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?)
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This page was last modified on March 10, 2010.
"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 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The proposed wooden screen covering the circulation ramp on Fifth Street (at left is the equivalent screen on Seventh Street).
Dancing for the cameras
Looking through it, you can see the outfield pavilion (upper deck at least).
I noticed this detail while taking the previous picture. I figure that it must be the VIP entrance from the surface parking lot. I don't think there is any parking inside the ballpark, so this entrance will likely be for suite-dwellers and other VIPs, though I can't say for sure whether players will enter here.
Photo by Jeff Ewer
Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)
The canopy as viewed through the outfield stands. The lighting approach, despite what you may have heard, is actually very traditional.
The HERC side, viewed from Fifth Street.
I meant to include this shot the other day. It's the new LRT bridge being built next to the remaining half of the Fifth Street bridge. The new half is almost TWICE the width of the portion torn down. And the other end runs right into a HERC administration building! (Click to see the view from nearly the same spot about 85 years ago.)
Waiting for a train. Reading on the promenade. How urbane.
The alumni band sounded great.
This was actually taken from the top floor of the International Market Square.
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 entry from the platform to the ballpark.
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
A detailed crowd shot. Click to enlarge greatly.
This looks like a Twins Pub, but is actually the scoreboard operations.
You write the caption...
Limestone still dominates the Seventh Street walkway from a pedestrian point of view. But brick take over as you move upward -- a concession to cost, no doubt.
Midway Stadium (seen from our tailgating spot across the parking lot)
Bassett Creek's original path (Source: Metropolitan Design Center)
The glass area seen here is one of the warm-up areas.
Jose Alvalade XXI Stadium in Lisbon, Portugal has towers much like I'm imagining to hold up our canopy while also making a bold statement on the horizon
These stairs will meet the skyway.
TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)
A view from up (and in) the street.
This terrible picture shows the netting in place through a knothole on Fifth
Ullger warms up.
The flowers don't have quite the fullness depicted in the original sketches (where they were positively overflowing), but they are quite lovely -- a great, subtle touch. And that's probably a very challenging place to grow anything.