The verdict on the First Base Lounge was swift. You were underwhelmed, to put it mildly. My hunch is that you'll feel pretty much the same about its brother across the diamond.
If anything, it's even less elaborate, partly because it's not a mirror image, and doesn't have the benefit of the long walkway entrance. Also, I guess there aren't as many third baseman to be memorialized (I counted only three; at the end of this post you can see a comprehensive list).
Here's the entrance from the seating bowl.
The moat walkway viewed from across the park.
Stepping through the bowl entrance door, you have to turn left immediately into a long hallway which connects to the service corridor. It's not much to see.
Air conditioning condensation on the floor.
In fact, that poor guy had been stationed there just to make sure people did not slip on the wet floor, which was covered with condensation from the air conditioning duct-work running directly above. He was pretty cheery, and very helpful, but it didn't look like a very fun job -- especially when there's a major league baseball game going on about 50 feet away and you can neither see nor hear it.
This reminds me of two short stories from the past couple of weeks. First was a conversation with an elevator operator at TF who said that the radio feed had just started being piped into his elevator car. He was grateful, but admitted that with people coming and going all the time, it was hard to track much of the game.
The other was a conversation with a security guard who was pretty confident he'd been hired because he was not much of a baseball fan. His sense was that his bosses wanted people who wouldn't be distracted by either the game or their surroundings. Makes perfect sense, and it didn't take too much additional conversation to confirm that he was pretty disinterested in the whole thing.
Back to business. The lounge hallway has a door to the left (not seen) which leads to a room for pregame ceremony participants, and a double door to the right into the lounge. There are also two big roll-up metal doors (more visible below) which separate the hallway from the lounge. My hunch (unconfirmed) is that these can go up during a rain delay to make better use of the space.
Roll-up metal doors visible at right.
As was pointed out in yesterday's comments, the primary purpose of these lounges is to save a bunch of long walks up to the main concourse, and provide some respite from the elements. And they serve that purpose very well.
Except during a rain delay (when they're packed to the gills), they are generally sparsely-populated, meaning lines to food and restrooms are not an issue.
I will admit that when I walked into the first base lounge in March, I thought that it wasn't finished yet. So I was a little surprised when these never changed after that point.
Most glaring to me was the bare cement floor, which is in stark contrast to almost every other part of the park. And the ceiling, though finished, tends to make it feel more cavernous than you might want. There is clearly room for improvement in the ambiance. A different floor/lighting/ceiling combo would make these a little more inviting.
Also, unlike many other such areas, there is no memorabilia on display. That would also serve to warm them up a bit.
But I didn't see anybody complaining.
As on the other side, the view of the game from the little walkway is terrific.
Again, for fun, here's the comprehensive list of players who have ever started a game for the Twins at third base (with number of starts and era) through the '09 season.
The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at www.retrosheet.org.
Gary Gaetti (1286, 1981-1990)
Rich Rollins (742, 1961-1968)
Corey Koskie (737, 1998-2004)
Harmon Killebrew (473, 1961-1971)
Mike Cubbage (378, 1976-1980)
John Castino (372, 1979-1984)
Eric Soderholm (357, 1971-1975)
Scott Leius (357, 1991-1995)
Steve Braun (258, 1971-1976)
Ron Coomer (254, 1995-2000)
Mike Pagliarulo (209, 1991-1993)
Nick Punto (197, 2005-2009)
Cesar Tovar (148, 1965-1971)
Michael Cuddyer (137, 2002-2005)
Jerry Terrell (116, 1973-1977)
Dave Hollins (115, 1996)
Brent Gates (107, 1998-1999)
Brian Buscher (106, 2007-2009)
Al Newman (90, 1987-1991)
Joe Crede (84, 2009)
Bill Tuttle (84, 1961)
Jeff Reboulet (75, 1992-1996)
Dave McKay (71, 1975-1976)
Larry Wolfe (67, 1977-1978)
Rick Renick (65, 1969-1972)
Luis Rodriguez (64, 2005-2007)
Brendan Harris (62, 2008-2009)
Todd Walker (58, 1996-1997)
Terry Jorgensen (52, 1989-1993)
Mike Lamb (51, 2008)
Tony Batista (50, 2006)
Denny Hocking (48, 1997-2003)
Terry Tiffee (37, 2004-2006)
Chip Hale (34, 1989-1994)
Scott Stahoviak (32, 1993-1995)
Frank Quilici (31, 1968-1969)
Reno Bertoia (31, 1961)
Roy Smalley (30, 1985-1987)
Matt Tolbert (29, 2008-2009)
Ron Clark (29, 1967-1969)
George Banks (23, 1962-1963)
Jason Maxwell (22, 2000-2001)
Graig Nettles (20, 1968-1969)
Danny Thompson (19, 1971-1975)
Chris Gomez (15, 2003)
Juan Castro (13, 2005)
Dan Monzon (12, 1972-1973)
Jeff Cirillo (12, 2007)
Frank Kostro (12, 1964-1965)
Casey Blake (10, 2000-2002)
Jon Shave (10, 1998)
Glenn Williams (9, 2005)
Johnny Goryl (9, 1963-1964)
Joe Nossek (8, 1965)
Ron Washington (8, 1984-1986)
Tommy Watkins (8, 2007)
Matt Macri (8, 2008)
Jay Canizaro (7, 2002)
Ted Lepcio (7, 1961)
Mickey Hatcher (7, 1981-1983)
Vic Power (5, 1963)
Jay Ward (4, 1963)
Ron Jackson (4, 1979-1981)
Bob Randall (3, 1980)
Vic Rodriguez (2, 1989)
Pete Mackanin (2, 1980-1981)
Luis Gomez (2, 1977)
Steve Lombardozzi (2, 1988)
Billy Gardner (2, 1961)
Rod Carew (2, 1971)
Brian Raabe (2, 1995-1996)
Augie Ojeda (2, 2004)
Tom Quinlan (1, 1996)
Bernie Allen (1, 1965)
George Thomas (1, 1971)
Howie Clark (1, 2008)
Donnie Hill (1, 1992)
Danny Walton (1, 1973)
Alex Prieto (1, 2004)
Jose Valdivielso (1, 1961)
Luis Quinones (1, 1992)
(It was a fun little project to write the program which extracted that info. Any other positions you'd like to see?)
Barring the completion of something more consequential (unlikely because I'm going to the game tomorrow afternoon -- section 237, row 1), tomorrow night we'll look at the Legend's Club, which may take more than one post.
"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 3004 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
A glimpse of the rather plain west facade (the side which faces the HERC plant).
Good seats, but no scoreboard or sky.
This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.
Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)
Looking the other direction, again from Ford Centre, you can see what's going on over the tracks. This will be a public promenade.
A mysterious smile from within a very deep planter!
You'll be able to park here for a quick stop at the Pro Shop or ticket window.
This design has a rather generic quality to it, but they appear to have considered the B garage. Though it isn't part of the model, they've clearly left room for it.
One half of those windows are well-used.
The brick has been tinted where the circulation ramp meets the admin building.
The Metropolitan Club (click to enlarge)
The Lincoln Saltdogs (and a promotional Nerd)
Ballpark elevation diagram, viewed from Fifth Street. (Click to enlarge.)
I had to hold the camera as far over my head as I could to get this shot, in which the infield is finally visible. It's a spot made for your average Timberwolves player.
Crosswalk taking shape.
At left, across the tracks by that pile of dirt is where the Northstar commuter train platform will be built, and where Twins fans will apparently NOT be able to get a train after night games. (For reference, that's the Fifth Street bridge, with the ballpark site just beyond it. The east corner of Ford Centre is just visible at the right edge of the picture.)
The heretofore unseen north facade (click to enlarge). Does it look like a ballpark? And what's with the bamboo?
Here's a first view of the surprisingly spacious walkway on Fifth between the ballpark and the LRT platform.
Looking up Seventh Street to the west
End of the line.
Just one lane of traffic and a couple of feet between the fence in right-center and the wall of the parking ramp!
The lot within the lot.
Discussions in progress on some very brown grass...
June 29,1936 - May 17, 2011
Dome, what have you taken from us?
From the roof of the Minnekahda building (courtesy Bruce Lambrecht).