8/9/11 Red Sox at Twins: Target Field

It was my first game at Target Field. Yes I had heard it was a tough stadium to snag at and yes I knew the Red Sox bring a big following with them wherever they go. So why did I get there 15 minutes before the gates opened? This was the first game of a five game, two week trip in the Midwest that came together through offers by people to stay with them at my dad’s living memorial a few months ago. It started as a strictly baseball trip but quickly evolved to include college  visits in it. Today’s visit was the University of Minnesota. I bring this up because this and the fact that me and my partner for this leg of the trip (my uncle) had to pick up our tickets from a friend afterward and as a result got to the gates a little later than I would have liked.

Anyway, here I am at gate 6:

As you can see there were a lot of fans at the gate. The gates by the way, are named after famous Twins. So gate 3 is named after Harmon Killebrew, gate 34 after Kent Hrbek etc. Gate 6 happens to be named after Tony Oliva. Once I got in the stadium it wasn’t much better. I initially went to Left Field but it was so crowded since it took five minutes for me to get into the stadium and the steps were so sloped that there was almost no chance I would catch anything so I changed into my Red Sox gear and opted for the emptier Right-Center Field seating:

There was nothing to be found there or anywhere for that matter. I just kept trying my luck with the players and coaches in that area but they kept throwing the balls to kids and other people in my section even though I was one of three people in Red Sox gear:

At one point, one of the coaches actually motioned that he couldn’t throw that high because he didn’t have the arm. It was at most 20 feet up and I suspect he just didn’t want to cause anyone’s harm. I tried to get the players at just the right times when they were closest to the wall but they appeared deaf. Simply put,  I was not ready to attend a batting practice on this day. I hadn’t thought of a good place to go during bp, I had no rosters printed out, and had I it wouldn’t have mattered because most of the players were wearing their pullover bp lining which does not have either their name or number on the back. Here I am contemplating my strategy while a three players are on the field, two of which have the pullover jerseys:

In addition, there is a portion in Right Field that juts out and obstructs a persons view of players in the corner or close to it and blocks out a person’s shouting to said players with requests for a ball. You can see that here:

You may also see that I have drawn an arrow in that last picture. It had no presence in my mind then but of course occurs to me now that I could have stood there and tried to scoop up rollers that players hit down the line as that corner spot would be ideal for such a strategy. If you have never been to a stadium that opens 1 and1/2 hours early you should know that the time goes by really quickly. That is what happened here. Batting Practice was over and I did not have a baseball.

As I made my way over to my seats for the game I stopped in the Standing Room Only section in Right Field and took a picture of the “Shimmering Wall”:

This majesty would be a wall in front of a parking lot made up of thousands of individual metallic panels about three by two inches. These panels are hanging by a hinge at their top so that they flap slightly upwards when a breeze goes by thereby creating a different reflection than the other panels on the wall. This makes sort of a stream going through the wall showing the wind. You can sort of see it towards the top right of the picture where there is a u shape that is darker than all of the panels around it. If you have never been and will visit Target Field you should really check it out as it is beautiful. I would have explored more and done quirky things like that but I was for this whole trip with family and the exploration part of a new stadium is fine and dandy but lugging around another person that doesn’t want to explore can be a bit of a pain. It’s not to say that the people i was with wouldn’t want to explore but i just didn’t want to find out that they didn’t mid-exploration. Speaking of those seats, this picture shows both where the seats were and how absolutely crowded the stadium was:

If you can also see the man in the gray shirt and green hat bending down, he was the ball that came in closest proximity to me just seconds prior to me taking that picture is what he is looking at at that moment. a few others  came within 20 feet of me but it was just so packed that all I had to move on was the staircase on which I was sitting. Usually, I would have tried the dugouts but I didn’t want to abandon my family and the stadium was just so beautiful that I pretty much decided that besides any hit balls that came close to me I would sit back and enjoy the game. I realized I was risking a 57 game streak but the Midwest portion of my family and friends of family is one that I enjoy spending time with the most most of my branches (no offense to Colombia and California). Sure I was a few seats away because I wanted to sit on the aisle but I didn’t want to venture a few sections away.

 

Actually, I shouldn’t say that. The only time I left considerably was during Jim Thome’s at-bats because he was 2 Home Runs away from 600 and I didn’t want to miss either 599 or 600. A few batters before Thome got up I would get out of my seat and make the trek to the Right Field Standing Room Only section on the other side of the field:

My face say it all:

Thome hit neither of his two Home Runs that day and no one even came close to the section the whole game.

 

I would have gone down to the umpire tunnel but the Twins had a semi-moat in the infield seats and I didn’t want to leave my family waiting for me a the top of the section until i came back up. Here is a picture of the moat:

The moat begins at the wall I have inside my dotted box (made of Minnesota limestone). I say that it is a semi-moat because usually moats keep everyone except ticket holders for that section out starting when the gates open. This however is not the case as you can see the ushers pointed out by my three arrows are well away from the staircase which is to the left of them in the picture. So people can enjoy bp from these seats and THEN get out (you listening Yankees?). The usher was at her post at he end of the game so I figured not to make a ruckus and just leave the seats.

 

Speaking of my family here they are in a picture we took at the top of the section:

That would be:

1. Mateo Fischer- Myself wearing my now official magnetic pen of baseball labeling. Provided by the good people at Private Home Care.

2. Richard Fischer- My uncle and now whenever he wants to be the honorary photographer for Observing Baseball. He really did by far the best job of any of the photographers I have had. Not only in this game but in the next three blog entries I will do so keep on the look-out for that.

3. Mark Fischer- Richard’s son aka my cousin who showed up for the day when he heard we had an extra ticket and who I visited when I was in Minnesota for the last season of the Metrodome.

4. John Fischer- Richards’s other son aka my other cousin who actually provided myself and Richard with housing while we were in Minnesota for these two days creating havoc for his less-than-100-percent household at the time.

 

STATS:

  • 127 balls in 31 games= 4.10 Balls Per Game
  • Time at Game 5:17- 9:56= 4 hours 39 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comments

I accidentally said Friday- I meant Wednesday

Paul (Paaool123)- I *will* be coming back to Target Field this season. Actually, I’ll probably be going there quite a few games in the next few season seeing as I’m going to be starting at the U of Minnesota this fall. I’d be happy to read your account of the game. E-mail me it at: fischerm@fordhamprep.org.

I forgot to ask… What is your email address? I’ll send you my journal/blog from the game I went to on Friday. I’d like to know what you think of it.

Mateo- it’s fun to read your blogs, I came across them when I saw you comment on zack hample’s blog. I’m glad you enjoyed your time in minnesota at target field.
I’m a freshman in high-school and live in Minnesota. My name is Paul. I just went to target field last Wednesday to watch the angels and the twins play. I got 4 balls from Angela players and 1 ball from drew butera.
You should let me know if you ever come back to target field for some more games, it would be fun to see you there sometime.
Goodluck ballhawking.

The Rays Rant-
Since July of last year. My username is fischerm. If you click on “Full Standings” on the homepage I should be like 15th in the standings or close to it.I actually also just added a link to my account under the Sites related to ballhawking link list on the sidebar.

Blue Jays Nest-
I think the bigger problem at hand is that most of these players (Kubel, Mauer etc) WERE Home Run hitters but their power has disappeared through their time at Target Field. The place is just too big and the walls are too high. This didn’t really affect me this game as I was just out there for Thome and he still has that kind of power. The next day however, I was out there for the whole game when their lack of power really showed up. I was essentially there for: Ortiz, Gonzalez, Thome, and maybe Ellsbury as he has shown some pop this season but I gave up the idea of catching a HR when anyone else was up.

The Twins need to pick up a few more home run hitters to help you out there. Still, Target Field is a gorgeous stadium, I hope to make it out there someday.

http://bluejaysnest.mlblogs.com/

Are you on mygameballs.com?
http://yossif.mlblogs.com/ -The Rays Rant

Hello, observers of baseball. Let me know what you though of the entry no matter what you thought of it. Additonally, let me know if you'd like to see me do anything in specific or what I'm doing right or wrong when I do write entries.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 413 other followers

%d bloggers like this: