Outdoor Baseball

Posted by Sam Lovstad, MLBPAA Intern

The impending 2010 MLB season was an exciting time for Minnesota Twins fans like myself, as it was the inaugural season of the Twins’ new ballpark, Target Field. Prior to the 2010 season, the Twins had played their home games in the primitive, dilapidated bio-dome that is the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Many of you may recognize it from the video here. Yeah, that’s the one. Anyway, gather round and let me tell you about my first Target Field experience and one of my greatest baseball memories…

I don’t particularly remember what led up to this conversation, but on April 1st, 2010, my sister sent me a picture message of four Twins tickets to the following day’s exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals, which would also be the first Twins game to ever be played at Target Field. In the message, she also told me how the company she worked for had tickets to the game but nobody was able to go, so I immediately told her to hold on to the tickets until the end of the day for me, as I would try and summon my roommates to attend the game with me.

Getting my roommates, Chad and Jordan, on board was a lofty expectation, but I figured it was worth a shot. They both worked full-time day jobs at the same company and would have to take the following day off from work at literally the last minute. My sister lived in Fargo, North Dakota, so we would have to take off immediately from Duluth, Minnesota, drive to Fargo to get the tickets and stay the night, and head to Minneapolis in the morning for the game. I remember my text conversation with Chad going something like this:

Me: What are the chances you can get tomorrow off?

Chad: No chance

Me: I have tickets to the Twins game.

Chad: I’ll see what I can do…

In the end, by some miraculous stroke of luck, Chad and Jordan were both able to get out of work for the next day. When they came home from work that evening, we wasted no time and hit the road to Fargo. The drive from Duluth to Fargo takes about four hours normally, but naturally it took us about five and a half hours. Once at my sister’s apartment in Fargo, we crashed on the couches for the night and took off first thing in the morning for Target Field.

Not a minute after we arrived in Minneapolis an hour or two prior to the game, it started pouring rain, and I remember thinking about how much of a waste this trip was going to be if this game is cancelled.  About thirty minutes before the game, luck was on our side again as the rain stopped and the gates opened. Once inside the stadium, we circled the concourse checking out every concession stand, souvenir shop, and sight along the way before settling into our seats. During our pre game tour of the stadium, I was fortunate enough to run into Kent Hrbek and have a few words with him.

As far as the game itself, I actually don’t recall too much other than Denard Span leading off the game and following up with a home run in his next at bat, as I was too caught up in the experience of seeing Target Field and the atmosphere of outdoor baseball in Minnesota. When all was said and done, the Twins fell 8-4 to the Cardinals, but as it was only an exhibition game, I wasn’t too bummed. The whole experience itself and fact that for the rest of my life I will be able to say that I was at the first ever Minnesota Twins baseball game at Target Field weighs heavier than one in the win column ever will.

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