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Inaugurating Target Field: the birth of a new era

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I love it now, but my initial thoughts were—complicated.

Boston Red Sox v Minnesota Twins

Ten years ago, the Minnesota Twins moved outdoors. After spending 27 years inside the Metrodome, Twins Territory was once again a natural endeavor.

Yours truly was born in 1985. A bit of (very) simple math concludes that my entire “baseball life” to that point was spent indoors. Dome Dogs...wind doors...trough urinals...Hefty bag...milk jug...vampire seats...Dodge Ball...white roof...lime turf...t-shirt blimp. That’s what Twins baseball was to me. Oh yeah—and mostly winning/exciting baseball.

Before I recorded my sixth official year on this earth, the ball club had won two World Championships, with every Dome game a victory. When I entered adolescence, the “Get To Know ‘em” squad (Hunter, Guzman, Koskie, Mientkiewicz, etc.) brought fans back after the embarrassing late-90s doldrums. By the end of the ‘aughts, the Twins had established themselves as AL Central kings.

In ‘08 and ‘09 especially, as I graduated college and gained some independence, I felt like the Dome magic fully engulfed me. Whether being under the Teflon for Denard Span’s roundhouse-throwing triple, or fully enraptured watching two epic Game 163’s on TV, it once again felt like the Dome Twins were invincible.

So on April 12, 2010, when the Twins took their new home field—Target Field—for the first time, it felt surreal. Perhaps those old enough to have experienced Metropolitan Stadium (aka “The Old Met”) remembered what baseball under a blue sky felt like, but I was TC Bear in this commercial...

“The problem is, he’s always been inside, and that’s all he knows”

I vaguely remember the details of that initial contest: Carl Pavano out-dueled Jon Lester, Jason Kubel homered, Joe Mauer doubled, and the Twins beat the Red Sox 5-2 on a glorious Monday afternoon. But mostly, I recall the strange feeling of watching a Twins home game in a place that didn’t feel like home.

Not helping matters was a large amount of change in my personal life mirroring that on the diamond. I was treading water working a retail job with no clear direction, and I recently found out my family would be moving from the hometown (Fergus Falls, MN) I had inhabited since kindergarten. Even that move would be troubled, requiring a brief stay at a rental property while the vagaries of real estate were sorted out. That’s where I I caught my first televised glimpse of Target Field: on a 35” tube TV hastily propped up in a house that was far from a home.

It wasn’t all doom-and-gloom. The move to the Metro Area ‘burbs would inevitably bring me closer to the Twins’ new home, and the ‘10 Twins were off to a 6-2 start! Can’t argue with that, right? But in terms of accepting Target Field as the new home of Twins Baseball, I wasn’t quite there yet.

It would be almost another month until I stepped through it’s gates for the first time and my mind began to change. But that’s a story unto itself.

Poll

Did you immediately fall in love with Target Field from Day 1?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Absolutely!
    (58 votes)
  • 12%
    Ehh, it took some "getting used to"
    (9 votes)
  • 8%
    I’d still rather be at the Dome
    (6 votes)
73 votes total Vote Now