Our final stop for the Hall of Fame Tour this season was Minneapolis. This was our first set up not across from the ballpark because if you’ve ever visited Target Park, there isn’t much parking around it. The ballpark is in the heart of downtown and what sounds like a disadvantage (no large lots), really isn’t because this city is killing it in the public transportation department. Just take a bus or ride Metro- it’s cheap, drops you off in front of the park, and you don’t have to worry about getting a DUI after the game should you partake in cocktails.
— Alicia Barnhart (@Alicia_Barnhart) September 16, 2016
For this stop, we were set up outside Mall of America, which is not surprisingly- HUGE. I knew it was the biggest mall, but I still wasn’t prepared for it in person. Fun fact for y’all, the mall is built on the site of Twin’s first ballpark, Metropolitan Stadium. Next time you’re getting your shop on, head down to the rides area where you’ll find a bronze home plate and the on the very far left side wall you’ll see a red seat denoting Harmon Killebrew’s longest home run (522 ft) in that stadium. Doing the walk from home plate to the chair will further your appreciation for the long ball. Sadly, I can’t find my picture on my computer, so I embedded my tweet with them from when I visited. Also, here’s an article from Yahoo on the site.
Of course, it still being baseball season, we caught two games at Target Field. This was my third visit to this ballpark and I think it’s a beautiful venue, but the atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired. It’s because the Twins are terrible. I don’t even feel bad saying that because it’s the honest truth. There are a few bright spots- Brian Dozier and perhaps the fastest player in baseball, Byron Buxton. I think he got to third in 11 seconds one of the games we were at. Amazing yes, but HoFer Cool Papa Bell could round all the bases in 12. Gotta throw in the baseball history tidbits for ya!
The first game we went to the Tigers were in town which me being a Yankees fan, I’m still salty about the 2012 playoffs. Saying I’m still salty is a significant understatement… I’m mad. GRRRR, breath, move on Alicia! Despite my obvious bias against Detroit, I can’t pretend Miguel Cabrera isn’t one of the most dynamic players in the game. He hit a home run, which makes this the third game I’ve seen him do so (second in Target Field). I can’t tell you what I did last week, but I’m 99% sure I can tell you every player that’s hit a home run at every game I’ve attended over the years. What can I say, I like home runs. Well, as long as they aren’t against the Yankees (unless it’s like a pity run that doesn’t affect the game).
I was at the game with a group of my coworkers and we had tickets in the bleachers, but got upgraded to seats along the third baseline by a Twins employee. The silver lining to a bad team is open seats up for grabs. The Tigers ended up beating the Twins and we had a great time together.
We caught the Twins in action a second time when the Seattle Mariners were in town. Bronx cheers for Robinson Cano were loud from me and from my coworker Gary, who is a Royals fan. In case you might’ve forgotten, Robbie snubbed Billy Butler not once, but twice for the Home Run Derby (first time, of course, being in Kansas City). Unforgivable. I’m kidding, but it is fun to hold a sports grudge and I’m not relenting on Cano until he comes back to the Yankees.
For this game, we were along the first baseline, but more in the outfield. I love the little right field deck of Target Field with the flag pole (the honor a vet every game), the light up displays of the players, and the gorgeous view of the Minneapolis skyline. The right field deck coupled with all the artwork and sculptures peppered throughout are the highlights of this ballpark in my opinion. I’m counting the Minnie and Paulie structure in center field as artwork in case you think I’m leaving that out. Definitely not, it’s great, especially when the Twins muster a homer run.
Speaking of home runs, Byron Buxton totally robbed Nelson Cruz of one in the third. That play was gorgeous, so make sure you watch it. Again Buxton, a bright spot for the Twins! Cruz wouldn’t be denied again and hit a two-run shot later in the game (second time I’ve seen him homer in person if you’re curious). I enjoyed this game just as much as the first with a different group of coworkers, including our traveling curator Andy. We ended up going out in the area around the park after the game (I made them stay until almost the very end) and it was a blast. I don’t know how I’m going to go back to real life after tour life!