Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Quick Nod and a Thanks

So the two preseason exhibition games at the brand-spanking-new Target Field were very exciting. I didn't make it down there, but I could certainly feel the buzz right through my TV. The pictures and accounts I've seen from the media and my friends have convinced me that it's amazing. I've been to enough ballparks to know this one is special -- I see shades of the best parts of them here. I'm especially impressed with the emphasis of the Twins branding while keeping the Target branding present, yet low-key. I'm really looking forward to going myself (I've got tickets for three games, and I'm working on more).

The games themselves were pretty thrilling -- for exhibition games, that is. Denard Span getting the first hit and dinger, Joe Mauer planting a baseball among the centerfield trees, and Jacque Jones receiving a number of surprise standing ovations made for some fantastic moments. Ironically, however, the real hero of the weekend is the old Metrodome itself. Really. Not only was its crappiness a driving force, a very significant one at that, behind the support for the new ballpark, but it also saved baseball in Minnesota.

In 2001, when Bud Selig and 28 team owners voted to contract the Minnesota Twins and the Montreal Expos from Major League Baseball, it was the Metrodome, or rather the Twins' contract to lease it, that saved our beloved club. Hennepin County District Court Judge Harry Crump, who reportedly wasn't even really a baseball fan, granted the Metropolitan Sports Facility Commission an injunction to force the Twins to play the 2002 season, thereby forcing MLB to keep the teams. Whether the whole thing was elaborate conspiracy to ensure public funding for the new ballpark, or an ill-advised get-richer-quick scheme by Mr. Pohlad, it's immaterial when the baseball fans of Minnesota sit under the sky on a beautiful day watching a great game.

So next time you're on your way to beautiful Target Field, be sure to give a quick nod and a thanks to the old Dump Dome as you go by. I just know it's happy for us.

1 comment:

Curlz said...

I went to the first exhibition was awesome! I didn't think it was possible for me to get more excited about Twins baseball...but I am over the moon with excitement! So glad I bought that 20-game season ticket package!