Woo Hoo! This weekend was the last scheduled Minnesota Twins baseball game in the dome. A lot of planning went into a program commemorating Twins memories the last 27 years in the building. It was supposed to be the swan song. Then the team won the last three games and tied the Detroit Tigers for division champ. There will be at least a one more game Tuesday in the dome with the Tigers. If they win, there will be playoff games. What a nice finish.
The Metrodome (A.K.A Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome) was dissed by many from its opening. We like our baseball in the open air. When our kids were younger we occasionally attended an outdoor game at the old Met. It was great when the sun was shining, but not so great when it was a rain out.
When the dome was built it was more common to name a building or stadium in someone's honor: hence Humphreydome. Now it is about getting corporate sponsorship. Pillsbury is headquartered here and I believe we could have gone for "the Pillsbury Doughboy".
Viking fans braved frigid late fall / early winter weather outdoors. Team owners wanted a weather-proof arena. They built the dome. They built it for about 50 million $$$$$. That sounded like a lot of money at the time, but is a fraction of what is spent now on new stadiums. It was also leased by three teams. Of courses that didn't pay all the cost. We did what we usually do. We taxed someone else to pay for what we wanted. Sound like a familiar scenario?
The dome opened spring of 1982. Our kids attended some of the earlier games with their cousins who moved to Florida that summer. They saw rookie Kirby Puckett play. Kent Hrbek was a young first baser. They are still among the most popular players we have seen in Minnesota.
When the Twins brought the World Series to our door in 1987 everyone here was a Twins fan. Such excitement. Such memories. Our oldest was an avid Twins fan. He was a freshman away from home for the first time but his friend Jeff slept on the sidewalk inline for tickets to the playoffs and series. What a friend. They went together.
The desire for outdoor baseball will be fulfilled next spring when the Twins play in their new downtown stadium. For now we stay focused on winning again in that old ugly metrodome---the building we love to hate. The eulogies are like those at a funeral for an aunt no one liked. You only say the good things.