This could be a good year for the Minnesota TwinsPublished 9:26am Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Guest Column by Joel Myhre
When I bring up the Twins in conversations around town, I’m surprised, and not surprised, when I hear “I haven’t been to Target Field yet.”
I’m surprised because, as a sports fan, when the Twins opened in Target Field, I was all over it, attending the first Twins’ game played at Target Field — a preseason game against the Phillies.
I’m not surprised because, for Fergus Falls residents, it’s an ordeal to get to a game, and if you’re not that into the Twins, I can understand why you’ve missed it.
If my experience last weekend is available throughout the season, my advice is that if you were planning on attending a game someday, I’d make it this year.
I decided to go to a game with a college buddy last Friday. While it’s probably easy to find tickets just going to the game and buying them from a guy walking around, I decided to be safe and get them online.
If you want to get a feel for the ticket market of a particular sports team, StubHub is the place to go.
When I purchased a pair of tickets for a quarter of the season in 2010, it was definitely a seller’s market. My seats were in a nosebleed section, and I paid a pretty penny for them. Yet, in a couple of instances when I went to sell the tickets on StubHub, I was able to get more than twice what I paid for them — 20 minutes after I posted them.
Of course, back then, Target Field had just opened up, and the Twins were good, finishing the season at 94-68 and winning the American League Central Division.
I decided to get the same season ticket package the following year. It turned out to be a relative mistake. The Twins finished at 63-99, and by the end of the year, I couldn’t give my tickets away.
I didn’t make the same mistake in 2012. I don’t mind going to a game if the team is losing. But the issue for those of us who live in West Central Minnesota is it’s a nearly three-hour drive to the Twin Cities. In other words, to go to a Twins’ game, you have to make a weekend out of it or take a vacation day. Otherwise, spending six hours in the car on one day to simply watch a three-hour baseball game — especially with a bad team — seems more like work than fun. So if I was unable to sell the tickets without losing my shorts, it wasn’t worth it.
So two years later, it was enlightening when I browsed StubHub for tickets. For a Friday night game, and good weather predicted, you could get Twins tickets for as cheap as $8 apiece! Movie tickets aren’t that cheap. My thought was, if I can get tickets cheap for $8 apiece, what can I get for $20 apiece?
The answer: Pretty dang good seats. We were right along the first-base line, only 14 rows up, right in foul ball territory, near all the great concession stands, close enough to shout obscenities at the opposing team’s right fielder and he could hear us. Of course, I’m too “mature” to do such a thing, but it was nice to know one could.
We even came close to getting a foul ball, as a guy about four rows up from us got one. He even let me hold it. I have to say, the baseballs the pros use are a lot smoother than I thought they’d be. No wonder the pitchers are always trying to put stuff on the ball.
And, yes, the Twins won that night by a score of 10-1 over the Kansas City Royals. The game featured Kyle Gibson, who has been considered a top prospect for many years but has yet to emerge. This year, it looks like he might.
While I’m thinking a World Series isn’t in the cards this year, it looks like another 90-loss season might not be in the cards either. The Twins are 8-7 right now, and they are winning games on the shoulders of a bunch of nobodies such as Trevor Plouffe and Chris Collabello.
To those who haven’t been, I’m telling you, this is the year to go. It’s a great stadium, tickets are cheap and plentiful, and yes, the brand of baseball may not be too bad this year.
By the way, the Twins have a hoard of top prospects in the minor leagues, so the chances are good they will get dramatically better in the coming years. At that point, I’m thinking the seats won’t be so cheap.
Joel Myhre is publisher of the Fergus Falls Journal. Email him at email@example.com.