Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Favorite Metrodome Memory

So, word has it that the Twins are no longer going to be playing in the Metrodome after this season. I gotta admit, I'm going to miss the old, ugly Bubble. In fact, I think I'm probably one of about four people in Twins Territory who actually likes the place. Sort of.

There are a million things to hate about it: the roof is ugly, the seats are hard, the concourses are too small, the restrooms are nasty, the lower level doesn't have hand rails, the rows are too long, etc. Heck, even the cup holders are wrong (who thought it was a good idea to install tilted cup holders?).

Even though it's a dump, it's where my team plays, so I love it. Granted, I would go watch the Twins if they the only place they played was on an aircraft carrier asea in the Devil's Triangle...if I could get tickets...and airfare...and a really good life insurance policy. But more than it being the the only place I can see my boys in their home uniforms, there are some wonderful things about it -- the memories.

I mentioned yesterday that MPR is collecting fans' favorite memories. Here is the piece I wrote.
My Favorite Metrodome Memory

My tradition every year is to go to the final home series of the season. In 2006, I was able to go to the Sunday, October 1st game, the last game of the regular season.

By that time, the Twins had already clinched at least a wildcard spot, and it was assumed by many that they would finish out the regular season then head to New York for the playoffs. The Twins were hosting the White Sox, while the Royals were visiting Detroit. A Twins loss or a Tigers win would give Detroit the Division Championship.

Adding another layer of interest was the tight batting-title race between Joe Mauer and Derek Jeter of the Yankees. Our Joe was leading, but only by a few hundredths of a point.

The game itself started kind of slowly. The White Sox took an early lead in the first. But then Silva settled down. In the fourth, the Twins finally put three on the board and another one in the fifth.

Meanwhile, everyone in the crowd was keeping an eye on the Royals-Tigers score on the out-of-town scoreboard. By the sixth inning, the crowd reacted more to KC scoring in their game than to anything going on in the Twins game. It was funny when a Twins batter fouled off a pitch, the crowd roared because the KC-DET score updated at that moment.

My husband kept checking the web on his phone to find out how Jeter's day at the plate was going. By Joe's final plate appearance, Jeter's day was already done -- Joe had won the batting title with a .347 average! Seeing him take a bow and kiss his bat was an amazing moment.

Once the Twins beat the White Sox 5-1, the Metrodome staff tuned the jumbotrons to the Royals-Tigers game, which had gone into extra innings. The crowd was clapping and chanting "Let's go Royals, let's go Royals, let's go Royals" as if they were playing in front of us. After a bit, the Twins players emerged from the dugout onto the playing field to chant and cheer along with the crowd.

When the Royals had finally beaten the Tigers 10-8, the crowd erupted into joyful pandemonium. The Twins' win and the Tigers' loss meant that the Twins were the Central Division Champions!

I was high-fiving and hugging people I had never met, and will probably never see again. From my seat in the upper deck, I could see the players jumping and running and slapping hands of fans hanging over the barriers. Torii Hunter and Gardy found microphones and spoke to the fans, thanking everyone for their support and expressing their spontaneous glee of the moment. I sat in my seat not wanting to ever leave; what a magical day!
I also submitted a picture of the scorecard I kept that day.

Heh. Notice all the scribbling in the Sox side of the 8th? Either I started the inning with the wrong batter, or I forgot to flip it over as the Twins were batting. I hate it when I do that.

Here is the request from MPR for your favorite memory:

MPR News: What’s your Metrodome Memory?

After 28 years, the Twins are moving on from the Metrodome to greener pastures made of real grass. In commemoration of their last season at the Dome, MPR News is collecting memories of baseball at the Dome to feature on our Morning Edition program. We want to hear your funniest, strangest or simply most memorable moments at the Dome – whether on the field or in the stands. Share your story with us here: Please contact Molly Bloom at mbloom [at] mpr [dot] org with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!


Topper said...

I've seen so many videos of that day I wish I could've been there, it sounds glorious! Thanks for sharing your memories of it, hopefully we'll get another shot at something similar before the season ends!

Jim H. said...

As the fans in the Dome were watching the Detroit-KC game, we were sitting in a restaurant with my mother in law watching the fans at the dome watch the game. That was wierd. But everyone in the place was caught up in it. I remember the waitress standing at our table about to hand us our entrees, but stopping to peek into the bar -- suspended animation. When the final was posted, we cheered and my mother in law (not a big baseball fan) was pumping her fist. That day was fun.

John said...

I was there for that game with my dad, and it's good to see that it's someone else's favorite Dome memory too... Part of me wonders if I was one of the random strangers you hugged and high fived ;) Lord knows I hugged and high fived everyone around me too!

Army of Dad said...

Because we live in Texas my son, who is a HUGE twins fan had never seen a game in the dome until the summer of '06. His first and only game in the dome was a Twins win and also the starting point of he and I getting to see the Twins play four games in three different cities in eight days. Still one of his best memories, and mine of course.