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.
Such promise. (Click to enlarge.)
A closer look into the park from down the street. How great will this view be during a game??
The Polo Grounds (left) and Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium)
Apparently, there will be public restrooms accessible directly from the plaza.
Original outfield configuration
No, that's not Kent Hrbek. It's catcher Glenn Borgmann.
The Target Center rooftop patio. Hardly glamorous, but a great view of the ballpark.
Photo by Jeff Ewer
Here's a rack of lights being prepared for lifting into the canopy.
At the corner of the Pro Shop.
Nathan greeting the other pitchers on the all-Metrodome team (October 4, 2009)
The big glove will go on that circle. Note the gap between the plaza and the ramp. That's 394 you can see through there.
Waiting for a train. Reading on the promenade. How urbane.
An arch under construction.
This concourse, the uppermost, was built on top of the now-hidden old concourse during the 70s renovation.
Supports viewed from beneath. These seats will be just a few feet from the outside edge of the building!
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).
A very early vision for TF's main concourse
This looks south and shows the track configuration for Northstar. The platform shown is just a placeholder. To the best of my knowledge, concept drawings for this platform have not been released. Keep in mind, this is NOT part of the ballpark project. It is completely separate.
The renderings and concept model differ here. MOJO thinks this is the perfect place for a party deck. Dave St. Peter seemed to agree!
Ballpark elevation diagram, viewed from Fifth Street. (Click to enlarge.)
Three weeks ago this was a patch of scruffy trees. Now it's a patio. In case you were wondering, that's where I've been...
You have to wonder just what happened here. Will it remain forever embedded in cement?
Click to see the whole page from this 1971 program.
This view looks up Fifth Street toward downtown and shows how the LRT tracks sort of snuggle up to the ballpark.
The main concourse is a very busy place at all times.
The angle on the main scoreboard from the Batter's Eye is surprisingly good -- acceptable, at least.
That's part of the wind veil, waiting in the B ramp for installation
Special guests in the trees!
Do you know who did this drawing? If so, please tell me so I can give them proper credit.
Walkway construction is progressing
An escalator was going in the day I was there.
Artist at (very painstaking) work
A spectacular golden hour
A glimpse of the rather plain west facade (the side which faces the HERC plant).