The Final Stop on the Midwest Baseball tour: Target Field
After three ballparks and one beautiful drive through the state of Wisconsin, Target Field in Minneapolis stood as our final destination on the midwest baseball park tour of 2017. Coming into this experience, I didn’t know what to expect. Target Field looked very nice on tv, but it’s not one of those ballparks you hear a lot about. I didn’t know if this was due to it being tucked away quietly in Minneapolis or if it just wasn’t that great of a place to see a game. Sometimes you can’t really tell what the experience is going to be like until you reach the destination. Even as you walk up to Target Field from Tenth Street you still can’t tell what you are in for on gameday. Luckily, as we turned the corner to the main entrances, we were in for some nice surprises.
Of all the ballparks i’ve been to, the Minnesota Twins do one of the best jobs of celebrating their history. Sure, there are statues of some of the greats spread out sporadically around the outside areas, that look cool. The most important moments in team history are documented along the outside walls of the ballpark as well. However, the Twins fill their outside fences with Hall Of Fame pennants dedicated to their all-time greats. A very unique way to celebrate team history that I have never seen before. In addition, pennants containing the names of every player from every Twins team with the team’s record and recognition of World Series Championships were on display as well. A truly unique tribute i’ve never seen anywhere else. It’s great to see so many of their hall of famers get special recognition, but it is awesome to see some of the role players and guys you might have forgotten get a nod as well. This says a lot about how the Twins embrace their history. It was a beautiful stroll around that maintained the excitement level for the game right up until the moment we walked into Target Field.
It is pretty clear that the goal was to keep the celebration of the history contained to the outside of the ballpark while in the inside mostly focused on the game. One of the only notable exceptions to this “rule” was the seat where Kirby Puckett hit his game 6 homerun to during the 1991 World Series. TV and Radio broadcasts of the homerun can also be heard as you marvel at this relic from the Metrodome. Otherwise, the inside of Target Field is all about today’s ballgame. Much like Miller Park, our seats were up high, but this time we sat in left field. Despite being this far out, I felt very close to the game. If you got up from your seat and looked down, you could see the left and center fielders right there. It also made for some great pictures of players warming up before the game. I can only imagine how watching the game from the first or third baseline would feel as Target Field was very intimate despite it’s size.
Although there is some cool architecture and signs hanging up throughout, I can’t say there was a lot going on at Target Field otherwise. Once again, unlike Chicago, I didn’t find any signature hot dogs or other signature type of foods at Target Field. The food we tried was good and they do have souvenir cups, but there wasn’t much to speak of otherwise. That is ok with me because I am there to see the game. All of the other features are great and they do matter, but the game experience is what really matters. I found Target Field to be one of the better places to sit and watch a game. Much like Wrigley Field, the history can be seen coming in, the present can be seen inside. No other gimmicks or extra stuff to do. There are plenty of places to go if you want to see the game from a different perspective, but ultimately, Target Field is all about the game.