Few tears will be shed when the Twins leave the Metrodome for a new ballpark next spring. It’s a quirky baseball stadium with a centerfield fence that appears to be made of blue plastic garbage bags, folded up football seats in right field and artificial turf that sends balls bouncing at odd angles.
But as a baseball writer, I’ll miss the place.
The view from the press box, as this photo shows, was one of the best in baseball. It also was a convenient place to work. The clubhouses were only two flights of stairs down and a dugout another few flights further down from there. A few years ago, some of the beat writers ran a contest to see if somebody could make it from their seat in the press box to the field in less than 60 seconds. As I recall, it was doable if you hustled.
The people are nice here, too, and that won’t hopefully won’t change at the new yard. The old-timer security guard outside the visiting team clubhouse always had a few kinds words for “my friends from New York” and the same kindly woman in the press box has been in charge of the soda machine every since I started coming here.
Plus Twins mascot T.C. the Bear shows up in the press box from time to time and once shook my hand. Outside of Billy The Marlin and the Rally Monkey, T.C. is the best mascot in baseball. I also get a kick out of the small-market Twins introducing winning Little League teams before games or recognizing the state cop with the most DUI convictions.
I’m sure the new park will be great, most of them are. But the Metrodome wasn’t so bad.