It's a little chilly -- sort of fall-ish -- here in my studio, and my feet are cold, so I just slipped on a pair of white sweat socks.
And I'm pretty sure that, with that sentence, you've now heard the last that you're going to hear this season about white sox. Hallelujah!
Somewhere, I'm sure that Calvin Griffith is proud.
It's a little surprising that I had to drive down to the ballpark yesterday to get a look at this statue. The unveiling must have gotten lost somewhere in the big celebration last weekend. Once the minor controversy over its placement passed, I never heard another word about it in the media.
Actually, this is easily the most successful of the four statues we've seen so far (Carl and Eloise Pohlad are yet to come this year, with Hrbek and Oliva slated for next season).
At first, Calvin appears to be admiring the ballpark history board, clutching a baseball, with a sort of knowing look on his face. Only a moment later do you realize that he may actually be watching a Rod Carew AB from a distance, and his expression is one of deep appreciation for what he sees.
You see, everybody knows that Calvin Griffith wasn't always the greatest human. There are things he said and did which are essentially unforgivable. But everybody also knows that he was maybe the last of the pure baseball men, and that he was for the Senators/Twins a combination of CEO, GM, PR guy, marketer, scout, lobbyist, you name it.
He was a complicated guy, and the statue doesn't shy away from that. It doesn't try to deify this very human figure. (In fact, you're probably taller than this statue -- I actually was.)
The bases for the player statues have been recently upgraded.
But the size of his personality, and his love of the game and the Twins, is conveyed beautifully. And the simple placement lends a realism and matter-of-factness which I found to be quite powerful. Unlike the player statues, which are surrounded by a raised mock playing surface (recently upgraded from actual infield dirt), Calvin will stand among the crowds, looking like he's going to turn around any minute and head in to his seat, just a schmoe like us who loved the game. People I know who knew him say that's how he was.
My old friend Curtiss, now deceased, told me (many times) the story of the day he went over to Met Stadium with his three-ring binders filled with the meticulous score sheets he'd kept for every single Twins game. He wanted to show them to Calvin, and see if there was some way they might help the team.
Calvin not only stopped what he was doing, he spent the afternoon looking over Curt's books, talking about the various games (Calvin actually kept score personally for each game), commenting repeatedly, "You've got a lot of things here that even we don't have."
In the end, the books went home with Curt. But that day ended with a firm handshake, and a long-lasting baseball friendship made.
I did not have an emotional reaction to any of the other statues -- not even Killebrew. This one was very different. This one transported me instantly, and filled in a piece which is essential for understanding the franchise.
Kudos to the Twins for not skipping over that complicated chapter, and to Bill Mack for truly capturing this character.
Earlier tonight, with the game playing on the radio, the Gameday feed on the computer screen, and the new Target Field book being perused by all, my wife said those words that every baseball-loving husband longs to hear as the playoffs approach: "You better start saving your pennies."
You see, she knows that if there are October baseball games being played in the 612 area code, I really want to be there. And she knows that the baseball budget in our house always comes with a playoff asterisk.
Now, I didn't bother getting into the whole lottery process and the reality that we'll probably be watching it all on TV, but just having the subject raised is always a genuinely beautiful thing.
This page was last modified on September 17, 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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Love the LC!
Bag checking at Ball Park Lanes was incredibly simple, as was the pick up later. The line was short and fast-moving.
A slightly different elevation drawing, again viewed from Fifth Street, with some labels. (Click to enlarge.)
This is what passes for imagination at Miller Park -- they didn't even get the shape right! (Source: LP)
Here's the view of the entrance ramp to 394. Looks like they are painting...
Work has begun on the plaza, and the activity has started to impact I-394 traffic.
Section 101, Row 34
The french fry lights were on!
Plaza seating installation
No offense, TC, but you're pointing exactly the wrong direction if you want people to use the ramp opening to your right...
What are they hanging over there?
I don't know if the back side is also a test for materials, but it could be a hint of how the exposed steel supports will be finished. Or it could just be to hold up the stone.
Working on the connecting LRT tracks (this view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown.)
Back of scoreboard; facade in context.
A closer look at the bridge and walls. You can see where the tracks will be laid.
A scene repeated about a BILLION times each game
This was on BPM night. Nice neon, but I'm still waiting to see the homer show.
Work in progress.
Note reflected sunset (7:30 PM). Could be a worry...
Section 331, Row 9
Here's what they do in April at Comerica Park
This is why I get it, even if I don't like it.
An early concept drawing for the site
The splendid view from the roof of the Minikahda building. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Detail of the train tunnels (click to view the entire drawing)
This was from January 19, 2007, when it looked like wonderful things might never happen here.
The Carew lounge was all ready for some corporate event.
The view from section 210
The Metrodome hot dog vendor. (Source: RP)
Killebrew's mammoth shot on June 3, 1967 is currently memorialized on a wall at the Mall of America