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 3033 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Still some work to be done on the canopy.
Ullger warms up.
Auxiliary scoreboard (note to TF principles: this is a very good idea)
Many people will approace the park from this direction and it's a pretty great first glimpse. It features all the design elements in modestly condensed form, and still manages to look like a ballpark (instead of something else).
Looking north (toward Fifth Street and the LRT station).
The splendid view from the roof of the Minikahda building. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
A timeline of design and construction of the ballpark. (Click to enlarge. Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Looking from the middle of the third base side back toward the entry door
A close-up of the rooftop party deck.
On this day, George was handling fruits and veggies right inside gate 34.
Griffith Stadium (notch visible in lower photo at far left)
The view from my seats in Section 237 (The Trap), Row 1 (can't see much of center field without standing up...)
Limestone will cover this pretty soon, but for now you can see where the escalator is.
Near the end of the Angels' 4-run second inning.
Team pennant. (Click to enlarge.)
Some people will go to work here every day.
This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.
The Northstar circulation building is starting to take shape.
This is the main entry to the Pro Shop. The second entry, located just outside the turnstiles, is indicated by the arrow.
Look at all those flag poles! But wouldn't the one from Met Stadium look great just inside the gates in the middle of that entrance plaza?
Looking down what was Third Avenue, and will be a freeway entrance ramp beneath the outfield stands.
Hit gap, win suit!
Legends Club seats feature in-seat service
Note that, even though the scoreboard appears strategically placed, it's the outfield stands which block any potential view of the field from this roof.
This is the LRT path looking from the ballpark site (behind me) toward downtown. The line currently ends about two blocks up this street. This bridge over I-394 is also being partially rebuilt as part of the ballpark project.
There are no caddies in baseball.
This design has a rather generic quality to it, but they appear to have considered the B garage. Though it isn't part of the model, they've clearly left room for it.
5:45 PM, section 327, row 9, standing: sunshine.
Usher Anna hands out Homer Hankies
Nathan greeting the other pitchers on the all-Metrodome team (October 4, 2009)
A little ground's crew action in the first inning the other night.