A Big, Beautiful Mess


Twenty-four hours from now the 2009 baseball season will be upon us. I can’t wait!

The beginning of the six month long marathon of fandom holds additional significance, in that, with baseball comes warm weather. And with warm weather come those beautiful,  life-affirming few months in Chicago that Mother Nature doles out as reward for your patience through yet another dark, blustery winter. Gah! Hate winter. Even though i come from a state that prides itself on not letting the tight-clenching grasp of winter get in the way of ahem, “fun winter activities“, I’ve never been one to embrace the cold. I merely tolerate it.

Long story short: good times are on the PT horizon. Nothing but long bike rides, movies in the park, and meals eaten alfresco. And, of course, baseball. In fact, Easter Sunday will be spent in the nosebleeds at US Cellular Field with AllysonD.

I wanted to take a little time to write about the building that is home to a majority of my baseball-related memories. After years of playing host to over two thousand Minnesota Twins home games, 2009 marks the final season the Twins play in the The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.


It’s hard to believe a stadium only one year older than I am is so incredibly unfit for baseball  the Twins felt it necessary to build a new ball park just down the street for hundreds of millions of dollars. But, if the DomeFan in me takes a step back, I realize the Metrodome was never fit to be a baseball stadium. Either way, growing up, I love going to the Metrodome. Even though it’s ugly as sin, it’s such an incredibly unique space, one can’t help walking through passageway from the concourse to the seats, looking around at the vast green, blue, and (dirty) white area and say “Huh. Really? Baseball? Here? Sweet?”.

I have no scintillating tales of catching foul balls, witnessing  no-hitters, or getting my favorite player’s autograph; but with every ho-hum game I’ve attended throughout the years comes a distinct Metrodome Memory.

I attended my first Twins game–and a bulk of my early Twins games– with my dad (side note: my parents divorced when I was young and I rarely saw my dad). I remember 8 year-old me, nervously spewing every baseball player name and accompanying statistic to fill the awkward silences between my father and me. After one game, we went out to the parking lot to try and get player’s autographs. All I really wanted was Kirby Puckett to sign my glove. No dice. The only signature i came up with was that of then-current WCCO News Sportscaster Ralph Jon Fritz. My dad had loudly and embarrassingly flagged him down (the only person to do so in the crowd of fifty or so) and got him to sign some piece of paper from his pocket.  He gave it to me, and I was as confused about having RJ Fritz’s autograph then as a child as I am now as an adult. Pretty sure, it’s still in a shoebox somewhere.

metrodome1When I was about 10, my neighborhood friend Peter brought his birthday party guests to a Twins game. It was the first experienced the thrill of sitting behind home plate.. from one of the last rows in the upper deck. Either way, I thought it was SO cool to be able to look over the whole field form that angle. On the way home, Peter’s dad surprised him with a few packs of baseball cards to open on the ride back to Saint Paul. Even though it was Peter’s birthday, I remember feeling pissed at this fatherly gesture. Each one of us in the card seriously collected baseball cards; and for us kids to be crammed into the back seat of a red Subaru station wagon, forced to watched Peter open pack after pack of baseball cards, was borderline torturous.

In seventh grade, my mom had scored tickets to opening day through her work. I took 3 of my friends along for the afternoon. We promptly went to the very top row in the stadium and timed how long it took to walk around the entire Metrodome.

My most recent venture to the Dome was two years ago. My friend Dan, who’s mother gets amazing seats for games through her business, invited me to sit in like the seventh row. The Twins played an awful game; but the night wasn’t completely lost. We all headed over to the amazing Nye’s Polonaise Room after the game.

Although I can’t wait for the Twins to open their sweet-assed new outdoor ballpark next year, I’m going to miss the shitty confines of the Metrodome. Minnesota Twins baseball to me has become ingrained in paying $4 for nosebleed seat which leaves you with a vicious neck ache. It’s hard to know how to react when a home to so many childhood memories becomes a such a relic. Even if said relic is the biggest eyesore in professional sports.

RIP, Buddy.



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2 Responses to “A Big, Beautiful Mess”

  1. qtallyson Says:

    Well done, PT. You are totally asleep right now or I would tell you that in person. God, I hate that dome, but you at least turned it into… something I don’t… kinda don’t… despise to the depths of my soul? Maybe?

    Even that sentence hurt to type.

  2. What the WHAT?? « Acme Valley Says:

    […] really unfortunate this is the second eulogy-like post in the short history of Acme Valley. RIP […]

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