Full disclosure: This Top 10 List includes my favorite memories of games I attended at Target Field. While my dream is to be a Championship Club season ticket holder, I generally make 10-12 games per year, most of them in the third deck (first base side, if possible). The tickets are generally gifts, last minute “cheap seat” grabs, or group games I’ve organized. Despite the fact that I am only able to attend around 12% of games played at Target Field each year, I have somehow attended some of the wackiest, most memorable, and most important games played at the new ballpark thus far.
10. When Mauer hit my Target Field homerun
Okay, so this game hasn’t happened yet; Joe Mauer has yet to hit a homerun at Target Field in my presence. I was at both the April 15 and April 17, 2010 Minnesota Twins games vs. the Chicago White Sox. (More on that in tomorrow’s Top 5…) Mauer hit his first Target Field homerun on April 16, 2010, the ONLY GAME OF THE SERIES I DIDN’T ATTEND!!! I haven’t spoken to him since. (Let’s not quibble about the fact that I’ve never met, nor spoken to, him.) But I believe Joe WILL hit a Target Field homerun in my presence, and I know that game will be added to this list. Here’s hoping it’s during the 2013 season!
9. Opening Day: April 9. 2012
This game makes the Top 10 in large part because it was the first (and only) Opening Day game I have attended. Opening Day is full of promise, of hope, and of excitement…until the boys lose 5-1…and never see .500 for the season. My best friend, who largely fueled my Twins obsession, was back in town, and it was also my first experience of Standing Room Only tickets. We stood below the Minnie & Paul sign, where there was a convenient “drink rail” to rest our elbows…or whatever. The spot afforded a beautiful view of the entire field, with the exception of deep center field. A favorite memory is smirking when the “old guys” in the seats in front of where we stood turned around, gave us an appraising look, and expressed astonishment and pleasure that we “girls” had impressed them with our baseball knowledge.
8. Capps’ first game: July 30, 2012
Matt Capps came to the Minnesota Twins with much promise and much expectation. I had the privilege of attending his first game at Target Field, when was called in instead of the struggling Jon Rauch. This game stands out for two reasons: 1) The genuine surprise and humble gratitude Capps displayed (which viewers couldn’t see during the commercial break) when Twins’ fans at the ballpark cheered for Capps with true hope and excitement as he jogged to the mound. Capps got the save, and the Twins were happy. While Capps largely struggled for the team in subsequent seasons, I for one have come to believe that Capps is much better than the average Twins fan believes he is, if he could only stay healthy. 2) This game was the first annual “family reunion game” my Dad organized, and it inaugurated a fantastic tradition for our very large and very extended Midwestern family.
7. 2010 Twins clinch division: September 21. 2010
The very first group game I organized at Target Field was on the same day the Twins clinched the 2010 AL Central title. I admit, with tail wagging, that I did not stay until it was official. I wanted to, but not enough to go against my friends and my morning work commitment. The evening was still a success – a group of 30 people I organized had a fantastic time during a Twins’ win, and they were show on the Jumbo Tron more than once. Clearly, an epic win. The evening was beautiful, which made the right-center bleachers the perfect place to view the game: clear skies, comfortable temperature, and perfect view of the field. (During inclement weather, this can be an intolerable place to sit.)
6. Hail delay catastrophe: May 10, 2011
This game makes the Top 10 primarily from it’s unbelievabilty and the sheer memorability of how the weather impacted the evening. It had nothing to do with the home team’s (in)ability to win the game. Even though Liriano was coming off of a no-hitter, I had long since decided he was not trust-worthy. On the upside, that HORRIBLE game has provided many opportunities to share the amusing spectacle of the Twins attempting to clean-up the hail with a tractor, some garden rakes, and a bunch of 5 gallon buckets.
Have a favorite Target Field memory? Tell us about it in the comments below! Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for my top 5 Target Field moments!