A Special Fan
June 19, 2007 3:21 AM
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.
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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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OK, just how many servings per container?
The images on that wall appear to be of great Twins moments in history.
Main ticket window area
Do you need to know the score?
Wind veil framing
Chef stand and menu in the Carew atrium
Gate 29 Carew
A last look on the way out.
A whole bunch of guys working on something.
Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune
This view clearly shows the curve in the left field stands and the relationship of the first row with the playing field (no overhang to speak of in left).
The Metrodome has sure been tarted up.
This was actually taken from the top floor of the International Market Square.
v style="text-align: left; font-size: .6em;">The lot within the lot.
I'm too short to see over that wall. How about a little platform or something?
Scoreboard as viewed from Fifth Street.
OK, just how many servings per container?
The season was perfectly bookended by Mick Sterling on the plaza
Actual LRT tracks are now in the street, and buses now pass over them before entering the transit hub.
A slightly different angle, and you can see some of the structural elements.
The wall of brands at General Mills headquarters in Golden Valley (Source: RP)
Looking back toward the park from just beyond the north end of the Northstar platform.
Here's a closer look at the bullpen area. It's hard to tell for sure, but I think there is still an opening to the concourse right above.
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.
8:32 PM The glare is gone. Elapsed time: 1 hour (approximately 3 innings).
This is why I get it, even if I don't like it.
Here's one big problem with a retractable roof: completely terrible seating in left. These scant few seats would have been tucked under the track. No sunshine, no open concourse, it was a terribly kludgy idea. With some hindsight, it's very clear that adding a retractable roof on this small site would have required compromises which would have just been too extensive to tolerate. Without it, the design was free to grow into something much more memorable.
At left, across the tracks by that pile of dirt is where the Northstar commuter train platform will be built, and where Twins fans will apparently NOT be able to get a train after night games. (For reference, that's the Fifth Street bridge, with the ballpark site just beyond it. The east corner of Ford Centre is just visible at the right edge of the picture.)
Despite what those signs say, every one of these places was selling either snacks or Yankee memorabilia out of its front door. Do you suppose anything like this will spring up anywhere near the new Twins ballpark?
Bench seating? (Click to see hi-res version.)
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