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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Somebody asked how long it would be before the tarp had a sponsor. Well, not very long.
Steps, skyway, and plaza intersect.
Ballpark elevation diagram, viewed from Fifth Street. (Click to enlarge.)
Checking out the bike racks on the promenade.
There must be millions of details needing tending
Not my actual kids!
What can you see from up there? Some say not much.
Awesome seat. Awesome sun. Awesome hitter. (Photo by Tony Voda, courtesy Jared Wieseler)
Glove from above
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)
Millers fans leaving Nicollet Park after a game in 1923, where a trolley was waiting. (Click to enlarge.)
The wall of brands at General Mills headquarters in Golden Valley (Source: RP)
Back of scoreboard; facade in context.
Here's the view from the main concourse out through Gate 3 "Killebrew".
Trampled, repaired, and re-trampled grass
The creative design of the admin building stands in stark contrast to the horribly pedestrian appearance of the LRT platform. This design looks like it came out of a public transportation manual.
Final Metrodome baseball sight
Walkway sneak peek
This view, from the Minnekahda building (or possibly a predecessor), looks toward the right field corner. The City Market, at left, occupied the land where the B ramp and Target Plaza now stand (over I-394). And the Overlook now juts out just a little beyond where that driveway enters the railyard.
The Fifth Street side is pretty busy. There's a small street entrance to the B ramp, then ticket booths and an entrance gate, a rare exterior section not covered in limestone, the wooden screen covering the circulation ramps, the administration building, and finally (just out of view) the interface with Northstar. All of that sits behind the LRT action. How pedestrians will interact with this side of the park is a great mystery to me. You know that Metro Transit won't be letting them cross the tracks anywhere but at either end of the block...
They could not help the Twins on this night.
Um, I think that guy is out.
That is the gun-metal gray wall of The Stadium just beyond the elevated tracks.
(Click to enlarge.)
Staging for the next section (Home Plate Box)
A detailed crowd shot. Click to enlarge greatly.
(Click to enlarge.)
The view from the Penn Ave entrance to 394 (and all the way into town! Click to enlarge)
Ballpark elevation viewed from the promenade (HERC plant) side. (Click to enlarge.)
View from the Overlook
B ramp improvements are finally becoming usable. The doors lead to the plaza beneath the skyway steps.