The Twins’ farewell party to the Metrodome went on as scheduled Sunday even though the Twins aren’t done playing at the Dome yet.
After splitting the series with the Tigers last week, the Twins went into the final three game series against Kansas City still two games behind Detroit. The Tigers’ magic number was two so the fate of the Twins was out of our hands. All we could do was beat Kansas City and hope for the best and that is what we did.
|the knothole view is jean gabler’s blog about the minnesota twins and all things baseball.|
The Twins swept the Royals and the Tigers lost two of their three games against the White Sox. So after the games ended yesterday the Twins and Tigers were tied for first place in the Central Division. The Twins become the first team in major league history to play in a tie-breaker game two years in a row to determine a division title. All fans were handed Homer Hankies when they arrived at the game on Sunday. I got a 2006 Homer Hanky, someone else got a 2004 version and there was also a generic “Championship Drive” version that must have been printed last year. I am not sure if the plan was always to do that as part of the Dome Farewell or if it was a last-minute decision with the title still on the line. Regardless, it was a way to empty the closets at the Metrodome and gave the Twins one less thing to move to Target Field.
The postgame ceremony yesterday was emotional, particularly when John Gordon introduced Kirby Puckett as a member of the “All Metrodome Team” and video was shown of him running out of the dugout. It was as if he were back in the Metrodome for a moment. Dan Gladden and Tom Brunansky held up Puckett’s jersey as they stood in the outfield with the rest of the players being recognized. Kent Hrbek gave a great speech on behalf of all the players. “I wrote this speech thinking this was going to be it; it’s not ‘it,'” said Hrbek as the crowd roared. “You guys went and screwed up my whole speech. We’ve got to come back here on Tuesday and drink some more beer.” He also revved up the crowd by reminding them that “When we needed a win, where did we go?” Hrbek said. “To the Dome.”
I think my favorite part, though, was when the scoreboard displayed a shot of Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, and Rod Carew in hard hats at Target Field. They raised a Twins flag, the Minnesota state flag, and the stars and stripes. Here were three of the all-time great players from the pre-Dome years of outdoor baseball bringing everything full circle and welcoming the Twins back to outdoor baseball at Target Field.
I will be at the game on Tuesday. Yes, I will be sad if the Twins lose. But, win or lose, I thank the Twins for a wonderful year of baseball. It has been a great ride so far and it’s not over yet.