A day later and the excitement of openings is tempered by bad news about closings.
Nathan greeting the other pitchers on the all-Metrodome team (October 4, 2009)
Joe Nathan's been my favorite active Twin for quite some time, and it's a shame to think that his career is potentially in jeopardy due to injury. I've always thought that what the Twins got in Nathan was much more than a closer. He plays the game hard and smart, and sets a great example for the younger guys on the squad. He knows his job, does his job, and just plain wins.
What's more, he's a great example of how the Twins coaching staff helps players reach their potential. Would any other team have named him as their closer when the Twins did? Not likely. To outward appearances, it looks as if the Twins made him a closer and then brought out the best in him -- which is the opposite of the more traditional pattern. Joe responded to the trust they placed in him by raising his game to another level. If there is a Twins way, that's it. That's Gardy and Rick Anderson right there. It doesn't always work, of course. But Nathan's case has always felt to me like a testament to what's possible when people trust one another.
Upon hearing of the injury and prognosis, my first thought was to his personal situation, but a close second was to the 162+ 9th innings about to commence. I don't have to tell you what's at stake, or how big the question marks are.
And I was so looking forward to hearing "Stand Up and Shout" over that brand new sound system...
But for now, let's return to happier thoughts, walk the plaza and peer through some more gates.
Just to the right, more ticket machines. These things are everywhere.
Peering through Gate 29 -- lots to see
I have to say that I've come to think that those overhead heaters are hilarious -- in a good way. Prepare to feel like a french fry!
Or maybe a better analogy would be baby chicks, since we'll probably be standing around in clumps beneath them, eating our feed.
Gate 29 escalators
Love the lighted, translucent panel
Next up, the Pro Shop.
I'm not one to spend much time in pro shops because the prices make my eyes water. This one was no exception.
But it's really a great space, with plenty of natural light and interesting angles. It might be a challenge to merchandise in there because of its size and shape, and stuff is already pretty crammed in. I was bumping into racks down on the skinny end of the store and I was one of only a half dozen people (including employees) in the place. On gameday, this will be a madhouse.
The staff was very friendly, and was gracious enough to let me take a few pictures.
A very unique space
Doors directly to the concourse, and a view of the stands beyond
One of the greatest things about the space may also be something of a problem. On the one hand, there are so many windows that almost everything becomes a window display. There is no mistaking the purpose of this space from the plaza or street.
But hours in the sun will probably fade some of that merchandise pretty quickly. Rotating it all could become somebody's full-time job.
Outside, lots of window space
Seventh Street windows
Come to think of it, that may be UV glass, in which case it's a moot point.
More Veil Talk
Finally, here's a shot I forgot to include yesterday:
Hit gap, win suit!
You can see that the wind veil, though it sticks out a couple of feet from the B ramp facade, does not completely cover that gap between the ramp and the plaza. Through that opening: I-394!
I say that anybody who gets a ball through there and onto the freeway (it's in fair territory, so it'd be a kick-ass homer) should win something fancy. A suit? A car? Indemnity from liability should a windshield get busted? All are good.
There was some discussion today about the parking ramp lighting behind the wind veil. I haven't seen it at night, but it sounds like a potential distraction from the light show they intend to put on.
From my exploration yesterday, it certainly appears possible to put some sort of mask behind it, but I bet there would be issues with air circulation in the ramp, and the panels on the veil might not move as dramatically.
A better solution would be to redesign the lighting in the ramp to minimize bleed-through. Lights mounted on the wall directly behind the veil and pointed in the opposite direction (as opposed to the current overhead style) might just do the trick. Of course, that could take an act of Congress (literally). If it's possible and advisable, I'm sure somebody's all over this. But I have a feeling it's gonna stay this way for a long while.
I'll leave you with the gateway to Target Field. (Love the signpost. Very understated. This was where they originally wanted to put the Met Stadium flag pole, and we're pretty glad that fell through, right Ben?)
"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.
2007, Noah's first game (Torii's last)
The base of the old Met Stadium flagpole. (The plaque refers to the "Flame of Freedom" and not the origin of the pole.)
The plate marker is just to the left.
The glare problem.
The entry from the platform to the ballpark.
Larry DiVito and staff member (you write the caption)
5:45 PM, section 327, row 9, sitting: shade.
Despite what those signs say, every one of these places was selling either snacks or Yankee memorabilia out of its front door. Do you suppose anything like this will spring up anywhere near the new Twins ballpark?
Don Swanson, left, in-coming commander of the Richfield American Legion, and Joe Kennedy, right, out-going commander, are pictured with the Legion's new flag pole, which once stood at old Metropolitan Stadium. (Click to enlarge.)
Dome, what have you taken from us?
The east wall of the building looks like it will be the first part completed. These are probably supports for the plaza, and they hug the very edge of the site.
The brick has been tinted where the circulation ramp meets the admin building.
Now, why is there horse shit on the street next to Target Field? (I saw it in two places. Mounted police maybe?)
The Ceremony (VIP in the crowd)
Looking from First Avenue toward the ballpark (over the top of a construction barricade)
Because of the scale, it's sometimes hard to realize that there are actual guys down there doing the tough work! Here they are getting ready to pour a footing.
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
This was from January 19, 2007, when it looked like wonderful things might never happen here.
Not me, but it might as well be.
Here's where I was when the alarm went off, and though the siren wasn't terribly loud, at least one guy is plugging his ears.
Met Stadium on May 17, 1975 (Twins vs. Brewers featuring Hank Aaron)
The alumni band sounded great.
Viewed from the A ramp.
A slightly different angle, and you can see some of the structural elements.