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 3044 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.
No arches. No brick. No girders. Classic.
This gate opens onto Seventh Street from the circulation ramps, but it appears to actually be an entrance gate, rather than an exit gate. It has something of a Bat Cave feel about it because it's not a gate proper, but an area of louvers that will swing in, virtually disappearing when closed...
Can you name that field? (Braemer Park, Edina)
You can't get there from here.
Staging for the next section (Home Plate Box)
Louver samples on display.
Hops! (conceptual only)
Dude, this is NOT a multi-use facility.
Gate 29 Carew (note the walkway above open to the street where you can shout down at your lost friends to tell them where to meet you)
Harmon is visible (barely) at the very center of the crowd.
A whole bunch of guys working on something.
Bassett Creek's path through the ballpark site (Source: Minneapolis Public Library)
Another look at the outfield stands (Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune)
Another classic space in the making above the Hrbek gate.
The circulation ramp on the north now has its louver framing.
8:32 PM The glare is gone. Elapsed time: 1 hour (approximately 3 innings).
Town Ball Tavern balcony
Dancing for the cameras
The view from the Penn Ave entrance to 394 (and all the way into town! Click to enlarge)
Looking through the transit hub
This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.
We'll be packed into the first five rows of section 136. Hey, Wilson! I'm bringing my glove!