“I’m shocked at how many Twins fans made the trip to Cincy. Felt like I was @ Target Field” – Dan Osterbrock @danosterbrock in a twitter message response after I’d almost assaulted him in order to show my support….. Oops.
What Dan observed is no different from what I have seen. Minnesota Twins fans travel really well. I’m sort of a Twins road warrior due to my membership in the East Coast Twins mafia (patent pending) and my former primary home, Ontheroadwithshawn is named after my road adventures watching Twins games and Twins minor league games. My road warrior status is certainly not enough to label an entire fan-base, is it? This is true, but I don’t base my opinion merely on own travel. Take in a Twins road game someday and you’ll see how many of our brothers and sisters in arms you meet.
As an east coast guy, I’ve always heard how well the Yankees and the Red Sox travel. I’ve been to games in Baltimore where the Yankees played and in the Metrodome when the Red Sox come to town. What I have seen has confirmed been confirmed, the Yankees and Red Sox do travel well. I have been to countless road games in 12 stadiums and not only have I seen how well Twins fans travel, the home team fans are always very impressed with the Twins fan turnout. This is not a post to say that the Twins have a road fan-base that outdoes the beasts of the east. I’m just saying that the Twins fan-base compares favorably. But Why?
Where does this come from? The Twins have a decent history, with 51+ years and 2 world series under their belt, but they aren’t exactly one of the historic franchises in baseball. The Twins had a decent run from 2002-2010, winning 6 division titles, but they have a losing record in their history and are one of the smaller fan-bases in the MLB.
My story could be one example of a common theme. I moved from Minnesota to Virginia in 2000. I couldn’t wait to go to Camden Yards to see one of the nicest stadiums that I’d ever seen. My first game there had a rain delay. A rain delay! I was so excited to experience my first rain delay. This was only my second outdoor game and I was hooked. I watched many Twins games in Baltimore over a 3 year period. I moved away and moved many more times, so it makes sense that I’d be on the road, but I’m not alone.
Look around the various Twins blogs. Look at how many meet-ups at road games. I’ve been to Wrigley Field when the Twins were in town and the park was 50% Twins fans. Every-time I hit a road game, I find out how many other Twins fans I know will also be going. Twins fans crave the outdoor experience, seeing new places and camaraderie of enjoying a game with fellow Twins fans on the road. In fact, Twins fans are more fun to meet on the road than they are at Target Field.
I think this generation of Twins road warriors was bred from the Metrodome. We were bred with 28 years of home games in a cold, soul-less dome. A place so drab, I once fell asleep at a game. Even with Target Field in place, Twins fans who live away and many in Minnesota seek the sunny skies, unique perspectives and even the rain-delay of watching baseball outside on the road.
Check out Puckett’s Pond’s own Paul Pleiss as he chronicles his baseball travels from Miami to Seattle. Also, check out some of my past road-trips in Houston, Philly, & Citifield. Coming soon my Pittsburgh and Cincinnati trip.
See you on the road!