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.
"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.
This is the LRT bridge under construction as viewed from the east looking west. The ballpark facade would be at the left in this photo.
Did I mention that the cheerleaders looked pretty sharp?
Preparations underway (Field View)
Where you are, and where you can go.
The scoreboard terminates the view on Fifth Street as seen from Hennepin
This is the trapezoid (for lack of a better name) in right center. Be sure to notice section of seats just below the pavilion and above the fence (which I hadn't noticed before). For those who are interested, what looks like an old-style scoreboard is in fact a high-def video board which will look, at times, like an old-fashioned scoreboard.
ATM-style ticket machines have appeared beneath the steps to the B ramp (you can also enter the B ramp directly by walking past the ticket machines)
Click to see the whole page from this 1971 program.
Then you turn around to this!
Finally, a night game image -- complete with fireworks! (OK, it's either a construction photo which has been Photoshopped, or some lucky photographer spent the Fourth of July in the upper deck watching the fireworks over the river. Cool either way.)
The admin building (note TF logo on banner)
Upper deck view of the out-of-town scoreboard.
Skyline to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the outfield with you... (click to enlarge)
Better them than me
Some brick work out in the centerfield pavilion.
Mystery door on Seventh Street...
Viewed from up Sixth Street, the tip of the canopy looks like the claw of some gigantic crustacean!
The storage tunnel is barely visible at left behind that guy.
LRT throngs after the game
Here is where the signature art (original Twins logo) will be placed.
This is the upper deck in Anaheim
Knothole non-view #1
Lots of pix waiting to be seen from Bert's memorable night.
I'm not sure why there's a wreath on Gate 3. (I quickly checked the headlines for any dreaded Killebrew news. Whew.) It looks to be in celebration, maybe of the move.
Gate 29 escalators
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...
Section A, Row WC
Name that ballpark
Brick work just inside the opening matches the color of the limestone - per Jerry Bell's requirements.
Wow! Looking good.
Nathan greeting the other pitchers on the all-Metrodome team (October 4, 2009)
Met Stadium seat colors (click for the complete image)
The Metropolitan Club (click to enlarge)
Fan number 3,030,673 came through this gate a few moments after I took this picture.
This is what I was working on while my photo was taken (click to see a VERY BIG version).
Met Stadium on May 17, 1975 (Twins vs. Brewers featuring Hank Aaron)