The first drop of rain hit the window about the time I got home after yesterday's game. Though I've never seen one, somewhere in Target Field there must be an altar to the gods of weather (in ancient times, I think it was Zeus), because the timing of this drenching couldn't be more perfect.
Come to think of it, weather has been such a non-issue this season that it's easy to forget it was ever on anyone's radar (so to speak). Still, yesterday I got a glimpse of a little room just behind the visitor's dugout called, simply, "Weather".
It looked pretty much like a bunch of gear and a convenient location. And when I took the picture, the sun was shining, so all was calm. But I bet they saw this blob coming -- it was pretty big -- and wondered if it might impact the later innings. Seems like this could be a stress-filled place if there's any ambiguity in the forecast. And yet, it's not a weather control room. Or is it...?
That little room could sure be hopping in a couple of weeks, when a blob like this would be more likely to yield a solid than a liquid.
Fan number 3,030,673 came through this gate a few moments after I took this picture.
You may have noticed a gap in my live blogging yesterday as I covered the pregame ceremony. It contained the unexpected pleasure of seeing the whole team take the field to publicly celebrate what had happened the night before. Everybody was all smiles.
Yes, TC is smiling.
Just before that, I caught Jim Thome watching the highlights -- mostly his highlights -- from the night before on the big screen.
In truth, he didn't even watch the whole recap. He watched for a minute or so, then entered into a conversation with someone. He didn't even watch long enough to see all of his big moments from the night before.
If you're like me, you remember very well the day Thome signed with the Phillies as a free agent. There was never a question that he was out of the Twins' price range at the time, but there was also never a question that he had the temperament (and bat) which would be a perfect fit in the Twins organization.
It's probably not entirely a coincidence that his departure from the AL Central corresponded with the Twins' rise to prominence. He essentially defined the term "Twin killer," and those 19 games per year against Cleveland got a little less tense while he was in the NL East.
But I often wonder if some of those flags up there might have been a different color if Terry Ryan had been allowed to search Carl Pohlad's couch cushions back in 2002.
Thome as a Twin was always a great dream, and I'm still thrilled at our good fortune this year.
During that pregame show, I also got a great chance to watch up close as the grounds crew prepared the field. It's a little like watching a horticulturist ballet. As with so many things in life, it's all in the details.
Larry DiVito takes a last check of everything before the game starts
The grounds crew hopes that they will be able to simply sit quietly during the game, and on this day they did. But after the game, everything springs back to life.
I first noticed some unexplained sprinkler activity, then I realized that a couple of guys were running around planting little orange flags.
It's just a hunch, but I bet they're looking for divots.
We've heard about small grass repairs which have taken place, but that spot out in right still looks pretty ragged -- though you can't blame Michael Cuddyer anymore. (Hey, Jax, are the views any better now that he's at first?)
Trampled, repaired, and re-trampled grass
While I was tracking this post-game groundskeeping, I happened to bump into Anna -- the same usher who had handed me my Homer Hanky earlier in the day.
Anna keeps the riff raff under control.
Usher Anna hands out Homer Hankies
Anna, a college student who got the ushering job through a friend who has worked for the Twins for a long time, says it makes for a great part-time job. She can work all the games she wants (this year she guessed she'd worked about 50) and gets $10 per hour plus a pair of comps to one game. And if she happens to get stationed in the right place, she's usually able to actually watch the games. (That beats the poor elevator operators.)
After the game, her job is just "to be present" at the field perimeter, and she said she wouldn't start shooing people out until she got a sign from someone else, usually about 30 minutes after the end of the game.
While at the concession stand yesterday I heard someone say that it takes nearly 900 people to operate the stadium on game days. What stands out for me, having been behind the scenes a few times now during games, is how controlled it all seems. These people are well-trained, well-supported, and, if Anna and George (below) are typical, very happy being part of the team. It's all kind of amazing.
On this day, George was handling fruits and veggies right inside gate 34.
Up next, a detailed look at Steve Berg's first draft of the history of Target Field.
114 recent recognized visitors, including:
, ben, ClarkAddison, CSG Mike, Dodgeboy, DreDogg, Excited, Expectorate, F_T_K, fiesta, gogotwins, grizzly adams, gus munger, JCE, jctwins, Jfh, Jorge, jp, luke, ole, Rick, Stevie B, terry, TheTruthHurts, Tom D., Uffda, Winona Mike
This page was last modified on September 23, 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.
Target Plaza in model form
The brown grass was left over from the first attempt at groundbreaking (canceled after the 35W bridge collapse)
At the base of the B ramp, the foundation for the center field stands.
Original outfield configuration
This is the staircase (ramp?) leading up to the trapezoid. Nice flagpole too. You'll be able to find me and Ben McEvers at the base of that flagpole on opening day in 2010!
This will be a great neighborhood. Note that the covering is being built for the emergency access. Also, note the streamers above, which appear to be monitoring air flow.
Lots of speakers, but in some places, no sound.
Here's a rack of lights being prepared for lifting into the canopy.
Look closely and you'll see limestone on the front of the press box!
(Click to enlarge.)
Franchise history before Minnesota. (Click to enlarge.)
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 view as you step to the front of the outer moat beyond first base.
(Click to enlarge.)
This is the plaza as viewed from the A ramp.
Now, THIS is just some guy who appears to be hanging out on the LRT tracks talking to himself.
Love the red flowers -- just like the original concept drawings. That NEVER happens.
Spring of 1982 (click to enlarge greatly -- can you pick out Kent Hrbek?)
The Northstar circulation building is starting to take shape.
The main concourse is a very busy place at all times.
The circulation ramp on the north now has its louver framing.
Click to enlarge. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)
Gate 29 "Carew" is at right.
The Carew lounge was all ready for some corporate event.
Auxiliary scoreboard (note to TF principles: this is a very good idea)
Click to enlarge greatly.
Lots of work has gone into detailing the fronts of these decks. That is a little thing, but a NICE little thing. (HRP View)
The Lincoln Saltdogs (and a promotional Nerd)
Who Owns What (Click for larger version. Source: Ballpark Authority)
It's pretty easy to see right into the Twins dugout!