This week, the Minnesota Twins played their 81st game of the 2023 season—the halfway mark. Thus far, I’ve witnessed ballpark action 15 times: 7 wins, 8 losses—about right considering the overall record. Here were some of my first-half highlights (including pictures at the bottom!). Maybe you were at some of these as well...
Donuts & Dogs
- For weekend afternoon tilts, I often made a pre-game stop at Heights Bakery. I also attended three $1 hot dog nights. It is truly a wonder I’m still alive.
April 8 vs. Houston Astros
- Despite Joe Ryan surrounding a mammoth grand slam to Yordan Alvarez in the early goings, the Twins persevered and came away with the victory—capped by a late-inning Byron Buxton Buck Truck blast!
April 11 vs. Chicago White Sox
- In Manfred-ball (extra innings), Griffin Jax mowed down the Pale Hose to set up a walk-off opportunity. It took all of one pitch to make it happen: Michael A. Taylor dropped down a perfect bunt, Sox third-sacker Hanser Alberto threw wildly to first base, and g-g-g-g-ghost runner Willi Castro motored around to score the winning run!
May 19 & 21 at Los Angeles Angels
- Visiting family in LA, we took in two games at the Big A. Though the Twins lost both, I got to see my favorite non-Twin baseball star—Mike Trout—in action and the incomparable Shohei Ohtani toe the rubber and lead off in the same contest.
May 27 vs. Toronto Blue Jays
- A wild 9-7 victory over the Blue Birds in which I saw Castro homer twice alongside bombs from Matt Wallner & Edouard Julien. This was the game where Jays OF Daulton Varsho narrowly missed two HR-stealing grabs.
June 1 vs. Cleveland Guardians
- What looked for all the world like another ho-hum loss to Francona’s Guardians turned on a dime with Royce Lewis’ 8th-inning moonshot, allowing the Twins to walk it off in the ninth.
June 4 vs. Cleveland Guardians
- The Twins saw a late comeback fall juuuuuust short, but I sat in the Delta Sky360 Club for the first time, witnessed Lewis literally fall on his head careening over first base (and live to tell about it), and my young niece ran the bases post-game.
June 13 vs. Milwaukee Brewers
- Amidst a Brew Crew takeover of Target Field, the ‘Sconnies had quite a bit to cheer for—until a bottom-of-the-ninth in which star stopper Devin Williams didn’t record an out and Carlos Correa lit the fuse on a walk-off victory bomb.
Despite the rather pedestrian record for both myself and the Twins overall, I’ve had some fun at the ballpark thus far. In the second half: a season ticket holders run-the-bases event and a Labor Day trip to Texas for some Twins/Rangers action are on tap—along with (hopefully) a division title stretch-run push!
If you have some first-half ballpark memories/stories, drop them in the comments!
- Heights Bakery (Columbia Heights, MN)—an afternoon game tradition (for me) like no other
- “A hot dog at the ballpark is better than a steak at the Ritz” (Humphrey Bogart)
- Favorite logo redesign
- Where I yelled “throw it away!” at the ChiSox third baseman—and he did for a Twins victory!
- The Boomstick brings out the San Diego lineup card in a sombrero—miss him!
- The Big A
- My favorite individual baseball player—Mike Trout
- Imitating the great one—Shohei Ohtani
- My niece gets some pre-baserunning support from TC Bear.
- Beautiful Target Field night (also sampling the Cheetos popcorn) with my youngest sister
- Doing some “Twinkie Town history post” research