Great ideas have started appearing here, and there have been many calls here and elsewhere to make history a very important element at the new ballpark.
It's certainly the perfect opportunity for the Twins to embrace the franchise history prior to 1961. They did, after all, win a World Series (1924) and two AL Pennants as the Washington Senators (1925 and 1933) which are not memorialized anywhere. And Walter Johnson, one of the greatest pitchers ever, doesn't have his statue in any ballpark. That's a crime. (Did you know that there are quite a few hall-of-famers linked to the franchise beyond those on the big curtain? Some even wear Senators caps -- Johnson, Goose Goslin, Sam Rice -- while several others spent substantial time on the team.)
Sometimes big gestures are in order:
On May 8, 1966, the Cardinals played the last game at what was once called Sportsman's Park: 17,503 spectators saw them lose to the San Francisco Giants, 10-5. At the game's end, a helicopter carried home plate downtown to the new 50,000-seat Busch Memorial Stadium.
As far as I can tell, no similar move was made for the new Busch Stadium (if anyone knows otherwise, please post it in the comments).
Home plate mount from Met Stadium (Source: LP, courtesy Clyde Doepner)
It's natural to look back and see if there's anything similar the Twins might do. Someone suggested not too long ago that the Twins track down home plate from Met Stadium and install it in the new ballpark. The romantic in me agrees with this notion, but pure practicality will most certainly prevent it. (Someone also claimed that the old home plate is encased in bronze at the Mall of America. Not true.)
The story of Met Stadium's home plate is a sad and sordid one, with almost no particulars, and I'll give you the ending first: no one knows where it is.
I heard the whole story from Clyde Doepner while looking at his extensive collection of Met Stadium memorabilia at the Mall of America a couple of weeks ago. I was there (as were many fans) for the reunion of the Twins and Dodgers players from the 1965 World Series.
There was Clyde, with his elaborate and very cool display, set up on the edge of the rotunda near where the autographs were being signed. If you missed it, you'll have another chance. Clyde is anticipating that much of his memorabilia will be on display in a Minnesota baseball museum at the new ballpark. In fact, Clyde had already signed a deal with the Twins had a ballpark been built over by the river several years ago.
Clyde Doepner's Met Stadium Memorabilia (Source: LP)
One of his greatest (and largest, and heaviest) pieces is pictured here: it's the mount for home plate from Met Stadium. Clyde said that he arrived at the remains of the Met while demolition was taking placed and simply asked the foreman if he could have it. He was told that it was his if he was willing to dig it up himself and haul it away. So he did, along with one of the bullpen pitching rubbers (not displayed because its base was a chunk of cement weighing somewhere around 50 pounds).
But as you can see, the plate itself is gone. "They were going to give it away after the last game," Clyde explains, "but it was stolen after the second-to-last game. They had to put on a new one for the last game, and they gave that one away in a raffle." Did you win this raffle? If so, we want to hear from you!
So if there is to be a transplant, it'll be from the Metrodome. But a helicopter move seems unlikely, what with the roof and all. A train move, on the other hand, might just be the thing. Despipte what many feel about the Metrodome, there is some history which really should be transplanted. The Twins did, after all, win two World Series there...
But I'm happy to report that at least one idea first mentioned here has already made it onto the Twins' radar! (This 12 second clip is an excerpt from tonight's channel 9 news.)
"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.
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)
Puckett atrium chef stand menu
Artist at (very painstaking) work
Sky through steel.
The view out Gate 6 "Oliva".
Double plays will be turned here.
Looking across the top of the B parking ramp. Notice that signage will block any attempts at seeing the game from up there. Also take note of the glassed in area which is part club and part office space for the Ballpark Authority.
Another over-my-head shot
Believe it or not, the actual outfield wall will be about where this fence is now!
The Metrodome is converted to its football configuration after the Twins game on August 29, 2002
The lights have covers on the top, presumably to reduce light pollution
Wind veil install from across Seventh
This maze of scaffolding is something you'll probably never see again.
Looking from near the entry doors toward the center, the atrium is just visible at the far right.
The scoreboard terminates the view on Fifth Street as seen from Hennepin
Looking from the doorway to the south, across Seventh Street
An early concept drawing for the site
What can you see from up there? Some say not much.
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
The circulation ramp on Fifth Street is shaping up very quickly.
At the corner of the Pro Shop.
Not from Moose's tour, but it's an image you need to see. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
7:52 PM It's nearing peak, and covering the stands behind third base.
Do you know who did this drawing? If so, please tell me so I can give them proper credit.
5:45 PM, section 327, row 9, sitting: shade.
One thing that the design disguises nicely is that the Pro Shop (and other key components) are actually built over lanes of freeway. That can clearly be seen here.
Detail showing clubhouse and home dugout (click to see the entire drawing)
Very nice Admin glass.
Did you know that the out-of-town scoreboard is covered by a black chain 1ink fence?
2014 Twins ASG promo bat.
I will take a picture of just about anything.
The tower is actually finished, though it looks like a work in progress.
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
of personal dirt mover (inset). Very cool.
At Comerica Park, some aisles have railings and some do not.