Stuffed Sox (and more)
September 17, 2010 12:56 AM
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.
Thanks, you Miss Manner-ish, do-gooder, perfectly straight-toothed, food-pyramid-following guys. You managed to color very nicely inside those lines on the Southside.
To utilized enhanced comment features, please enable cookies in your browser.
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 3045 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Click to see the whole page from this 1971 program.
Limestone still dominates the Seventh Street walkway from a pedestrian point of view. But brick take over as you move upward -- a concession to cost, no doubt.
Larry DiVito, mowing
The Hennepin Grille appears to feature chicken, brats, and fries.
A little higher angle shows how the two stations are close to one another but distinctly separate. The oval, glass-enclosed area is the entrance from the Northstar platform below into the ballpark. The LRT platform is comparable to the other stations along that route.
TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)
The finished product.
Today's late-inning office.
The connection from the corner of Seventh Street and Second Avenue. You can now see where the little grassy area and franchise history board will be (the triangular area in the foreground).
Midway Stadium (seen from our tailgating spot across the parking lot)
The moat walkway viewed from across the park.
Peering through Gate 34
Viewed from the sidewalk on Seventh Street. No skyway infringement needed.
A mural featuring the names of a bunch of Minnesota towns.
A peak inside what will become the main concourse.
Some baseball legends (and Ron Coomer)
The entry from the platform to the ballpark.
The lone light standard and one of those "entry beacons."
Harmon is visible (barely) at the very center of the crowd.
Here's a rack of lights being prepared for lifting into the canopy.
A timeline of design and construction of the ballpark. (Click to enlarge. Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
4th inning in the nearly deserted Home Run Porch View Level in left.
A beautiful, glowing sunset after the rain.
Gate 3 "Killebrew"
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.
Here's the current overview from the south side of the B ramp (from which the banner at the top of this page was culled).
Good seats, but no scoreboard or sky.
I think AP is in there somewhere...
Storage tracks in the foreground.
Looking through it, you can see the outfield pavilion (upper deck at least).
These two sections are within a few feet of one another.
10 years ago, Bruce Lambrecht looked at this land and thought, "Why NOT a ballpark here?" It took a long time before anybody else saw the same potential.
This would be easy to miss, but I found it on a cart located directly behind the Batter's Eye seating on the upper concourse in center field.
Uh oh. Schizophrenia.
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