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At the Ballpark: 2022 Edition

Some—okay, quite a few—good times were had

There was a lot of waiting—and wondering—that precipitated the 2022 Twins season. After the 2020 pandemic year and a 2021 that still didn’t quite feel right, ‘22 was to be the first “normal” baseball season in two trips around the sun. Rumors of a a lockout then turned into the real deal and were only averted at the eleventh hour. When an Opening Day was finally guaranteed—a week later than originally scheduled—it was of course snowed out.

All of that buildup had me perhaps more excited than ever before to get back to regular Target Field excursions. As a result, this past summer I achieved a new personal best in ballpark trips: 26. With an overall record of 15-11, I ended up driving home with a smile on my face more than muttering under my breath. The Kyle Lohse Memorial Award (i.e. starter I saw toe the rubber the most) goes to Chris Archer this year.

Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees
A lot of Archer starts, so I was also a veteran of Baldelli bullpen calls
Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

Regardless of the wins & losses of it all, however, I had some good times “at the old ball game”, as the baseball anthem serenades.

Here are my top “in the flesh” highlights...

  • 4/10: A Gary Sanchez granny lifts the Twins to their first victory. I honestly believe this moment was the only reason fans kept chanting “Gary...Gary...Gary” all season long.
  • 4/13: While I was using chemical hand warmers so I could feel the dollar hot dogs I was shovelling into my mouth, Clayton Kershaw was throwing seven perfect frames—in short sleeves.
  • 4/29 & 4/30: Taking in two games at Tropicana Field and feeling like I was back in the Metrodome for better (fun/knowledgeable fans) and worse (a roof over my head).
  • 6/10: As a season ticket holder perk, I got to splay out on the Target Field grass to watch postgame fireworks. The most magical moment of the whole campaign for me.
  • 7/1: Marveling and screaming at Byron Buxton’s dramatic walk-off to defeat the Orioles.
  • 8/22: Witnessing a triple play for the first time.
  • 8/27: Attending a Twins/Giants contest with two San Fran fans (one you might recognize)—weathering a savage rain delay—and seeing the ever-improbable walk-off walk (no way was I yelling “walks will haunt” as loud as I could or anything)!
  • 9/10: Being present for my one-year-old nephew’s first Target Field trip (he was proudly presented a TC Build-A-Bear as he entered the gates!). He witnessed a loss to the Guardians, so he got the gist of the 2022 Twins.
  • 9/13: Cheering for Joe Ryan’s no-hit bid.
  • 9/27: Despite the Twins being out of contention for my in-person finale, seeing Bailey Ober fan 10 and Matt Wallner’s first Target Field bomba was at least some salve.

Overall, things didn’t go as planned for the 2022 Minnesota Twins. But a lot of fun was had and memories made from April-early October at Target Field.

Visual evidence of this transpiring...