Twins in '08: Ballpark Magic
October 2, 2008 2:15 AM
Baseball is an amazing game. A game not of inches, but millimeters. The tiniest difference in where that bat hits the ball and it's a double down the left field line instead of a double-play. And every single pitch counts.
It's a game not of rules and strategies, but epic narratives.
Your season is 162 mini-dramas, but that's not enough. There may be one last peroxide-headed dragon who must be slain. Knock that ball loose and the dragon shrinks away -- the ring could be yours.
But before you even get to take on the dragon, you must conquer the ancient sage. Can he cast the same spells with his arm as he did in his youth? Your feet had better be fast.
So 2008, especially its end, was positively Wagnerian (or Jacksonian for the more cinematically-inclined). I would say that you can't make this stuff up, but this is exactly the type of stuff that the great writers through history have always made up. It might be more appropriate to say that, in the days before multimedia, this is the type of campaign they would have written plays or sung songs about.
Yeah, the good guys should have won, but the Game is the thing wherein you'll catch the conscience of the king.
This team will be remembered for not listening to anybody in the baseball world. They will be remembered as a box of spare parts that fought its way into becoming a team. They will be remembered for letting go of first their Heart and then the Best Pitcher in Baseball, starting from scratch, and still making a hell of a run.
My hat is off to Ron Gardenhire and his staff. They may not get much official recognition, but these guys were truly amazing in getting the most out of the tools they were given. They ensured that, barring some unforeseen off-season bungling, they will not start in the same hole next year. They can be counted on to give the Metrodome an exciting send-off.
And what an amazing day that will be. Listening to the national announcers (in last night's game and throughout the season on Fox), you get the feeling that the Twins are seen as some sort of Dome-fueled novelty. I don't think that's true, despite their lopsided home-road record. But I do think that getting out of that cement craphole will instantly raise their credibility within the baseball world.
So, I will sleep peacefully dreaming of the '09 goodbye, and the '10 hello.
Steel going up fast.
For reference, here's that spot on the model.
The HERC side, viewed from Fifth Street.
LRT station has appeared.
Looking down what was Third Avenue, and will be a freeway entrance ramp beneath the outfield stands.
The equivalent spot on the model.
All that's left is to add wood! (Seventh Street circulation ramp.)
Loading dock -- already in use!
From the roof of the Minnekahda building (courtesy Bruce Lambrecht).
From the roof of the Minnekahda building (courtesy Bruce Lambrecht).
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This page was last modified on January 21, 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
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As mentioned earlier, one of the best climate-controlled views of construction is from the 7th floor elevator lobby in the A ramp. (That's Noah getting his first glimpse of the new ballpark.)
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.
The Pro Shop.
For reference, this is that same area as viewed from the seat locator.
Banners on the parking ramp are a great touch. They help manage scale and turn a lemon into lemonade. On my way there today I passed the WCCO building and remembered how the Twins schedule used to be painted in giant form on the side of that building (which is no longer visible). Wouldn't that be a great thing to resurrect on the side of that ramp? A giant Twins schedule. I always thought that was cool.
There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow! (I loved this place as a kid.)
Look familiar? Unfortunately, just adding little balconies with cool angles will not offset the pervading ugliness.
Having fun. Installing limestone. Good gig.
Chef stand and menu in the Carew atrium
Ahh. Lunch in the admin building...
The Ballpark Authority at work (Source: RP)
This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.
Walkway construction is progressing
Special guests in the trees!
Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)
This isn't a very good picture, but it is the current view of the inside of a suite.
Open house skeptics
Lots of work has gone into detailing the fronts of these decks. That is a little thing, but a NICE little thing. (HRP View)
Directly above the ceiling here is the hidden concourse which served the upper deck prior to the renovation. That concourse was closed off to the public, but became a service level for ballpark employees. It's one of the many quirks which will be lost when the wrecking ball takes the place away.
Section 125, Row 1
The ballpark development area expanded by 1000 feet in each direction
Click to enlarge.
Some brick work out in the centerfield pavilion.
I think that's a pig up there on that vane!
Of the players up there, only Bert does not have a gate with his number (28) on it at Target Field. You know, there is that door underneath the skywalk on Seventh Street between gates 14 and 29...
Parking ramp knothole
A glimpse of the rather plain west facade (the side which faces the HERC plant).
Oh no! Beach ball! But click to enlarge so you can see the wide range of expressions on people's faces. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)
BPM - Ballpark Magic
BRT - Bus Rapid Transit
DSP - Dave St. Peter
FSE - Full Season Equivalent
FYS - Fake Yankee Stadium (see also: NYS)
HERC - Hennepin Energy Resource Company (aka the Garbage Burner)
HPB - Home Plate Box
HRP - Home Run Porch
LC - Legends Club
LRT - Light Rail Transit
MBA - Minnesota Ballpark Authority (will own Target Field)
MOA - Mall of America
MSFC - Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission (owns the Metrodome)
NYS - New Yankee Stadium
SRO - Standing Room Only
STH - Season Ticket Holder
TCFBS - TCF Bank Stadium
TF - Target Field
Selected Bibliography - Analysis
First Edition (1992)
Second Edition (2006)
Selected Bibliography - Surveys
Second Edition (1987)
Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000, large coffee table)
Original edition (2000, round)
Revised edition (2006, round)
(2001, medium coffee table)
(2002, small coffee table)
(2003, medium coffee table)
(2004, very large coffee table)
(2006, very large coffee table)
Combines the previous two titles
(2007, medium coffee table)
Selected Bibliography - Nostalgia
Book and six ballpark miniatures