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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Up there is where I plan to buy a lot of hot dogs. You can see the vending areas developing rather quickly around the completed portion of the upper concourse.
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
Off-topic, but this gigantic, cool, retro sign is just across the street from S&CH. Why? I don't know. Might look nice on top of one of those municipal parking ramps...
Ullger warms up.
Special guests in the trees!
July 7, 1966 (Click to see the entire scorecard with ads)
(Click to enlarge greatly)
Hot dawgs! Getcher hot dawgs!
Above the Carew gate
Our host points to the Puckett Atrium on the diagram.
Ye Olde Tyme Vegetable Cart (and its modern cousin)
This isn't a very good picture, but it is the current view of the inside of a suite.
Concept drawing for the fan/player appreciation wall. (Click to enlarge.)
Saints between innings
Lots of people are doing it.
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.
A timeline of design and construction of the ballpark. (Click to enlarge. Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
Final pieces arrive
B ramp improvements are finally becoming usable. The doors lead to the plaza beneath the skyway steps.
A glimpse of the rather plain west facade (the side which faces the HERC plant).
A few weeks ago there were sand volleyball courts here. When the park opens, this will be surface parking. Maybe one day there will be something more interesting built on top of that parking...
The bridge is Seventh Street.
Here's where the plaza will empty out around that skyway emergency exit tower at the corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street.
How many times did we water down our field as kids? More times than we played games, that's for sure!
The action drew everybody to the top step. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
The beautiful Promenade has become a sea of temporary barricades. (Smoker's Row outside the unnumbered gate)
LRT station has appeared.
I realized I've never shown how the walkway over Seventh Street meets the A ramp
I finally found the corner of TF dedicated to the Senators. What a wonderful sight.
A peek through a tiny gate.
Ballpark elevation diagram, viewed from Fifth Street. (Click to enlarge.)
The seating bowl of Citizens Bank Park overlaid on the Target Field site
8:02 PM It's at peak, affecting mostly the upper deck.
A closer look at the bridge and walls. You can see where the tracks will be laid.
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...