With the 2014 Major League Baseball All Star game taking place in the Minnesota Twins backyard, and being hosted at the hometown Target Field, many Twins Territory fans had the opportunity to embark on some of the festivities. With a roster including Twins like Glen Perkins and Kurt Suzuki, as well as prospects Jose Berrios and Kennys Vargas, there was plenty of intrigue.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better opportunity to embark on the All Star Game festivities then when they are in your hometown. With ticket prices for even the highest seats nearing $500 for the entire weekends events, economical isn’t exactly the name of the game.
Having had the opportunity however to take in the 85th annual Major League Baseball All Star Week, the question is, how did the Minnesota Twins do?
Target Field was built not only as a home to the Twins, but with the dreams of one day hosting the All Star Game. Having been absent in the Twin Cities since 1985 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis was begging for another go round.
Downtown, the Minneapolis Convention Center played host to the T-Mobile FanFest. Dubbing FanFest as little more than an autograph and baseball activity experience would be a disservice. The Convention Center beautifully flowed with relics of baseball’s past, and stars of its future.
With plenty of interactive games and activities, past and current player autograph sessions, and baseball memorabilia that would make anyone blush, Major League Baseball got FanFest right.
On Sunday, the stars of tomorrow took to Target Field to showcase their talents. Backed by an impressive performance by Joey Gallo, the USA team knocked of a Javier Baez surge put on by the World squad. It was in the 2014 Sirius XM Future’s Game the Major League Baseball left the most to be desired.
Empty seats were seen scattered around the ballpark, and ticket prices dipped well below their retail value. As with any sport, players retire and move on. When the Joe Mauer‘s and Albert Pujols‘ of the world pass the torch, it is to these future stars that the game will be left. In not televising the game on a large network nationally, MLB missed out on a big opportunity for future branding, as well as growing the sport.
Monday night’s 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby had fans missing the Metrodome, even if ever so slightly. Winds swirling and rain falling delayed the start of the event by just around an hour. However, when the sky cleared, a performance was definitely in the spotlight.
The Home Run Derby has long come under fire for being too boring and long. Commissioner Bud Selig addressed the notion over the weekend saying that TV wanted a three-hour event. While that may be true, ratings don’t seem to support it. Despite the new format, the Home Run Derby lacked luster of being a can’t miss event.
Target Field was packed as balls were launched throughout the stadium. Giancarlo Stanton left Minneapolis in awe with his 510′ shot to left, but when the dust settled, fans were seen headed towards the exits. As Todd Frazier eliminated Stanton, and Yoenis Cespedes knocked off Jose Baustista, a mass exodus from every section occurred. A long cold night, just couldn’t go on any longer for some.
Derek Jeter was and forever will be the star of the 85th annual All Star Game on Tuesday night. The night was his, and he owned it well. A hit in both of his at bats, he went out as only The Captain could, with absolute class and ability. The event itself featured plenty of strong performances, a gorgeous night, and a game that Target Field and the Minnesota Twins can be proud of.
With smaller events, such as The Color Run put on by Nike in conjunction with Major League Baseball, as well as Kieran’s Pub in downtown Minneapolis hosting Mike and Mike on Monday and Tuesday, drawing significant crowds as well, it only seems to reason that Minneapolis put its best foot forward.
Known as a small, big city, Minneapolis opened its arms to the likes of Tim Kurkjian, Barry Larkin, Karl Ravech, and others, and they all greeted it back warmly.
As the second half of the Major League Baseball season gets underway, Twins fans, and Minnesotans alike can be proud of the show they put on the last week. Until next time, Minneapolis, good night.