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Let's Play Seven!

October 29, 2014 12:08 AM

Trophy case at Kauffman Stadium in 2002 (Apparently, if you won a division in the 70s, you got a beer glass.)

Drop everything. This is what we live for.

Until the second inning of tonight's game six, I was prepared to take my kids to a Halloween party tomorrow night. It's a really good one, too, that we've been to in several previous years. But we won't be going this year.

This is the first year in the past 20 or so that I haven't had a rehearsal to go to on a Wednesday night. And it's a good thing because I would have had no choice but to cancel it and deal with the consequences later (which I know a little bit about from my experience during the 2010 playoffs).

Setting priorities on an occasion like this is remarkably easy.

Everyone in our household will be rooting Blue, except for the youngest, who inexplicably chose Orange -- probably just to be a contrarian to his brother. But it didn't take long for true rivalry to set in, and with it the chance to see who could out-root the other. It's largely a draw, with each party proving capable of significant gloating -- despite having played no measurable role in the outcome of the games.

And the allegiances of first graders, even when hastily struck, turn out to be very powerful. We've had genuine tears at various points in this series. So just in case the Giants do not win tomorrow night, I've been preparing a speech about disappointment, and things beyond our control, and more stuff like that. I'm prepared to mute my own joy and absorb a few tears on my shoulder.

My kids are tough competitors, and I wouldn't dare say anything like "Winning isn't everything" to either of them. At their current ages (nine and six), winning is pretty much the only thing. And in a certain way, I'm right there with him. Now is not the moment to snuff out natural competitive urges.

The wall of winning outside the SF ballpark as it looked in 2011 (Click to enlarge)

The only thing I can think of which might make the occasion more exciting would be to have the home town nine on the field. That's more or less impossible to imagine right now, especially given that what we've seen throughout these playoffs looks very little like what we've seen over the past few years out at our new-ish ballpark.

But thinking about that possibility does remind me that we know a thing or two about game sevens in these parts, right? No less than three of them have been played within five miles of my house.

But I'm also realizing that the current drought of 23 years is actually longer than the one we suffered through when I was growing up. It was only 22 years between Sandy Koufax and Frank Viola -- an interval which seemed to stretch forever. This recent batch of Series-less years has seemed to stack up quicker, somehow, but the numbers don't lie. This has gone on too long.

More important to this current moment is that Roger Angell got his wish: There will be another game before winter.

And who knows? We may be hosting the defending WS Champs at the Home Opener!

Regardless of who wins, when the final out is made, you'll forgive me if I slump like someone above the Arctic Circle watching the sun slip below the horizon for the last time before the winter solstice.

Housekeeping: This site has been under some sort of weird attack for the past month from someone in Germany, or it may be the Ukraine. I've been trying to mitigate it with the help of my host provider, but it has resulted in outages for which I apologize. I'm crossing my fingers that it's finally licked.

And good luck tomorrow night in the Playoff Challenge, Luke! Go Royals!


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"Game 7 of the World Series". No need for Roman numerals or other PR hype.

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 08:26 AM by terry Highlight this comment 1

The second inning last night was a joy to watch. As a Rockies fan not wanting to deal with insufferable Giants fans next year, rooting for the Royals is a no-brainer.

I can't wait to see Kauffman erupt tonight with a game seven win. And I would love nothing more than to have Twins management host the World Champs for Opening Day - maybe that will provide some incentive to get serious about fielding an MLB caliber team for the first time in five years.

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 09:03 AM by Jfh Highlight this comment 2

I want to see Royals win also! I am guessing what will happen is Twins management will see this as an opportunity to up the tier price for the Royals next year (like they do for Yankees, Red Sox, etc) for all our home games vs them under the premise that "hey-it's the World Series Champions fans should pay more to see them"

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 2:38 PM by Uffda Highlight this comment 3

I'm waiting for "hey, it's the Twins, fans should pay less to see them"

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 2:48 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 4

Here's Roger Angell writing today:

Go, Royals! Stay, baseball. The players on both teams will be cheerful during B.P. tonight, with the end of their long journey in sight, but a last game is always tougher on the rest of us. Get some sleep after.

For those who don't know, he's 94 years old. The end of a baseball season probably means something a bit different to someone wondering if he's watching his own final game.

(Context: He was born in the heart of the Black Sox scandal.)

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 3:29 PM by Rick 5

And he was also born well before MLB night games.

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 4:09 PM by Dave Highlight this comment 6

There have been 110 World Series, and 37 have gone to a winner-take-all game seven. (None of the early best-of-nine series went the distance.)

Of those 37, five featured the Senators/Twins, which puts them in a six-way tie for second place in franchises with most WS Game Seven appearances. The others are the Dodgers, Pirates, Red Sox, Tigers and Giants (after tonight).

The Yankees and Cardinals are tied for most WS Game Seven appearances with 11 each, but the Cardinals won eight of theirs versus the Yankees only five. (Those two teams have actually only met each other under such circumstances twice, and the Cardinals won both.)

The 1912 World Series (Red Sox and Giants) was a special case because it actually took eight games after one of the early games ended in a tie.

In the losing column, the Yankees prevail, having lost six. The Red Sox and Giants are tied for second place, having each lost four -- a tie which is on the line tonight.

In fact, the Giants have never won a World Series Game Seven. The Royals have. (That's a fact which sounds like it means something, but really does not.)

And most people know this, but the Dodgers and Yankees have met in four WS Game Sevens, and the Yankees won three of them.

(Somehow I just needed to know this information today, so I'm sharing it with you.)

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 4:49 PM by Rick 7

Congratulations to the Giants. I hope KC continues to build off this post-season, they have a lot of young talent and could be good for several years.

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 10:34 PM by F_T_K Highlight this comment 8

So, who ended up winning the Playoff Challenge, Rick??

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 05:33 AM by luke Highlight this comment 9

I read this morning in Charley Walters' column that the Gophers are playing an exhibition game against the Twins in Ft Meyers next season :/.
Guess it's true what they say: "water finds its own level".

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 05:43 AM by luke Highlight this comment 10

I feel like San Fran. messed with destiny. Hope they enjoy the Biff Bumgarner's Pleasure Paradise that they created. :P

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 08:26 AM by DeePee Highlight this comment 11


September 29, 2014 12:23 PM

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July 16, 2014 1:47 AM

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.

Continue reading this article


July 13, 2014 1:38 AM

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.

Continue reading this article

Starshine MPLS

July 12, 2014 1:46 AM

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.

Continue reading this article

Earlier Articles

"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.

Here's the entrance from the seating bowl. It's down the outer moat, just beyond the last of the Dugout Box sections.

The Northstar stop has a name.

Concept drawing of Coomer gate (click to enlarge)

Look beyond the gigantic hand (a hounds tooth jacket? really?) and you'll get a glimpse of the main grandstand configuration. The two (or is it three?) levels of suites are visible, as is the design of the so-called "split upper deck," and the extensive use of limestone for decorative accents. Let's hope these little touches don't get cut as costs increase, because they make a nice tie-in from the outside of the park to the inside. Of most interest to me is the way that the very best seats are physically separated from all the rest of the seats by that limestone. There will be virtually no way to sneak into these seats. On one level, that's a somewhat sad design feature...

B ramp glimpse

Instrument of evil.

New section labels, but some curious choices.

Inspecting the delivery

Rooftop scaffolding, for the wind veil installation?


Trains now rumble regularly beneath the promenade.

Two train stations

I do love the upper concourse. Feels like home already.

A place to sit (does it look like a pitcher's mound to you?)

Looking out from under Gate 34

Photo by Tyler Wycoff

These stairs will go up to the centerfield pavilion.

This looks south and shows how the Northstar tracks are sheltered by the promenade above. This is the side which faces the HERC plant.

This gate opens onto Seventh Street from the circulation ramps, but it appears to actually be an entrance gate, rather than an exit gate. It has something of a Bat Cave feel about it because it's not a gate proper, but an area of louvers that will swing in, virtually disappearing when closed...

Just think: It could look like this!

We took refuge for a time in the Twins Pub where you can drink a beer (or just hang out) and listen to some ballpark tunes. The organ is decorated with a TC (of course) and what looked like drawings which Sue has received from kids.

Champion's Club moat (windows are found at the base of the limestone behind the seats -- not visible in this image)

I know these are giants bats with hops growing inside, but... Hmm...

The images on that wall appear to be of great Twins moments in history.

Dan Mehls, Mortenson Construction


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

Complete Bibliography

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