Hooky Camp: Twins Playoff Game

Twins Yankees ALDS playoffs Target Field October Baseball


Nearly perfect day

Our beloved Twins won the Central Division (again) this year. Again, they faced the Damn Yankees in the first round of the playoffs. And again, we headed to a game, hopes held high.

Last year, Julia and I went to a playoff game at the Metrodome, walking through cold rain through the east side of downtown Minneapolis. Our umbrella blew inside out on the way to the Dome. I clearly remember us discussing whether anyone would go to any October games in the new outdoor field.

Thursday afternoon this year, it was the most perfect October day. Blue sky, that bright autumn sun that jets in at just the right angle so everything is brighter (not the washed out high sun of summer) and absolutely no wind. Greg had attended the game Wednesday evening, and the girls had sports action Thursday evening, so it was time for Matt and I to take it all in.

Vespucci and Thome

I don’t typically work on Thursdays, but I did some writing in the morning, then scooped up Matt at school about 2:00, where his teacher did a little last-minute lobbying to use Matt’s ticket. They have a great guys’ repoire. Matt says he likes that Mr. Jutting is, “Work hard. Play hard. I’m learning a lot and having a good time, mom.” Matt was missing his social studies test, so en route to downtown, we chatted about Vespucci, Marco Polo and Magellan. And about Thome and Pavano. Not much difference in our heroes over a few hundred years, huh?

Nice ‘stache

We parked in our fav lot, Target Field/Center #3 and savored the walk to the Target Field Plaza. Got our Angie’s Kettle Corn samples. And our Carl Pavano lookalike mustaches at the KSTP 1500 booth.

Carl Pavano Mustaches Twins Yankees Game Oct Playoffs
"Carl" and "Carl" ~ Perching on the golden glove was HOT with shorts on!

Twins Yankees Target Field Carl Pavano Mustaches Big Golden Glove Photo Op 

Forever Sid

Matt indulged me by walking to see Sid Hartman’s statue, unveiled the night before at the first playoff game. I have a totally biased fondness for Sid. I grew up reading his stories and columns and still try to catch his radio updates. He was a guest lecturer in my college journalism classes. I feel like he’s my grandfather, teaching me his view of Minnesota sports. (Thankfully I’ve developed my own view.)

Sid Hartman Sid Bronze Statue Target Field
There's only 1 Sid, but this is a beautiful likeness.

Sid Hartman Bronze Statue Target Field Twins Game Pre-Game

Target Field magic

Every time I’m at Target Field, I notice something new. Some views from batting practice:

Batting Practice Autographs Player Autographs Target Field MN Twins Players
Hanging out hoping for an autograph. No such luck this time.
Target Field MN Twins Homer Hanky Jesse Crain Twins Yankees ALDS Playoffs Minneapolis
Matt proudly waved his two homer hankies with me. I fondly recalled my sore arms in 1987 and 1991. He did have one signed (Jesse Crain was at our health club on Monday and I scored some Mom Points when I got this for Matt.)
Ballpark Sign Target Field Twins Yankees Playoff Game
We'd only brought our black Sharpie, or I'd have had to correct the typo. (Perhaps this fan shouldn't have played hooky from spelling.)
Killebrew Root Beer Target Field Tony O Cuban Sandwich Recipe
Our Fav beverage, accompanied by a Tony O Cuban Sandwich.

Sidenote: Saturday evening, Matt and I perfected our own Tony O Cuban Sandwich for the Twins – Yankees game.  I’ll share the recipe. There are a few tricks to make it just right.

Nine innings

We savored every play of the game, and I was reminded again and again why I adore baseball. It’s like poetry. Some things are defined (3 outs, 90 feet), yet others are up to interpretation. Matt and I cheered, high-fived our neighbors, booed Yankees, stayed ever-hopeful and sang every song we knew.

Like an epic saga, the Twins again lost to the Yankees. We slumped into our seats for a while beyond the last out in disbelief. I’m sad this will be the last time we see this view for quite some time:

Twins Yankees Playoff Game Target Field October 7 Game Two
Love the view from our sweet seats (well, except for the Yankee on base).

Yet I’m so grateful for a beautiful autumn day with a lovely young man and a new crop of bittersweet (mostly sweet) baseball memories.

Target Field Batting Practice Justin Morneau Twins Yankees Playoff Game

Hope springs eternal. April 1, 2011 isn’t that far away.

How about you? What’s your favorite part of live baseball? What’s your idea for the Twins slaying the Yankee dragons next season? Thanks for stopping by to read and I love comments.