Great ideas have started appearing here, and there have been many calls here and elsewhere to make history a very important element at the new ballpark.
It's certainly the perfect opportunity for the Twins to embrace the franchise history prior to 1961. They did, after all, win a World Series (1924) and two AL Pennants as the Washington Senators (1925 and 1933) which are not memorialized anywhere. And Walter Johnson, one of the greatest pitchers ever, doesn't have his statue in any ballpark. That's a crime. (Did you know that there are quite a few hall-of-famers linked to the franchise beyond those on the big curtain? Some even wear Senators caps -- Johnson, Goose Goslin, Sam Rice -- while several others spent substantial time on the team.)
Sometimes big gestures are in order:
On May 8, 1966, the Cardinals played the last game at what was once called Sportsman's Park: 17,503 spectators saw them lose to the San Francisco Giants, 10-5. At the game's end, a helicopter carried home plate downtown to the new 50,000-seat Busch Memorial Stadium.
As far as I can tell, no similar move was made for the new Busch Stadium (if anyone knows otherwise, please post it in the comments).
Home plate mount from Met Stadium (Source: LP, courtesy Clyde Doepner)
It's natural to look back and see if there's anything similar the Twins might do. Someone suggested not too long ago that the Twins track down home plate from Met Stadium and install it in the new ballpark. The romantic in me agrees with this notion, but pure practicality will most certainly prevent it. (Someone also claimed that the old home plate is encased in bronze at the Mall of America. Not true.)
The story of Met Stadium's home plate is a sad and sordid one, with almost no particulars, and I'll give you the ending first: no one knows where it is.
I heard the whole story from Clyde Doepner while looking at his extensive collection of Met Stadium memorabilia at the Mall of America a couple of weeks ago. I was there (as were many fans) for the reunion of the Twins and Dodgers players from the 1965 World Series.
There was Clyde, with his elaborate and very cool display, set up on the edge of the rotunda near where the autographs were being signed. If you missed it, you'll have another chance. Clyde is anticipating that much of his memorabilia will be on display in a Minnesota baseball museum at the new ballpark. In fact, Clyde had already signed a deal with the Twins had a ballpark been built over by the river several years ago.
Clyde Doepner's Met Stadium Memorabilia (Source: LP)
One of his greatest (and largest, and heaviest) pieces is pictured here: it's the mount for home plate from Met Stadium. Clyde said that he arrived at the remains of the Met while demolition was taking placed and simply asked the foreman if he could have it. He was told that it was his if he was willing to dig it up himself and haul it away. So he did, along with one of the bullpen pitching rubbers (not displayed because its base was a chunk of cement weighing somewhere around 50 pounds).
But as you can see, the plate itself is gone. "They were going to give it away after the last game," Clyde explains, "but it was stolen after the second-to-last game. They had to put on a new one for the last game, and they gave that one away in a raffle." Did you win this raffle? If so, we want to hear from you!
So if there is to be a transplant, it'll be from the Metrodome. But a helicopter move seems unlikely, what with the roof and all. A train move, on the other hand, might just be the thing. Despipte what many feel about the Metrodome, there is some history which really should be transplanted. The Twins did, after all, win two World Series there...
But I'm happy to report that at least one idea first mentioned here has already made it onto the Twins' radar! (This 12 second clip is an excerpt from tonight's channel 9 news.)
"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.
I love this view of the Basilica.
I love these upper neighborhoods.
The wooden louvers are in on Fifth Street
Site of the proposed new Atlanta Braves ballpark. Look familiar?
Roll-up metal doors visible at right.
A close-up of the rooftop party deck.
Usher Anna hands out Homer Hankies
Loading dock -- already in use!
I love views like this. They show just how much Target Field shimmers. (Photo by Jeff Ewer)
Click to enlarge. (Photo by Jared Wieseler)
Concept drawing for the fan/player appreciation wall. (Click to enlarge.)
Did you notice the flowers?
Note that the sign in the background will NOT be changed because "Twins Way" doesn't extend this far north.
One of the many supports being built over the tracks.
2007, Noah's first game (Torii's last)
A spot that's always full!
Click to see the full-size image.
Giant screened images! (573 Club, my back to Seventh Ave windows)
Looking back toward First Avenue
Here's the field of posts which will support the third base side of the grandstand. Some walls have started to appear about where the Northstar riders will enter the park.
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.
Hey! That limestone looks familiar!
A spectacular golden hour
Here's the entrance from the seating bowl. It's down the outer moat, just beyond the last of the Dugout Box sections.
The east wall of the building looks like it will be the first part completed. These are probably supports for the plaza, and they hug the very edge of the site.
The lights went on, and it was a Good Thing
New section labels, but some curious choices.
For some inexplicable reason, a lot of the new parks being built these days feature grand staircases like this one.
Work in progress to improve the streetscape on Second Avenue
Target HQ main entrance. Ballpark resemblance? (Inset.)
That's my mom. She scored the whole game on her Gameday program (bought for just $1 on the opening night special -- thanks guys!)
That group was working on something very carefully, but I couldn't tell just what it was.