Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Target Field

 Over the weekend we had the opportunity to see Minnesota's new Target Field first-hand. It is self-proclaimed as the nicest ballpark in all of the major leagues. It is hard to argue that statement as it has done well what some other ballparks missed on. It reminds me much of Citizen Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia with a touch of northwoods. It is definitely a field that Minnesotan's can be proud of.
As with many newer ballparks, Target Field is built downtown in an area that locals are either trying to clean up or revitalize. The people of Minneapolis built this park near the warehouse district and is right next to the Target Center. A new light rail system has many lines running to the ballpark and the downtown area. And the park takes advantage of many bars and restaurants that were built to as an entertainment district.
 As we walked in at the gate behind home plate we were greeted by one of the ballpark's bars. This is Hrbek's, named after the first baseman of the '87 and '91 World Champion Teams.
Batting practice was just ending, but a criticism of the new park is that of the home run dimensions. To deep center the dimensions are 411 and 403, but the walls are high making it more difficult for Twins all-stars Mauer or Morneau to hit one out. Deep center are Minnesota Spruce Trees and right field features an overhang onto the field of bleachers.
 An early shower cleared the way for a beautiful sunset on the downtown skyline of Minneapolis. Rain and sunsets are something new to baseball fans in Minnesota. The Twins have played indoors since 1982 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The dome still stands today as the home to the Minnesota Golden Gopher Baseball team and Minnesota Vikings of the NFL. Prior to the move inside, fans in the Twin Cities would go to the present site of Mall of America and Metropolitan Stadium for both the Twins and Vikings.
The left field bleachers were built in the style of bleachers from old Metropolitan Stadium. Flags atop these sections signify both division and world championship years.
Local favorites are found all around Target Field. Locally brewed beers, root beers touting one of the Twins most known sluggers, Harmon Killebrew as well as hot dogs and sausages. Kramarczurs is the provider of Target Field's bratwursts and polish sausages. The $6.50 meats were grilled alongside onions as you waited, the my brat was one of the best I've had at any major league game.
The Twins honor their history with retired numbers hanging just beyond the left field foul pole. Alongside Jackie Robinson's 42 that is retired by all MLB teams are Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Tony Oliva, Rod Carew and Harmon Killebrew.
One of the best retro-logo in major league baseball is that of the Minnesota Twins. Here "Minnie" and "Paulie" shake hands across the Mississippi River representing the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Upon a home run this sign lights up frantically.

Lights are built within the roof that runs from right field behind home plate to left field one set atop the replay board in left field. The lighting does a nice job of showcasing a beautiful ballpark.
And we enjoyed our trip to major league baseball's newest field.

1 comment:

razingcane said...

This is the best looking stadium I every seen GO TWINS#1