Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our Stadium Adventures: Target Field

My wife and I (mostly me) have this lifetime goal of being able to visit all 30 baseball stadiums - or at least one from each city/team.  One of my favorite parts about the game of baseball, the thing that separates baseball from many other sports, is that each stadium is special and unique.  Each stadium has its own history, sights, smells, and quirks.  We have been married now almost 3 years, and we have had the privilege of watching at least one game at 8 different stadiums so far: Metrodome, Target Field, Miller Park, US Cellular Field, Wrigley Field, Comerica Park, Rogers Centre, and Safeco Field.  I thought it would be cool just to share a few pictures  and stories from our experiences at each ballpark.

In addition to going to a game, we've also had the opportunity to take two ballpark tours - one at Target Field, and one at Safeco Field.  Since this is, after all, a site dedicated to the Twins, let's start out with our newest gem: Target Field.  Last season we took in the Friday night game against the White Sox on 1991 World Series Reunion Weekend, followed by a Target Field Tour Saturday morning.

As you can imagine from a new stadium, everything in the entire building was done up perfectly.  Every room was filled with Twins history, and it seemed like every material had Minnesotan significance.

Kirby Puckett wall and Puckett's 1991 World Series ring.

This is a laser burned wood carving of Kirby, which stands about 25 feet tall in the Kirby Puckett Atrium.  This room also is home to many articles of Kirby Puckett memorabilia, which the Puckett family allowed the Twins to showcase after his death.

This is just a cool shot that my wife took of the left field foul pole from the Budweiser Roof Deck.  What a view!

Above is a warehouse building across the tracks north of Target Field, again taken from the Budweiser Roof Deck.  At the time, back in August, there was talk of the Twins using part of that building to renovate and turn into a Twins Hall of Fame.

1987 WS Trophy 
1991 WS Trophy

The Champions Club behind home plate was obviously pretty impressive, as we got a close-up of the World Series and ALCS trophies.

One of my favorite parts of the tour was all the artwork throughout the entire stadium.  This is a picture of Billy Martin, who managed the club for only one season in 1969.  I think this picture is a pretty good illustration of what it was like to play for Martin that one season.  The Twins won the division that year, but Martin was fired after getting in a fight with Dave Boswell, apparently.  Sounds a lot like Gardenhire, doesn't it?  Martin would go on to manage, among a few other teams, the Yankees - 5 different times.
For all of you who are not married yet, but headed in that direction:  I would strongly consider using the Metropolitan Club down the right field line for your reception.  I don't know how much it would cost - I forget what the guide told us - but it would be worth it.  Look at that place!  Just do it.

This is the view from the Metropolitan Club.
While on the Target Field Tour, we spent some time talking with a couple from Chicago - White Sox fans - that was on the same mission as we were.  The only difference was that they only had one or two stadiums remaining to complete their adventure.  The wife was even more into it than the husband!  Anyway, I asked what their favorite stadiums had been over the course of their journey.  What do you think they said?  Kansas City was #2, but Target Field quickly became their favorite stadium of them all.  That's pretty impressive coming from a Sox fan.

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