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A Special Fan

June 19, 2007 3:21 AM

July 7, 1966

July 7, 1966 (Click to see the entire scorecard with ads)

On July 7, 1966 the Twins lost to the Detroit Tigers, 4 to 3. It was a game with very little meaning to anyone in the baseball world, but would come to have great meaning to me.

Harmon Killebrew and Rich Rollins homered for the Twins that day, as did Al Kaline for the Tigers. The Twins rallied, but stranded the tieing and winning runs at first and second in an exciting bottom of the ninth. Mudcat Grant dropped to 5-12 with the loss, Dave Wickersham (5-2) got the win, and Fred Gladding got the save.

My grandmother was in the stands that day at Metropolitan Stadium and kept score. Several years later, when I was old enough to appreciate it and be careful with it, she gave me her program and scorecard from that game as a special gift. From that moment, baseball would be the basis for the warm bond we shared. I've always cherished that program as the first and oldest baseball souvenir I ever had.

She died this weekend at the ripe old age of 89. It's hard to be too sad because her life was so long, and her body had become quite frail these past years -- even though her mind remained razor-sharp. This was her time, she knew, and she was ready. I'd had my chance to say goodbye, and her passing was peaceful, with family nearby, in her own home. We should all be so lucky.

When I last saw her a couple of months ago, she wanted to know what I knew about all these new pitchers. She knew enough about the rotation to be openly skeptical (she was equally skeptical about the Vikes). She smiled broadly when talking about Mauer and Morneau and Santana and Hunter, despite the fact that macular degeneration had stolen most of her vision and she hadn't actually seen much of what they'd done. But she thought there was greatness to be found within this team. UPDATE: A cousin told me today that, when he saw her the night before she died, she really wanted to know whether this Slowey was going to be any good. Hard to know what she would have thought after his outing the next day: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 3 HR...

She lived with our family for a time when I was growing up, and loved to play catch in the afternoons. I could not begin to count the number of hours we spent together out there with either a baseball, softball, or Frisbee. She was also known to join in our pick-up games, and she was catching the day I got beaned in the eye with a batted ball (our pitcher's mound was always a little too close to the plate).

Many people in my life have loved baseball, and many have loved the Twins, but Grams was especially loyal. A couple of years ago she gave me all of her remaining baseball keepsakes. Never has an envelope of ticket stubs and a carefully-folded Homer Hanky meant so much.

I'll miss her, but part of my love for the game came from hers, so I'll always carry her with me.

Grams


Comments


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I farm in Northwest North Dakota. My Dad was a lifelong baseball fan and a Twins fan from the day the team came to MN. A satellite dish allowed him to watch many games in his last years.

On the day of his funeral as we were leaving the church to go to the cemetery one of the casket bearers, a neighbor, came up to me and asked if it would be ok if he wore a Twins cap at the grave site service in honor of my dad being such a fan. I said that would be very nice.

The touching story of your Grandmother reminded me of the tribute my neighbor paid to my Dad.

Baseball memories last a long time. Thank you for sharing your story and may your Grandmother rest in peace.

Posted on June 19, 2007 at 08:38 AM by Bruce Highlight this comment 1

My great-grandparents were farmers in Fargo, ND (reoccurring pattern it seems, Bruce). I was young when they died, but I'll never forget how much they loved the Twins. Thank you for sharing your memories, it brought back many fond ones for me as well.

Posted on June 19, 2007 at 9:35 PM by Joe Highlight this comment 2

Booom shakalakalakalaka!

Note to Carl, Oputz and the sham 'ball park commission', get your wish list out and start crossing things off. The price of poker on Mpls realestate just went through the roof!

Posted on June 21, 2007 at 08:10 AM by Zygmeister Highlight this comment 3

So you choose to comment on a thread he devotes to his grandmother. You're a misinformed loser. Go back to the forum where they barely tolerate you.

Posted on June 21, 2007 at 11:08 AM by mullen Highlight this comment 4

riiight. I think 2 days is an appropriate "moment of silence" considering the circumstances. Who told what what 'misinformed' means?

Posted on June 21, 2007 at 12:09 PM by mullenisaloser Highlight this comment 5

C'mon fellas. Let's be respectful.

Posted on June 21, 2007 at 2:28 PM by Lafferty Daniel Highlight this comment 6

thanks for sharing a well-written tribute!

Posted on June 22, 2007 at 8:47 PM by yeahklye Highlight this comment 7

An open-air ballpark? Bad idea. An enclosed, retractable-dome ballpark would have worked out better for the Twins. Yes, it would have cost a fortune to build. This cost saving measure of building an open-air ballpark is going to come back and haunt the Twins later on.

Posted on July 3, 2007 at 5:11 PM by Block E Highlight this comment 8


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

Explore the Site

Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3046 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.








The outfield stands as viewed through the unnumbered gate



Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)












Concept drawing for the fan/player appreciation wall. (Click to enlarge.)



For executive entertaining












Topped off.



The heretofore unseen north facade (click to enlarge). Does it look like a ballpark? And what's with the bamboo?






The walkway under construction in the parking lot just outside the loading dock.



Dave St. Peter introducing the first physical models of the ballpark in June 2007



The lights went on, and it was a Good Thing



Section 101, Row 27



Intersection overview






5:45 PM, section 327, row 9, standing: sunshine.









Just up the foul line, it looks like the base of the wall in foul territory on the right side.



Fencing is going up all along the plaza






Lots of self-portraits were taken here after the final out.



Field access on the visitor's side






Notice that the wooden-backed club seats are now covered by a green tarp for protection from the elements.






The Metropolitan Club (click to enlarge)









Town Ball Tavern balcony



The start of the VIP entrance and loading dock.



A very early vision for TF's main concourse









The view from our seats. I took this picture while standing, and the railing would prove mildly problematic when I sat down -- but not as much as my scorecard, which I always seemed to be holding right in Vic's view of the plate (she told me so).












Here's the current overview from the south side of the B ramp (from which the banner at the top of this page was culled).



Solution for a hot night, just inside Gate 34 (that's a cool mist, by the way, not hot steam, which would be kind of cruel)



The limestone theme is apparently carried to the area behind home plate. This will look great -- and distinctive -- on TV. But watch out for those foul balls!



The spruced up triangle really doesn't show much connection with the ballpark.



Fun with section counting!



Tony Oliva, R. T. Rybak and Mike Opat


Glossary

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
 


(1993)
 


First Edition (1992)
 


Second Edition (2006)
 


(2008)
 

Selected Bibliography - Surveys
 


(1975)
 


Second Edition (1987)
 


Not a "Third Edition" exactly,
but it replaced the above title
(2000)
 


(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
 


(1992)
 


Book and six ballpark miniatures
(2004)
 

Complete Bibliography

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