Yes, Jeter. Of course. It was his night, and deservedly so. Even I, whose mother hates Derek Jeter, cheered for him. It was only the second time I've ever done so (the other being when I visited the original Yankee Stadium and pretended to be a Bomber fan for exactly one game). And tonight it felt weird and wrong and right and inevitable and necessary and splendid all at the same time.
Yes, Jeter. Of course.
But when I remember the 2014 All-Star game, here's the image that will probably always mean the most to me:
Now, I'll admit that this looks like a picture which could have been taken under a variety of different circumstances on any number of nights during this season. But that's only because I've removed the context. Let me rewind and zoom out.
Moments before I took that picture, I took this one, which shows the context in all its glory:
That's what I'll remember. That's the memory I'll cherish. Our boys. Doing it on the Big Stage. Right here at home. In that beautiful ballpark. Making it look easy. Saying, in effect, "Hey, we hope you like our city and our ballpark, but we've got some real players here, too. We play real baseball here."
When Perkins and Suzuki stepped onto the field, I was standing next to an usher who was simply bursting with pride. With each pitch, she grabbed my arm and gushed. Her smile was broad and genuine, like that of someone seeing something for the first time, though she was clearly past retirement age.
Her smile was contagious, but it didn't matter. Everybody wearing a TC logo was smiling already.
At least for this night, let the win-loss record be damned. This was a Twins Win moment not to be forgotten. True ballpark magic.
There were times, in the past week, when I started to get the feeling that the Convention Center would be a very empty place this weekend. Simply put, it seemed like everyone wanted to give away their Fanfest tickets.
On September 10, 2008, the Twins called the media (including yours truly) to the roof of Target Center to announce their pipe dream of starshine at their nearby, gradually-materializing new home.
It was a very cheery event, with tons of back-slapping and gleams in the eyes of politicians and other notables. There were hot dogs and Cracker Jack, bats and balls festooned with prototype All-Star logos, and lots of posing after the requisite speech-making. In the near distance cranes soared and silently twirled, and orange safety fencing adorned construction edges which would one day be actual places.
It is rainy in the Twins Cities today. The sky is as grey as it gets, and the chances of actual sunshine are around zero percent. There is more cold, and more snow, in the forecast.
My yard is still partially covered with snow, the top of which now sports a crust thick enough that my kids can walk across it without leaving footprints or, thankfully, getting their socks and shoes wet. The remaining cover is thickest out in the middle of the yard, about where home plate generally gets placed, right in front of the garden bed that my mom will fill with hostas in a few weeks. Those plants will be mined over and over all summer long for balls which got by someone's bat, but my mom doesn't seem to care. She's a fan.
Reports in the media have been generally favorable toward this year's TwinsFest reboot. I didn't get to go, but here are some highlights as reported by BPMers who did.
First, from CSG Mike:
The crowds were not bad on Saturday afternoon from 1-3pm, considering it was "sold out." I think they probably limited it to the right number of tickets. I would compare it to a full game scenario in the LC. Make sense? Overall the spaces seemed rather disjointed. Unlike previous TF where it was all held in one giant space... They used the Suite level, LC, and service level (-2)...
"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.
The official ballpark development area
Giant screened images! (573 Club, my back to Seventh Ave windows)
July 7, 1966 (Click to see the entire scorecard with ads)
Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Replays on the out-of-town scoreboard!
For those who have never seen it up close, that's what it looks like when steam comes out of the HERC plant.
One of those funny little sections above the entrance stairs
The right field foul pole seen against a backdrop of Butler Square (itself a site of great significance in the history of professional baseball in Minneapolis)
This is from inside the B ramp, where an entrance to the plaza will one day be
Home Run Porch Terrace
The Fifth Street side is pretty busy. There's a small street entrance to the B ramp, then ticket booths and an entrance gate, a rare exterior section not covered in limestone, the wooden screen covering the circulation ramps, the administration building, and finally (just out of view) the interface with Northstar. All of that sits behind the LRT action. How pedestrians will interact with this side of the park is a great mystery to me. You know that Metro Transit won't be letting them cross the tracks anywhere but at either end of the block...
That's Fifth Street (and a tattooed arm) in the foreground.
Which way to the skyway? Really??
Section 237, Row 15 (top of the Trap)
Another classic space in the making above the Hrbek gate.
Note the speakers hanging beneath that deck
This appears to be the floor to the home dugout!
The same section seen from Target Center. Yep, looks like bridge supports.
Yes, son, Memorial Stadium used to be right there, just beyond those gates.
The blue line now indicates where the back of the accessible seating ends and standing room begins.
This is a good overview of the spot where the Northstar (bottom) and LRT (top) will intersect.
The Carew lounge was all ready for some corporate event.
End of the line.
The Hennepin Grille appears to feature chicken, brats, and fries.
(Click to enlarge greatly)
This was actually taken from the top floor of the International Market Square.
Friendly faces greet you right inside the door of the Legends Club.
Looking down what was Third Avenue, and will be a freeway entrance ramp beneath the outfield stands.
Hardware in the window! (But why are there three trophies? 1924?)