A Dream of Fields 2: The Minnesota Twins

This is the second entry in my summer 2015 series of telling stories about all the different baseball fields I’ve been to. You can read about my first, Boston’s Fenway Park of course, here.

It wasn’t until I was twenty-two years old that I finally made it to see a baseball game anywhere other than Fenway Park. I’m not even sure if my dream to see a home game for all MLB teams had been articulated at this point. I just happened upon an opportunity to see the Red Sox play somewhere else, and that was enough of a thrill.

Wednesday, August 4, 1993, 7:05pm

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

02Twins

Boston Red Sox 5, Minnesota Twins 4

I had a friend in high school who moved to my hometown in 1988 from Minnesota, and he was a Twins fan. The Twins had just won the World Series the year before, and the year before that the Red Sox had heartbreakingly lost the World Series. Naturally, a friendly rivalry developed between us, and we started going to Red Sox games together when the Twins were in town.

He graduated high school two years after I did, so even during my first few years of college—I went to college near where I grew up—we’d still go to Sox-Twins games in the summer. Then he went to college in Minnesota, but came back in the summers, and we kept the annual tradition going.

Until 1993.

I had just graduated college, and I was living at home again before starting graduate school in the fall. He had finished his sophomore year and was opting to stay in Minnesota for the summer. We kept in touch but lamented the fact that we wouldn’t see a game together.

A friend of mine from college got married that summer, and I was invited to attend the wedding in California. I was planning my trip and talking to my Twins-fan friend when he asked me what airline I was flying. He suggested Northwest Airlines because their hub was in Minneapolis. If I could get a layover for a few hours, we could get together, have lunch, hangout, and maybe he could show me around the city.

I happened to glance at a Red Sox schedule, and they just happened to playing in Minnesota the day I was planning on flying back from California. I called the airline and asked how long a layover I could get, and they said up to twenty-four hours. I wasn’t worried about a rainout since the Twins played indoors then, so I contacted my friend and told him to get tickets. The tradition would continue on one more year.

I landed in the early afternoon, and we drove around Minneapolis and went to the Mall of America. I was in full Red Sox garb when the game began, screaming and cheering for my team. There are some stadiums (like New York) where I would never even think of behaving in such a manner, but I didn’t think there’d be any trouble. We sat in the upper deck behind home plate, which wasn’t very full, and the only reactions were from a few young boys sitting down the row from us who asked their father why I was rooting for the other team. The Red Sox went on to win the game, and I threw out my voice. I guess I was trying to be the equivalent 35,000 Fenway Park cheering Red Sox fans.

My flight was early the next afternoon, and we took a short drive to Wisconsin so I could see cornfields (I was raised a city boy). Reminded me of the fields in the movie Field of Dreams. I must have been in a baseball frame of mind.

As far as I can remember, that was the last baseball game we went to together. After a few years of watching his favorite team visiting mine, I’m glad that we had the opportunity to do it in reverse. He now lives in Virginia while I’m still in Massachusetts, and we both have children of our own, so meeting up for a game is much more challenging.

The closest MLB team to him now is the Washington Nationals. I haven’t been to their stadium yet. Maybe one of these years while either the Twins or Sox are visiting there…

Comments

  1. Ridiculous quest there. What happened after? Good luck!

  2. I think that’s really cool that you had a great tradition of seeing games together for some time. Hopefully you’ll be able to get together again for a game or two. :)

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