."
"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 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 very early in the day.
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.)
The HERC side, viewed from Fifth Street.
OK, just how many servings per container?
Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.
Looking across the plaza toward the main ticket area.
The visitor's clubhouse at Target Field. (Photo by Javen Swanson)
The first completed mural
No griping here.
Speakers spaced evenly among the lights
I think AP is in there somewhere...
Here's a rack of lights being prepared for lifting into the canopy.
Open concourses do mean that you can glimpse the field no matter where you are, but not really the game.
Concept drawing of Coomer gate (click to enlarge)
Working on the connecting LRT tracks (this view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown.)
Lunch break at the top spot. (Grandstand)
This is amazingly close to completed. It's a short tunnel entrance ramp to 394 underneath the outfield stands.
Plaza seating installation
Handshakes all around (there's gonna be a lot of that over the next few weeks)
Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Photo by Jared Wieseler
A closer look into the park from down the street. How great will this view be during a game??
The 1963 team won 91 games! (Click to enlarge and see the names)
Here is where the signature art (original Twins logo) will be placed.
Even today, throw a fastball to that guy at your own risk.
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
Though there's nothing there now, you have to believe they'll find a way to add a party deck up there at some point.
The Pro Shop
You'll be able to park here for a quick stop at the Pro Shop or ticket window.
A truck is leaving the HERC plant. Here you can see the proximity to the promenade. For the record, the truck drove right by me and I smelled nothing...