Detroit Tigers @ Minnesota Twins.
2010 Regular Season in the St Paul-Minneapolis area to see the new Target Field, the house that Kirby Puckett built with a World Championship in 1987 & 1991. Traveling to visit MLB ballparks across the country means going light and trying to stay on the budget. It helps to research and take public transportation whenever possible. In this case, Target Field is in one of those chosen metro-areas with a public train system from the airport that leaves you at the park’s doorstep. The train ride also gives you a chance to get a good view of the park coming in. The Ubers and Airbnbs have also been great options to stay on budget. Overall, the challenge has been game ticket prices.
It was a chilly 45 degree day in Minnesota, definitely crispier then that with the wind blowing. That didn’t slow some people down at the park who were celebrating “Cinco de Mayo.” There was a very popular area behind left field, over the bullpens, lined with wall-to-wall heat lamps. Fans were on top of each other, huddling up to get the rays of comfort, like seals beaching themselves on Skeleton Island, the good old days. Target Field represents the 21st new ballpark, and counting, since the opening of Rogers Centre 1989 (Toronto).
The 2010 Season was the first time, since 1981, that the Minnesota Twins played a home game outdoors. From 1981 to 2009, they played at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, an indoor gym. Target Field is the third home field in the Minnesota Twins’ history. Originally, the Washington Senators move to Metropolitan Stadium (Bloomington, Minnesota) in 1961. This was also the first of three MLB teams to have called Washington D.C. home.
Newly acquired Johnny Damon started in left field for the Detroit Tigers. Early in the year, Miguel Cabrera overheard Johnny Damon tell a reporter that Miguel Cabrera was going to win the 2010 AL MVP. They both looked at each, other nodding their heads. “Then you buy me dinner,” said Johnny Damon. He did not. But, I would say that the seed was planted for a historic 2012 season that awarded Miguel Cabrera his first MVP and the first Triple Crown since Carl Yazstremski in 1967. On the other side of the diamond, Orlando Hudson (O-Dog) would also play the only year with his new team, the Minnesota Twins at second base. “O-Dog” was the hardest working funny man in baseball before he retired. For the times that he was at second base, he was constantly talking to the umpire between pitches. If the umpire’s ears didn’t fall off from the frostbite, I was sure they would from listening to “O-Dog.”
Just the day before, the late Ernie Harwell, the voice of the Detroit Tigers for 42 years passed away from bile duct cancer on May 4, 2010. He knew he was sick for a year beforehand, said his peace in his farewell tour, and found closure with family and friends. I will always admire his grace in the face of his illness. Detroit Tigers wore a black patch with initials “ER” on the right sleeve of their road jerseys to commemorate Ernie Harwell, a baseball life.