Twins opening day

Published 9:00 am Thursday, April 15, 2010

Opening Day 2010 will be remembered for many things if you are a Twins fan. I, as a Twins fan was lucky enough to attend opening day. In the spirit of baseball, I will now recall the nine (a baseball game is nine innings) top moments of the Minnesota Twins Opening Day 2010:

1. Target Field: This amazing stadium is outdoors and beautiful. Seeing a blue sky and green grass is everything that a true baseball fan longs for. Target

Field is a place that will be enjoyed for a long time by all.

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2. Minnie and Paul: Longtime fans of the Twins will love the shrine that rises up high over right center field. Minnie and Paul were part of the original logo back in 1961 and had separate uniforms that depicted the Minneapolis (Minnie) and St. Paul (Paul) cities that make up the Twin Cities. The Minnie and Paul ballplayers are shaking hands and whenever a Twin homers at Target Field, this sign will light up and Minnie and Paul will shake hands. I love the nostalgia that this depicts as well as a cool reason to want a home run.

3. Killebrew, Carew and Puckett Twins legends statues: I would say that the most famous statue is of Kirby Puckett, unveiled by his son, but I loved the Rod Carew one because of the tucked stance he is posed in. All three players are more than worthy of such fine replicas.

4. Budweiser beer deck: Down the left field line you will see a large Budweiser sign. Just below that is a very nifty party deck area that has a bar area, a fire pit and an atmosphere that seems to announce: relax, the Twins will win, don’t worry.

5. The Twins big dog made right here in Albert Lea by Schweigert: If you go to a ballgame, you have to cover a dog with all the fixings and jam it down. I believe it is a rule that started way back in early baseball history. Thank you, history. They also had other food like Cuban’s, stir fry, and pizza, but baseball history would frown on you.

6. Beer vendors. Placed in very bright yellow jerseys that can be seen by the space shuttle, these brave men and women haul beer to people all over the stadium. The beer vendors at a ballgame are almost as important as the Twins players themselves.

7. Firsts: Jason Kubel hit the first home run in the bottom of the seventh, but it was fun to watch as people kept track of the first hit, (Marco Scutaro-Red Sox) pitch (Carl Pavano-Twins), walk ( Denard Span-Twins), foul ball, stolen base, save, double play, sunflower seed spit, and Joe Mauer doing, well anything. The only real first I cared about was the first win, and they got it, 5-2.

8. Memorabilia and trinkets: As any opening day of a new stadium needs to cover its costs, the Twins were no exception. They had first day T-shirts, sweatshirts, pins, banners, stuffed animals, bats, keychains, books, scorecards, jerseys, hats, balls and ,well, you get the picture. If just what I bought was any indication of how caught up one can get at the opening of a new stadium, I believe the Twins made $1 billion dollars in memorabilia sales. This number does not count all the free homer hankies, licorice and newspapers that were handed out.

9. Flag unveiling: I am an Army brat and a proud United States citizen, so anytime there is a flag unveiled and a veterans salute, I will be standing, with my hat off and my hand over my heart ready to sing the national anthem. The Twins organization did not disappoint as they had a flag that covered up about half of the field as well as having four F-16s from the Duluth Air National Guard do a flyover during pregame ceremonies. It made the hair on my arms stand up. They also had the regular flag flying at half-staff for the recent Minnesota soldiers killed in Afghanistan. It was a great gesture and the right thing to do in my book. Thank you, Twins.

Now there are more than nine memories, but we do not want to go into extra innings so I will just encourage everyone to go to the new stadium, smell the grass, and sit in the sun and enjoy.