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.
Here's the view as you step to the front of the outer moat beyond first base.
Noah is checking out the ample leg room and truly exemplary sight lines.
Oh, a flag pole will be so much more...dignified
The view down Sixth Street toward the ballpark site. A pedestrian bridge will extend this street right into the main entrance of the park. The regrettable facade of Target Center is on the left. Butler Square is on the right. Click on the image to see what it looked like on this very spot about 100 years ago.
Awesome seat. Awesome sun. Awesome hitter. (Photo by Tony Voda, courtesy Jared Wieseler)
This is the view from where the plaza will connect to the walkway on the west side of Target Center. This presumably aids traffic flow back to the A ramp, and perhaps to the skyway connection (though the doors to the skyway right there are typically exit only).
Overview of the storage tracks.
Love the lighted, translucent panel
Also warming things up are these planters.
Complicated pedestrian crossing
The images on that wall appear to be of great Twins moments in history.
This area will supposedly show the Twins chronology. Will it stretch back to 1901?
Marquette looking south
Photo by Jared Wieseler
Who Owns What (Click for larger version. Source: Ballpark Authority)
I finally found the corner of TF dedicated to the Senators. What a wonderful sight.
The media had some beautiful foliage to use as a background.
This is also the promenade, where the first indications of the final texture of the walkway can be seen. This layer of concrete is going on top of gravel (as has been done over on the plaza).
Two signs visible from beyond the confines of the ballpark.
A look at Gate 34.
This shows the area where the Northstar platform connects with the ballpark (that translucent oval). Above that is the area which will house the Twins operations offices.
I was surprised at how close those upper deck seats seem. From the plaza, you feel like you can reach out and touch them. It really adds to the impression of overall compactness.
Touring the Rapid Park site (L-R: Commissioners Wade, Vekich, Sykora, Cramer, and tour guide Chuck Ballentine, source: RP)
Such promise. (Click to enlarge.)
Main concourse, looking south toward the area behind home plate.