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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Scoreboard installation in progress
This will be a great sight on game nights.
The right field foul pole seen against a backdrop of Butler Square (itself a site of great significance in the history of professional baseball in Minneapolis)
A skyway-level view down Seventh Street.
This is the view from the Seventh Street circulation ramp. It will eventually be covered by the wood louvers.
This would have been the HERC side, though it's unclear just how far over the plant the retracted roof would have gone. My fear was always that they would have to shorten the track and more of the roof would have stayed over the ballpark. The only good retractable roof is one which disappears when not in use. I don't think they could have realistically created such a thing.
Pile driving in progress
One half of those windows are well-used.
(Click to enlarge.)
Some details are visible here, like the back of an escalator.
Where you are, and where you can go.
Detail of the Puckett wall hanging
The green is a composite of the topmost seating areas in the new ballpark. The gray is a scale diagram of the Metrodome.
The electronic sign has been corrected (and never forget that ballpark is one word, not two)
All that's left is to add wood! (Seventh Street circulation ramp.)
The Pohlads were loose. A-Rod looked, um, you decide.
The shade of the canopy gives way to a brief shaft of light. It would do the same again a short while later when the sun passed through that tiny open sliver between the View and Terrace levels.
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
The Hrbek gate is directly below. It's a lively place after a game.
Glove from above
Here are some less intrusive things things you can actually get at the ballpark.
(Click to enlarge.)
Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)
At Comerica Park, some aisles have railings and some do not.
These outfield stands will likely remain visible to passersby.
This is as close as I could get to a pedestrian-eye view of the main entrance. This is what you'll see as you enter by coming down Sixth Street.
One more exterior view shows that, while the original look was attractive in a way, it seems to be a variation on the look of the Washington ballpark (albeit with a much more coherent collection of elements). What's remarkable is that the design team has refined the concept amazingly well, improving it immeasurably. What we're actually getting is clearly descended from this, but it's in a whole different league:
Ballpark elevation viewed from the promenade (HERC plant) side. (Click to enlarge.)