Showing posts with label Minnesota Twins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Minnesota Twins. Show all posts

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Baseball Smashed Pennies: Target Field

Twins Smashed Penny
At Target Field there is a Penny Smashing machine in the Main Team Shop near the registers.  Mik and I both got the design featuring Target Field.  I also got the one with the Twins logo.

Kj's Baseball Collection: Target Field

Target Field BaseballAt Target Field I was able to get a ball featuring an image of the Target Field plaza entrance.  It also has the Target Field logo and the Twins logo on it.

Mik's Mini Bat Collection: Target Field

Target Field Mini BatMik was happy to find a Target Field mini bat.  It is the same ballpark image design style that several other ballparks sold, so not exactly unique other than it shows Target Field instead of another field.

Mik's Food Scrapbook: Target Field

Walleye at Target Field
Corn Dog at Target Field

When I saw they had Walleye on a stick at Target Field, I had to have it, as Walleye is my favorite fish.  Mik had to have the first bite, though.  He liked it, but he really loved the Corn Dogs.  He had one before the game and had Dad go back and get him another near the end of the game.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Accessibility Review: Target Field

Target Field
Mik had high expectations for this ballpark with it being new and he was not disappointed.  We did not do parking, so not sure how the parking garages are set up, but walking from the Hyatt (about a mile) to the ballpark worked out very well.  Supposedly, you can get everywhere around this area of Minneapolis through the Skyway, but we walked on the Street Level.  It is nice that when you approach on 6th Street you end up walking over the freeway on the nice Target Plaza that connects Target Center and Target Field.

Previous Minneapolis BallparksHarmon Killebrew at Target FieldHall of Fame Outside Target Field

Target Plaza includes some statues of great Twins players such as Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett.  Interestingly, they also have concession stands out here that were open before the gates opened, although you cannot leave the park and come back in during game I do not think.  From the plaza you can only walk around to the left or so we were told (map looks like you can maybe cut through parking garage to Gate 3).  It is definitely worth going around the park at least until you get to the Team Shop corner, as around here the walls across from the park have the Twins Hall of Fame.  There is also a cool memorial that shows the history of ballparks in Minneapolis. 

Outside Target Field

From here there is not much reason to keep going around the ballpark unless you want to enter at a gate closer to your seats, although the side opposite Target Plaza does have some fun old baseball card style banners of former Twins players.

The first thing we did when we could go in the ballpark two hours before the game was go to the Team Store.  We barely ventured in, but were able to get a mini bat and ball, as well as get over to the penny smashing machine.  However, getting through the checkout line was sort of a pain with the wheelchair.  The dividers are placed too close together to fit, but at least they are movable.  We had to keep moving them to get by and then we would wind back and have to move them again, so the next wheelchair going through would still have to arrange as they went through.  The worst is once you check out, it is hard to get out with there being like no room to get past others checking out.  Thus you have to wait for them to be done and at the same time you are holding up the line because registers open up and people cannot get past you to them.  Bottom Line is Mik recommends skipping the Team Shop and hitting one of the several little souvenir kiosks out on the concourse, as they seemed to have most of the same stuff, which sometimes is not the case.  The Team Shop mainly seems to only have a wider selection of apparel.

Cup Holder at Target Field

For the game we sat in section 129, which is part of the Right Field Bleachers.  The view of the field was great, but you cannot see the scoreboard at all.  However, they do have televisions mounted here, which is kind of cooler, especially when they played other games going on around the MLB during the rain delay (played on scoreboard, too).  Mik likd the seats because they were way above the section, so no possibility of someone tall standing up and blocking the view.  What he really loved, though, was that there were cup holders for the handicap section, which the rest of the bleachers do not get.

Wheelchair Seats at Target Field

Mik did not entirely enjoy the section, though, because the standing room only divider is just a blue line painted on the ground and the game had a lot of standing room people.  Most respected the rules, but without a rope or some sort of real divider who can blame them for inching forward.  However, it is not okay when they ended up being right behind us, especially when one guy ended up spilling his beer onto the girl next to us and then proceeded to yell into our ears and touch us to try to get us to join his stupid yelling to get the attention of the Brewers outfield that he was actually a fan of when the game was going on.  Dad got him to go away and customer relations later even offered us hot dogs, which we did not want, but were happy they were doing their job and trying their best to have everyone enjoy the game.

Game Wrap Up: July 1, 2011 Milwaukee Brewers 2 @ Minnesota Twins 6

Target Field

After a 2 hour rain delay, the Twins game finally started around 9pm on July 1, 2011. It was an extra late night of baseball, but at least we can again say we have seen a complete game at every current MLB ballpark. Of course, next year we will have to catch up again with the new Marlins ballpark, but we are already working on planning that into our 2012 summer vacation.

Rain Delay at Target FieldRain Delay at Target FieldTarget Field

It was a rather long wait for the game to start including a decent amount of time with no rain. However, it made sense to wait out the storm, as there was a major thunderstorm including hail. Much better to wait it all out and then have the whole game instead of the stop and start that sometimes happens. Of course, this is one reason why the MetroDome was better. Overall Target Field is a better ballpark, but Mik seriously wants to know why a team would go from a roofed stadium to absolutely no roof.

The game went pretty quick once it started. Ended up with some very rude Brewers fans that would not stay behind the blue line for standing and even spilled their beer on the girl next to us. Then he was touching us and yelling at the outfielder basically right in my ear. Dad got him to go away and customer relations later even offered us free hot dogs, but we did not feel like taking advantage of that when customer relations did there job and really made efforts to have everyone enjoy the game. I got nothing wrong with people cheering, but for one he did not have a ticket for the wheelchair section and it makes no sense to be yelling to get the attention of an outfielder during play, especially when it is the outfielder for the team you are rooting for.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Plans to Be Back Up to Date on Having Seen a Game at All the Ballparks

For over a year now we have been out of date with the having seen a game at All the Current Ballparks claim, but we now have tickets to see the July 1, 2011 game at Target Field. Our summer travels are not as extensive as 2009 and definitely not baseball focused (quite Disney focused instead!), but we are going to take in a Twins game and also going to fit in seeing the oldest ballpark (Rickwood Field in Birmingham, AL). Perhaps a few more Tucson Padres games as well during the parts of the summer we are home.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mik’s Mini Bat Collection: HHH Metrodome 1982-2009

Mik had already got his mini bat at the game, but when we went to the Dome Shop across the street from the Metrodome to hunt down a logo only sticker for the car Dad found a HHH Metrodome 1982-2009 mini bat that we just had to get for Mik. He was actually quite excited with this find and even posed with this bat happily.

The bat has the logo for the farewell season like my baseball, although it does not exactly outright state farewell season on it. It has a cool background with little Twins logos all over in the blue part. Definitely a cool bat for his collection considering it is one of the few ballpark bats he has (only other one I know he has for sure is a Nationals Inaugural Game one I got him last year and he might have a Farewell Season or Breaking Ground type one for the current Busch Stadium as I vaguely remember him getting one like that when we saw the previous Busch Stadium in its last year).

Kj’s Baseball Collection: Farewell Season HHH Metrodome Ball 2 of 3

With it being the final season for the Twins at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome there was several special commemorative balls. This included a set of three that were each a limited edition of 600 and two other ones that were not limited edition. They all seemed to have pretty much the same design with the background color being the main difference between the two. I decided to get one of the limited edition ones and choose the dark blue one since it is a team color, I like blue, and it goes well with the colors in my room my baseballs are all going.

The Farewell Season HHH Metrodome Ball 2 of 3 has that statement on one side. Next to that on the right side it has a logo honoring the 1991 World Series win by the Twins. On the left side of the statement is a similar logo commemorating their World Series win in 1987 (hence another great reason to get this ball, as that occurred not long after I was born). On the other side it has sentences about the two Game 7 World Series wins (1987 and 1991) that occurred at the Metrodome. The side opposite the sentences has a HHH Metrodome Logo with the years it has been used by the Twins (1982-2009) and says Limited Edition of 600 underneath.

Mik’s Mini Bat Collection: Silver Twins

The mini bat selection at the souvenir kiosks at the Metrodome was not too bad. They only had the one Twins word logo design, but they had it in about six colors, which is about normal for mini bats. Mik ended up choosing the silver one because the silver color seemed to contrast and show off the logo the best.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Car Stickers Update: Minnesota Twins

The souvenir kiosks in the Metrodome only had stickers with players on them. We got one, but after the game we headed across the street to the Dome Souvenirs and ended up getting a logo set of stickers much like we got at the Padres. Now the American League one has one not quite entirely circular with the Twins one having crossed bats over the circle ball with the Twins logo.

Day 16: Mall of America and the Ballpark Connection

You know no trip to Minneapolis is complete without a trip to Mall of America. Perhaps you thought that there was no way we would work it into our ballpark trip without it being a non-baseball sightseeing stop. Well, it is a baseball sightseeing spot and even a ballpark one. That is because the Mall of America is built where the Metropolitan Stadium once stood, which is where the Twins played until the Metrodome was built.

In what used to be the Camp Snoopy Amusement Park and is now a Nickelodeon themed park in the middle of the mall there are two things to search out related to the Metropolitan Stadium. One is the original red seat up on the wall near the Log Ride. This seat is where the longest home run in the stadium was hit. The other thing is a plaque commemorating where the home plate used to be. Unfortunately, rides block the view of the seat from home plate and make it hard to notice how far that homer was actually hit.

This was a fun stop in my opinion even though it was only a half hour stop. Mik hated it because he just wanted to get on the road after the Twins game and get to Chicago as soon as possible, but if we gave into his every complaint then we would see nothing. Dad seemed to think it was a worthwhile stop like I thought, so two out of three is not bad considering Mik’s lack of wanting to enjoy anything beyond the mini bats and food.

Accessibility Review: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

Overall I did not find the Metrodome too bad of a place to watch baseball, however, it does have some unique accessibility things to note. Let’s start with parking since that is the first thing we do at a ballpark. We found parking right across the street in the Dome Parking garage. However, there we got the last of two handicap spots that were on level one. Perhaps there were more on the second level, but boy was that a surprisingly few amount. At least it was convenient to the park and it had a large elevator.

Next going into the park is pretty easy to figure out as the gate for wheelchairs to enter is clearly marked. However, actually getting into the park is not as easy as it seems. You would think I could just open the door next to the revolving door and Dad push Mik through while I held it open, but no the usher insists you go through this odd set of doors. We go through the first set of automatic doors and then stand between the two yellow lines while the first set closes and then you can push the button to open the second set, but be careful and listen to the instructions or you end up being the idiot (DAD!!!!) that pushes the button that reopens the doors you just came through. Thus you then have to again wait for those to close and then finally end up with the correct button pushed and the doors in front of you opening, so you can finally five to ten minutes later finally end up in the park.

After that thankfully it was very straightforward to find the elevator to get up to the level we had seats on and there we had a friendly elevator operator. Then we found our section right after we got off the elevator. We get to the seats and they seem fine with them being in front of the section and the bar in front being in an okay position that does not block the sight much. Mik even got excited that the wheelchair spots have cup holders and me and dad in the regular seats have no cup holders, as you only get them in the regular seats if you are behind a row of seats since the cups are attached to the backs of seats only.

Mik soon ended up getting really obnoxious and pissed because another wheelchair arrives and sits in the spot next to him. He felt crowded, as this was the first time he had a stranger sitting next to him and similar to the annoyance of the standing people crowding him at the Dodger game. Such is the luxury he has had so far in the handicap section with at least always having one of us on each side and not having to sit next to a stranger until now, but that is no excuse for his rude behavior.

Now having someone next to him is not something I consider an issue in most cases, however, in the end it actually was an issue because in order for Mik to leave his spot the person had to move and then some musical chair sort of movements had to be orchestrated for Mik to escape to the concourse. This is what I found unacceptable about the accessible seating. At least the people with the lady were friendly about getting the lady and her wheelchair out of the way when necessary. I just do not think it is something either party should be inconvenienced with and it certainly could get annoying for either party or both if it had to take place during game play.

Let’s hope the seating situation is straight pull in at the new Target Field since that place was built for baseball. Also, not sure if this is how it is on the lower level, but honestly I only saw one little section of handicap seats on the lower level right down by the field, so almost all the handicap seating is like this in the upper level. It works if only one wheelchair is there, but since it was Strike Out Stroke Day almost ever section had two wheelchairs in each of the spots.

Now I do overall rate this the least accessible park so far, but I do not mean to say it is a bad experience, especially since there is lots of potential and hope for a Twins game to become a very accessibly enjoyable experience starting next season. I just think that without the thought of there for sure being a new stadium next season it would seem like a way worse situation that was not being dealt with.

Mik’s Food Scrapbook: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

Since it was till morning when we arrived at the Metrodome and Mik had not had breakfast I pointed out the Lil’ Orbits Mini Doughnuts outside the ballpark. He ended up really enjoying these and he stopped letting me share them quickly and said I should have gotten my own bag of them since I knew I wanted some of them as I had had this brand at the Farmer’s Market once.

After loving the mini doughnuts from the stand out front of the Metrodome, Mik was excited to try the ones he saw on the menu inside the park. The ones in the park were State Fair brand Mini Doughnuts. They were not the same and more cakelike and sort of like the powdered ones you get in boxes at the grocery store except they were supposedly fresh. Mik disliked them, but they were not the only disappointment at the Metrodome.

The other disappointment was the hot dog. Mik did not like the hot dog at all and did not even finish his first one. Even the bun was not that great in his opinion, but what really turned him off was it seeming to taste like mustard despite Dad only putting ketchup on it. At least at this ballpark we did not exactly pay for the hot dog, as a voucher for a hot dog and a 12-ounce soda came with each ticket in the family section.

Game 8: Cleveland Indians 3 @ Minnesota Twins 11

Today’s game was the first day game of the trip, but it did not feel much like one with it being at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, which is one of the last remaining dome baseball stadiums (I think only the one in Tampa Bay is also a permanently closed roofed baseball stadium). It is often said to be the worst park for baseball and it is one of those obviously built for football and not baseball parks (Oakland was actually pretty well converted to baseball even though it is multipurpose). It really is not the most ideal way to see baseball for those we think it has to take place outside, but to Mik this was more like going to a baseball game since he has grown up with the BOB/Chase Field. I kind of like the roof aspect as it was a afternoon game, but as a night game the outdoor stadiums are much more enjoyable, especially for seeing sunsets. I am glad we did the trip this year and saw this stadium in its last year as a MLB stadium. Next year we will have to return and see their new park, Target Field.

Seeing the park really was not much, as even souvenir shopping stunk. I did enjoy walking around the upper level concourse and seeing the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame, but even that was not entirely interesting because it is mostly people and sports I could care less about, although it did include some baseball related figures. The souvenir shops were simply kiosks and no actual official Team Shop and the selection was rather limited, but it worked out in the end when we went to a off site souvenir shop that sells official merchandise. Will write more on the souvenir situation in the mini bat, baseball, and car sticker posts.

Our seats in section 216 was in the family section and that did not work out too well for Mik, because it was a rather crowded section including the wheelchair section and for the first time Mik had to deal with sitting next to someone. He did not like that at all and felt crowded and most off all is very rude about being around old people and it was an old woman next to him. The Angels game was similar, but the seating allowed Dad and I to sit on each side of him and he did not really notice, but here he was stuck next to the stranger. It turned out that it was Strike Out Stroke Day at the Park and it seemed pretty much all the handicap seating had the same problem, however, I imagine the family section has the issue regularly. More on the poor accessibility related to the seating in the Accessibility Review later.

The game itself was rather enjoyable, especially after Mik finally got lost in his PSP game. As it often seems with an American League game there was a lot of hits and runs. It may just be me, but it seems it is all about offense in the American League and the scores end up higher more often than the more defense oriented National League. Anyways, it was exciting to see a lot of home runs (5 total with 4 of them by Twins) in the game including the Twins #16 hitting two 3 RBI homers (one in the first inning and one in the second inning).