Results tagged ‘ HHH Metrodome ’

(Mad Max) Beyond Metrodome

As a result of growing up at the Kingdome, I’m a big fan of domes.  Sure, I’d rather play ball at Safeco Field.  I recognize it is objectively better than every domed stadium out there.  But a domed stadium gives me a great sense of nostaglia for my long lost Kingdome.

In my book, the H.H.H. Metrodome was a first class domed baseball stadium.  As you entered Minneapolis from some-or-other direction, the Metrodome’s bubbly white roof welcomed you to the city:

1 - Welcome to Metrodomeapolis.JPGWalking in downtown Minneapolis, the Metrodome’s roof loomed large from blocks away; like an alien mothership in a movie hovering over a defenseless city below:

2 - mound of marshmellow roof.JPGWhen the Twins celebrated their final season at the Metrodome, the multipurpose venue was the inspiration for my favorite commemorative baseball:

26 - Twins at Metrodome.JPG[By the way, what's up with there being no equally beautiful (or even an ugly) 1977-1999 Kingdome commemorative baseball?]

My dad, Tim and I visited the Metrodome on the Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip of 2009.  Tim and I trudged all over that place and it was awesome.

Last November, I visited Minneapolis and enjoyed an outstanding view of the Metrodome (now displaying the name “Mall of America Field”):

3 - glorious from the air.JPG

Then on December 12, 2010, a massive snow strom resulted in the Metrodome roof collapsing and snow crashing down to the football field below:

The Twins were already relocated to Targe Field for the 2010 season, but the Vikings still called the Metrodome home at the time of the roof collapse.  The collapse took the dome out of commission for the rest of the football season.

Last week, I found myself in Minneapolis once again.  The once mighty dome was no longer visible from across town like it had been last November.  So, I decided to walk over to the dome and see what it looked like.

I found that it looks drastically different these days:

4 - deflated metrodome.jpgI walked all the way around the outside and peered through the glass doors.  The entry ways include two sets of glass doors.  Across the concourse floor, a third set of glass doors closes off the concourse from the seating area.

As my camera and I peered through the layers of glass, the view was terrible but I could clearly see the roof hanging down into the middle of the dome:

5 - peering through three glass doors.JPGThat white stuff is the roof, and you can see two orange streamers hanging from the roof.

Oddly, I could also hear music inside the dome.  I figured there must be workers in there working on the roof.  And then, all of a sudden, a shadowy figure streaked across the windows inside the concourse

What the what-what?

The shadowy figure was clearly a person…on rollerblades…skating in the field level concourse.

I was thoroughly confused.

I was about half way around the dome at this point and I decided to keep walking and see if I could find an entry point into the dome.  When I was two-thirds the way around, I found it.  One of the doors at Gate D was open, and there was a big sign on either side of the door that simply said “Rollerblade.”

I walked through the open door and through the revolving inside door.  I was now *inside* the collapsed Metrodome.  I saw a little kid down the concourse to the right playing around by what looked like a concession stand.  To the left, there was a makeshift barrier keeping me from entering the main area of the concourse and there was a table further blocking my access.  I could see a guy standing about 150 feet down the concourse to my left, far behind the table blocking my way.  He had to notice me, but he didn’t look my way at all.

I decided to squeaze past the table blocking my way and walk down to the guy.  When I reached him, there were several younger guys (20s’ish) sitting around with him.

Todd: “What’s going on here?”

Younger guy:  “Rollerdome!  Rollerblading!”

Todd:  “So anyone can rollerblade?”

Younger guy:  “Yep.”

Todd:  “Do you have rollerblades for rent?”

Younger guy:  “Yep.”

Todd:  “Well, I’m in if it will get me in to look at the dome.”

Older guy:  “It will but you can’t stop at the windows to look down into the stadium because that’s a high speed area.  You can stop on the opposite side of the concourse and look across.”

I was told Rollerdome doesn’t start until 5:00 p.m (check out their website).  I had about half-an-hour to wait.  I really just wanted to see into the dome.  So I asked if I could go look in the window into the stadium now.  The younger guy said sure.   After I peered into the first window, he asked me if I wanted to see something really cool.  Of course, I said “yes.”  Eventually, he took me all the way around the field level concourse so I could take pictures looking into the field area.

Before sharing those pictures, let’s look at a couple pictures for context:

Metrodome concessions.JPGThis is a map I got of the Metrodome concession stands when we visited the dome in 2009.  I approached the dome from Seventh Street.  Essentially, it leads right into Gate G. I then circled the dome clockwise.  The picture above looking through the windows is at Gate A.  I saw the first rollerblader through the windows at Gate C and then I entered through Gate D.

At our game in 2009, we sat in Section 100 in left field.  On our self-guided tour around the stadium, I took this picture from section 224; high above and behind home plate:


6 - Metrodome Behind Home Top.JPGI took this picture at the top of the upper deck.  Note a couple things that I have circled (from top to bottom) — (i) a huge speaker hanging directly behind home plate high above the second deck, (ii) a large American flag hanging above the second deck and the scoreboard above sections 100 and 200 in left field, and (iii) our seats in section 100 in left field.

Here is another picture from our trip in 2009:

7 - view of left field with explanatory circles.JPGAgain, this picture shows our seats and the American flag above sections 100 and 200.  The other yellow circles show the entrance ways to the seating area.  Those entrance ways lead to the field level concourse.  I took all of the following pictures (well, the following post-collapse pictures) through these field level entrance ways.

Another pre-collapse picture:

7b - view toward home pre-collapse.JPGAgain, that is the same speaker circled up top.  I’ve also circled the Twins dugout on the 3B line and more field level entrance ways to the field.  The fifth (counting from either direction) circled entrance way is section 122, just to the left of 122 is section 121.

Finally, (last pre-collapse picture for now), here is a look toward the baggy:

7c - view toward baggy pre-collapse.JPGThose circles (once again) are field level entrance ways (which were locked so you didn’t fall to the field).  The big square is a party suite or something like that.

Okay, let’s get to the present day photos.   The first photo is looking into the stadium through section 121:

8 - from collapsed section 121.JPGIn the foreground, you’ll see the “really cool” thing my guide offered to show me; the home plate area had been emptied out and it is a big pool of water.  The roof is so low that you can hardly see any of the upper deck.  Finally, note how far the big American flag has dropped; its now below the upper deck hanging just above section 100 (again, our seats from 2009 are circled).

Here is a view from section 122, more directly behind home plate:

9 - from collapsed section 122.JPGAgain, home plate is a big pool of water.  In this picture, I’ve circled the spot out in CF where a Twins pitcher tossed a baseball to Tim and me in 2009 (the commemorative baseball pictured above to be exact).  I didn’t circle it in that last picture, but just above the folded sections of seats, check out the lights hanging below the upper deck.

Here is a shot looking in through section 125:

10 - from section 125.JPGHanging down right in the middle of that picture is the speaker that is circled in the two pre-collapse pictures above.  The two orange signs way out across the field is the big party suite that I enclosed in a yellow box in the pre-collapse picture above.

Here is a shot from a little further toward 3B:

11 - 3b side post-collapse.JPGIn case you cannot tell, those cement highway dividers are connected to roof by big metal lines.  I guess the purpose is to keep the roof from blowing up and down in the wind.  Check out how low that speaker is hanging.

Even further down the 3B line (into the outfield foul territory), you can see a big circle roped off on the playing field:

12 - foul LF collapse splash zone.JPGMy guide told me that circle is where the big splash of snow came crashing down onto the field in the famous collapse video (above).  Above the circle, you can see some torn parts of the roof hanging down, along with some yellow ropes (or something).

In the LF foul corner, I took this shot looking down at the top of a speaker that used to hang high above the surface of the playing field:

13 - looking down on speaker.JPGYou cannot really tell in that last picture, but the speakers were really dusty.

Here is another picture from the LF foul corner where you can see the big party suite above the baggy (or where the baggy used to be):

14- LF foul corner post-collapse.JPGIn that last picture, check out all of the sunlight streaming through the ripped roof and lighting up the outfield seats.

More LF corner — right along the foul line, still in foul territory:

15 - LF corner.JPGIn the next picture, we are behind section 100 and you can see the big American flag hanging down above section 100, a lot of rips hanging down above the snow splash zone, some lights dangling below the upper deck, and tons of stacks of something-or-other across the field by the 1B dugout:

16 - from collapsed section 100.JPGHere we are in LCF:

17 - LCF post-collapse.JPGHere is the view from CF, in the last section before the stands stop and the RF seats are folded up behind the baggy:

18 - CF post-collapse.JPGHere is a side-by-side comparison shot looking into the same window in 2009 and 2011:

19 - RF pre-post-collapse comparison.JPGAlthough the picture to the right is zoomed in further than the picture on the left, its a good comparision to show how far down the roof is hanging.  Note that the entire upper deck is hidden behind the sagging roof in the picture to the right.  Also, check out how the lights are at the very top of the picture to the left, high above the second deck, but they are hanging below the second deck in the picture to the right.

Here’s a look in through the RF corner in foul territory…

20 - RF post-collapse.JPG…with the Twins dugout in the distance.

Here’s a close up looking into the Twins dugout with more speakers hanging down:

21 - view of Twins dugout.JPGMore of the same:

22 - from RF foul corner post-collapse.JPGThe last two pictures look out toward left field…

23 - view toward LF.JPG…and show a mess of roof rips, danglings streamers, speakers and lights, and the big American flag hanging low above section 100:

24 - more toward LF.JPGFinally, a view from above shows a much different picture than what I saw from above in November 2010:

26 - inverse dome from above.JPGI did not catch his name, but a big huge THANK YOU to the guy from Rollerdome who so kindly led me around the Metrodome.  It was a one-of-a-kind experience that I will never forget.  If you’re in Minneapolis, go check out Rollerdome.

H.H.H. Metrodome Panoramas

H.H.H. Metrodome – Minnesota Twins

(1982-2009)

 

H.H.H. Metrodome section 100, row 8, seats 23-24:

31 - metrodome sec. 100 ball panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 224 (approximately the front row of upper deck):

29 - metrodome plate upperfront panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 16 (left) and section 15 (right) (back row):

28 - metrodome rf long foul upper panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 214 (back row):

27 - metrodome RF upper hr panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 201 (approximately row 26):

25 - metrodome cf upper panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 239:

23 - metrodome RF HR upper panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 236 (approximately):

22 - metrodome LF foul upper panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 224 (back row):

15 - metrodome plate upperback panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 218 (approximately row 7):

13 - metrodome RF foul upper panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 106 (front row):

9 - metrodome cf ball panaramic.jpgH.H.H. Metrodome section 105 (front row corner spot):

8 - gomez gloves TJCs ball.jpg

Balls and Helmets

Tim and I have had all of our baseballs from 2009 laying around unorganized and our ice cream helmets in a similarly disheveled state.  So, I decided to get organized.

The four most important baseballs of the season are in Tim’s room on his dresser with his 30-MLB team milestone trophy, his Mariners Mr. Potatohead, and his miniature Ken Griffey, Jr. glove:

top 2009 baseballs.jpg

Those baseballs include:

  1. Willie Bloomquist/Royals ball (U.S. Cellular Field) – from Tim’s 30th MLB team milestone game (8/17/09).
  2. Felix Hernandez/Erik Bedard (Fenway Park) warm up ball signed by Felix Hernandez (7/4/09).
  3. Jason Phillips autographed ball (Yankee Stadium) – trade for A-Rod photoball for M’s pink backpack (7/2/09).
  4. Ryan Rowland-Smith’s autographed warm-up ball (Rogers Centre) — Tim’s first ball he caught himself (9/26/09).

NOTE:  Honorable Mention Most Important Baseballs Awards go to the HHH Metrodome ball that we caught at the Metrodome (8/15/09) and the ball Jason Phillips threw to us on top of the Green Monster at Fenway (7/5/09).

The rest of our 2009 baseballs are now all in baseball cubes displayed on a bookshelf on which they fit perfectly:

balls and helmets displayed.jpgAs you can see, on the bottom shelf we have our ice cream helmet collection.  Most piles are all the same team (e.g., the big Mariners and Phillies piles).  But a couple teams are hidden beneath other teams (e.g., the Pirates and the other New York team).  Eventually, I’ll need to figure out a better way to display our helmets.

FYI, the balls on the helmet shelf are mostly from my youth.  I lost track of how many balls I caught growing up in the Kingdome.  Eventually, I ended up playing home run derby with most of them (something me and my friends played constantly during the summers) and lost them in the woods beyond the outfield fence at Madrona Elementary School (which is a great place to play home run derby).  Anyway, the end balls in the back row are from last season, the other nine are my only remaining Kingdome balls.  You can see on one of them I wrote “Julio Franco” in red in really poor, youthful handwriting.  It was back when he played for the Rangers, probably from 1989 or 1990.  The ball to the right of the Franco ball was from Kirby Puckett.

While I’m at it, I might as well share one more picture:

tim's shelf.jpg

These are balls from 2006-08.  On the top shelf:

1.  Tim’s first ball ever – from Davis Romero (Blue Jays) at his first game ever, and first game (obviously) at Safeco Field (9/12/06).

3.  Tim’s third ball ever – from Brandon Morrow at his third game ever, second Mariners game, and first game at Camden Yards (8/9/07)

4.  Tim’s fourth ball ever – from Glenallen Hill at Tim’s 1st MLB Anniversary, our only ball ever at Citizens Bank Park (9/12/07)

FYI, we gave Tim’s second baseball to my cousin’s daughter who shared her first game ever with Tim (as we will see in a forthcoming entry – ETA next week).

The rest of the baseballs are spring training balls from 2008.  The top left ball is autographed by Adam Moore and the top right ball is autographed by Jose Vidro – both during spring training 2008.

Interstingly, this post now shows every baseball Tim and I have ever caught together except one, which we got during our first baseball roadtrip in 2008 and got autographed by some Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers.  What the heck, lets show it too:


PNC Ball.jpg

This ball is autographed by T.J. Beam, Tyler Yates, and Sean Burnett of the 2008 Pirates.

So, there you go, our entire Major League baseball collection and Major League ice cream helmet collections in one blog entry.

Meeting the Metrodome (8-15-09)

August 15, 2009 – Road Trip Day 2:

Last season, we designed our baseball road trip around my desire to visit the Louisville Slugger factory.  This year, the primary focus was to take part in the final season of the beautiful Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.  Today was the day, and the Metrodome did not disappoint.

We started the day at Wisconsin Dells KOA — which by the way is one happening KOA.  We rose early and walked a couple laps of the KOA camp grounds…
1 - good morning from Wis Dells.jpg…then my dad and Tim played some catch while I re-packed for the next leg of the drive.


2 - Metrodome or Bust.jpgSoon, it was time to jump into the car and drive 3.5 hours out to the Twin Cities for some Twins baseball.

If you like water parks, you really gotta check out Wis Dells.  There are huge water parks on every block.  There was some crazy looking stuff.  So check it out.

A large portion of our drive was in Wisconsin.  When I think Wisconsin, I think cheese.  And the billboards of Wisconsin didn’t let cheese stray far from my mind.  We spotted billboards to every type of cheese based establishment you’d ever want to visit.  Unfortunately, we visited none.

We had a funny moment as we drove through Saint Paul.  I make mix CDs from iTunes for our road trips, and many of our weekend game excursions.  I made two volumes for this trip and we were listening to volume 2 as we drove into Saint Paul.  The radio in our rental car blared Queen’s “We Are The Champions.”  Then Tim yelled, “WE ARE THE MARINERS!  Let’s sing it!  Let’s sing it!”  So we did,

We are the Mariners, my friends.  And, we’ll keeping on hitting until the end.  We are the Mariners, We are the Mariners.  No time for losers because WE ARE THE MARINERS…of Seattle…of Seattle!”

The game was a 3:10 start.  We rolled into the bigger Twin City at about 12:30 and quickly found a reasonably priced ($10) parking garage across the street from the Metrodome.  We parked in the closest parking space to the Dome.

We then climbed the stairs and exited the parking garage out of a set of doors leading to a pedestrian-only street (at least it was pedestrian-only at the time) between the garage and the Metrodome.  This is what it looked like:

3 - metrodome catch.jpg

Tim and I used the time leading up to the 1:10 opening of the stadium to play some catch on the street while my dad explored around the perimeter of the HHHM.

We then met up and got our pictures by this sign…

4 - home of the twins.jpg…on our way to Gate B where we entered the Dome.

A few minutes later, we were inside the first true “Dome” of Tim’s life, and mine and my dad’s first true “Dome” since the King of all Domes, the Kingdome:

5 - made it to the metrodome.jpg

Look at Tim checking out the Dome with wonder and amazement.  For those of you who weren’t raised in a dome, you might not understand.  But there is something awe inspiring being in such a huge building.  The Kingdome was just about the coolest place in the world.  It was huge.  There were fireworks going off inside.  And it was the place where I fell in love with baseball and the Mariners.

I have no affiliation to the Twins (although my great grandma Lillian Hoffman was from Worthington, Minn.), but I’ve long been a Twins sympathizer.  Some of it had to do with Kirby Puckett — for whom I named my dog, Kirby.  But a lot more of that had to do with the fact the Twins play in this beautiful Kingdome’ish facility. 

All this is to say that it strangly felt like a homecoming entering the Metrodome for the first time.  And I was ten times as excited to be there than I was excited to be at the objectively far superior Wrigley Field the day before.

We arrived for the beginning of BP because we really wanted to try to get one of the extremely cool looking HHH Metrodome commemorative baseballs that I’ve seen on tons of MLBlogs all season.  The Twins were hitting when we entered, and we took our place in CF:

6 - CF seats.jpg

We stood all by ourselves at the CF corner seats highlighted by the red arrow above.  There were two Twins players in CF shagging balls.  I had the feeling they were pitchers, but I have no clue who they were.  But, apparently, it didn’t matter:

7 - hhh metrodome commemorative ball.jpg

This was our 20th ball of the season — an all-time season best for me and Tim (or for me alone before Tim was born) and it was our first ever commemorative ball.

Tim got super-excited when I handed him the ball.  He held it out to a crowd of adults who were all cheering him on for getting the ball and yelled, “I GOT A BASEBALL!”  He then ran to the incredibly steep Metrodome stairs (much steeper than the Kingdome’s stairs) and started running up the stairs holding the ball behind his back.  The following scene transpired as I ran after him:

[METRODOME - Interior - Early Evening]

Todd – “Tim, where are you going!!!!?”

Tim – “I got to show my baseball to Grandpa!”

Todd – “But Grandpa is down there! (pointing back to the field)”

Tim – “Ohh!” (turning to run down the incredibly steep stairs)

Todd – “Hold on to the seats!  You’re gonna fall down!”

Tim – (ignores his father and runs to his grandpa)

Tim – “Grandpa, I GOT A BASEBALL!!”

Grandpa – “Cool!”

Stadium Attendant – (Takes picture of me, Tim and the baseball)

Carlos Gomez – (throws ball to a little girl standing next to my dad)

Dad – (catches the little girl’s baseball)

Stadium Attendant – “Give that ball to that girl.”

Dad – (gives baseball to little girl)

Carlos Gomez – (throws baseball to my dad)

Dad – “Look, Tim!  Another ball!”

Tim – (takes ball and gives it to me and starts running up the stairs)

Todd – “Where you going!!!!!!?”

Tim – “LET’S GO PLAY CATCH!!!” (in a tone implying that I’ve been forcing him not to play catch all this time).

Todd – (chases Tim)

Carlos Gomez – (throws his batting gloves to my dad)

Dad – (gives one of the batting gloves to the little girl and pockets the other)

[END SCENE]

The scene on the field:

8 - gomez gloves TJCs ball.jpg

The red arrow: Carlos Gomez.

The glove and ball:  courtesy of Carlos Gomez.

The guy cirlced by Todd (not by Bert):  unknown Twin who threw the ball to me and Tim.

(By the way, Gomez made a ridiculous home run robbing catch during BP just to the RF side of the 408 sign.  He was on a full sprint and his body was half above the fence as he caught it.  He got a huge ovation from the small BP crowd.)

After the scene above, Tim and I played some catch in the concourse behind the RF baggy:

11 - inside metrodome catch and dropoff.jpg

It was pretty crowed in the concourse, at least for playing catch, but we managed to play some quality catch for a few minutes.  Check out the picture on the right, those doors are chained and locked shut.  On the other side of the door is the beginning of a stairway that leads down into the seats at Vikings games.  However, at Twins games, they lead to big drop off into the outfield and/or the seats folded up behind the baggy.

Speaking of the baggy and the folded seats, after playing catch, we went into the seats in CF closest to the baggy.  This was the view:

9 - metrodome cf ball panaramic.jpg

This is the view to my left, check it out:

10 - balls on cup holders.jpg

In the picture to the right, notice anything interesting?  There are four baseballs resting on the backs of the folded chairs.  They are all perched on the drink holders on the backs of the seats.  Note: the smaller ball-looking-object toward the bottom left of the picture is a balled-up foil hot dog wrapper, not a baseball.

Tim sat in the seats in this CF section and looked at some baseball cards an usher gave him.  The Indians were hitting now and someone hit a ball to an Indian named “Lewis” — I have no clue who that is — and I yelled, “Hey, Lewis!” to see if he’d be interested in throwing a ball up to our high vantage point.  He wasn’t interested.  But the funny part of the story is that Tim shouted, “No, Dad, we already got a baseball!  Leave them alone, they’re concentrating!”  So after a few more minutes, we left the Indians to their concentrating and we headed to the upper deck to see if it was less crowded.  Tim still had catch-playing on his mind.  However, the upper deck concourse was even busier than the lower concourse.  So, we decided to get some dinner.

We ordered nachos, a hot dog, a gigantic diet coke, and a bottle of water.  Normally I bring a little infant “sippy cup” for Tim to drink water out of during games.  But I’d forgot it in the car.  I bought the water solely for the purpose of having a re-sealable water holding receptacle for Tim’s water.  However, and this is my biggest complaint about the Metrodome, the kind Mid-western lady wouldn’t give us the cap.  I told her it was the sole reason I purchased the water.  She apologized, but said it was “League Policy” that they cannot give out caps with bottled drinks.  That’s a new one on me.  How about you?

Here is the spot we found for eating our food:

12 - hot dogs and nachos.jpg

This was the view:

13 - metrodome RF foul upper panaramic.jpg

My dad tracked us down and ate with us.  But soon, it was time for me to go off and explore and photograph the stadium.  I asked my dad if Tim could stay with him.  He said yes, but Tim wanted to come explore the stadium with me.

Here we go –

With Tim on my shoulders, we started off by walking up the stairs and toward home plate.  Our first stop was the infield *big screen* (the Metrodome has two screens).  I have never seen this before, but the screen is literally two feet behind the back row of seats, and you can easily touch it.  Here it is up close:

14 - big screen close up.jpg

Cool, huh?  Each red, blue and green dot is a little light that feels like a little bump.

Here is the view from the top of the dome behind home plate:

15 - metrodome plate upperback panaramic.jpg

Here are a couple Dome-loving Cooks in this same spot:

16 - we love this place.jpg

While behind home plate, I noticed some stuff that looked a lot like Kingdome stuff:

17 - kingdome de ja vu.jpg

What’s the opposite of *state-of-the-art*?  History-of-the-art?

Next, we continued on our journey and headed toward the LF corner.  On our way, we noticed this:

18 - upper deck obstruction.jpg

Support beams ringing row 26 of the Metrodome upper deck.  The Kingdome didn’t have support beams.  Instead, if my knowledge serves me, it had high tension cables that ran across the roof and down the sides.  They were built into the building, you couldn’t see them.  But they kept the whole thing tight and in place without support beams — and without the obstructed views that result from beams in stadiums.

Now, check this out in the picture to the right.  The seats directly behind the beam are missing the “seats.”  They’re just backs and arm rests.  Obviously, you cannot buy those non-seats.  However, one row back from the beam, the seats are seats.  I had to probe further.

This is what I determined, the Twins have apparently concluded that the following is an unacceptably obstructed view:

19 - officially unacceptable obstructed view.jpg

That’s a good call by the Twins.  That view just won’t do.

However, apparently this view will do — and apparently, it is worth $22 (the general cost of an infield upperdeck seat according to http://www.twins.mlb.com):

20 - 22 dollar obstructed view.jpg

Hmmm…it does provide a decent view of third base and LF-CF.  But I’m gonna go out on a limb and say this view also is unacceptable — of course, the Yankees will probably side with the Twins on this one.

In the Twins defense, I’m not sure if they have an obstructed view decreased price.  However, is there any price you would pay for that view?  You can’t see the infield!!!

This wasn’t the only odd seating situation I found in the upper deck.  Take a ganders at this:

21 - duct work seating.jpgThe red arrows are pointing to the same seat.  To the left, notice that you risk a concussion getting to this seat.  I had to duck not to smash my head (and Tim’s) on that huge pipe above the seats.  To the right, notice that the lucky Twins fan who sits in this seat has to look around the duct work to watch the game.  In fact, if he or she decides to relax a bit and actually sit back in his or her seats, his or her head will be behind the duct.  Doh!

On with the tour, LF foul territory:

22 - metrodome LF foul upper panaramic.jpg

Left field, monster bomb territory:

23 - metrodome RF HR upper panaramic.jpg

Here is the main scoreboard and big screen — with a little more protection and a warning, but still easily accessible to the crowd:

24 - danger zone seating.jpg

Here is the view from deep Left CF:

25 - metrodome cf upper panaramic.jpg

On TV, I’ve always thought the big retired number pictures were on a white wall at the top of the Metrodome.  They are not.  Instead, huge portraits of Kirby Puckett (34), Harman Killebrew (3), Rod Carew (29), Kent Hrbek (14), Tony Oliva (6), and Jackie Robinson (42) hang from big sheets of white canvas that are also hanging from the Metrodome roof.

Oddly, these things stop about 4-5 feet above the seats so you can see and/or walk up behind the curtains, which is a little spooky:

26 - behind the curtain.jpg

As we walked along the bottom of the curtain, Tim would punch the sand bags shown in the bottom right picture.

Here is a view from RF:

27 - metrodome RF upper hr panaramic.jpg

A very similar picture from a little further foul:

28 - metrodome rf long foul upper panaramic.jpg

Finally, we headed back to the home plate area and got one more panaramic from the first row of the upper deck:

29 - metrodome plate upperfront panaramic.jpg

I should note that, if you buy tickets in the home run porch (LF), the Twins don’t let you into the field seats in the infield area.

So, our touring was complete, and it was time to head to our seats in section 100, row 9 of the home run porch:

30 - home run porch.jpg

Top left, Tim and grandpa hanging out watching the first inning.  Top right, Tim has fun making faces.  Bottom left, Choo stood about 30 feet from us in LF.  Bottom right, some dudes wearing man-eating fish helmets.

Here was our view from our seats (featuring our Metrdome ball):

31 - metrodome sec. 100 ball panaramic.jpg

In the second inning, Tim and I went to get ice cream helmets.  Oddly, he decided he wanted a cone.  But then, due to no nap all day, he fell asleep before we reached our seats again…

32 - sleepy ice cream.jpg

…so I handed off the cone to my dad.

Here is the game from the ice cream helmet point of view:

34 - ice cream helmets view.jpg

After my dad finished Tim’s cone, Tim did some sleeping on Grandpa’s shoulder:

33 - grandpas shoulder.jpg

Then he came back to my shoulder until he woke up…

35 - sleepy time at metrodome.jpg

In the picture to the right, Tim asks me in a still grogy voice, “Where’s my ice cream cone?”  So, we headed back to section 131 (or so) to get more ice cream.

Along the way, I took a picture of a *luxury* suite:

36 - luxury cell.jpg

The suites open to the main concourse, which is certainly odd, and they seemed like they were only about 8′ x 8′ — not too impressive.

Before getting the ice cream, we stepped into one of the entry ways to the infield seats and took some action photos:

38 - metrodome action.jpg

The worst part about the Metrodome is that it was really hard to get action photos to come out clear.  Most of my shots were extremely blury.  However, in the top right, here are a few decent photos.

In the top left, that stolen base was negated by a foul tip.  At top right, Choo takes a cut at a pitch.  Bottom left, my dad’s new favorite Twin, Carlos Gomez, fires a ball back to the infield.  Bottom right, Grady Sizemore does the same as Gomez.

This time around, Tim decided on the ice cream helmet…

37 - chocolate hot fudge helmet.jpg…after after I explained that he could get hot fudge topping in a helmet, but not on a cone.  He was happy with his choice.

Hey, have you heard its hard to see fly balls in the Metrodome roof?  It is.  Here is why:

39 - metrodome roof.jpg

It appears to be a two-layer roof.   The natural light filters through the roof.  When it is sunny outside, the roof it brighter white.  Once it started getting darker outside, the roof was noticably darker.

Here is my favorite action shot of the day…

40 - unknown single.jpg

I’m not sure who the hitter is, but this swing resulted in a single to LF.

We were all rooting for the Twins.  However, it wasn’t their night.  They ultimately lost the contest to the Indians.

Here is our official baseball road trip group shot:

41 - 3 satisfied customers.jpg

After the game, it was on to Hixton, Wisconsin for another night at a KOA.  It was a lot of driving to get this Metrodome game in, but it was well worth it.  We were three completely satisfied customers (well, aside from the invocation of the alleged “League Policy” against giving customers caps for their bottled drinks).

Next up, the Astros and Brewers in Milwaukee’s Miller Park.

Season Fan Stats:

23 Games (plus one 5+ hour rain out with no game)
9 Stadiums
(Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field, Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and HHH Metrodome)
20 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Twins, Indians, Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Cubs,
Braves, Padres, Dodgers, Cardinals Marlins, and Pirates– and sort of the Giants)
19 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (4), Phillies (5), Mets, Nationals (3), Red Sox (3), Yankees, Twins and Cubs)
20 Baseballs (12 Mariners, 2 Rangers, 1 Phillies, 1 Red Sox, 1 Umpire, 1 Nationals, 1 Pirates, 1 Twins) 
4 Divisions Closed Out (So far in Tim’s Life — AL West, AL East, NL West, NL East)
 
4 Autographs (King Felix Hernandez, Jason Phillips, Ronny Cedeno, Ryan Perry) 
2 Player/G.M. Photographs (King Felix Hernandez, Jack Zduriencik, Ryan Perry)
 
5 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose (2), Orioles Bird (2), 3 Presidents (Nats), Screech (Nats) — Honorable Mention: The Green Monster statue bench)

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