It was July 15, 1982 when I attended my first Twins game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. A bunch of young, rag-tag ball players made up the Twins roster by that point in the season. Earlier in the year, owner Calvin Griffith jettisoned such notable veterans as Roy Smalley, Butch Wynegar, Rob Wilfong and Doug Corbett in an effort to shed payroll. As a result, the Twins fashioned a dreadful record of 28-59 going into this game against the Detroit Tigers.
Since we obtained our tickets to said game through the local rec center, my buddies and I were all stuck in the center field upper deck. See, as another cost savings measure the Twins organization wasn’t even making available tickets for the lower left field seats. The hope would be that fans who desperately wanted to be in the lower decks would instead opt for the more expensive seats around third and first base.
But I digress.
As young teenagers, my friends and I were in awe of indoor baseball. Imagine, no game would ever be rained out again! No more taking a bus all the way to the ball park and sitting in a torrential downpour waiting for the game to start! In our minds, the Metrodome was a veritable eighth wonder of the world! So it didn’t bother us in the least that the Tigers scored 11 runs in the top of the first inning. Even though the Twins would go on to lose 18-2, we had the time of our lives!
Over the next 28 seasons, I would attend scores of baseball games in the plastic ballpark. I was front and center for the surprising divisional race in the then American League West division back in 1984. I would also be among less than 10,000 fans present for a game the last weekend of the 1990 season when the Twins would finish in last place. Of course, I found a way to attend nearly twenty games the following year when my favorite baseball team made that magical “worst to first” run, winning their second World Series in five years! This year, for the first time ever, I was a partial season ticket holder.
So will I miss the Metrodome itself? Not in the least, considering what the Twins are getting in the new Target Field. But I will always cherish the memories of the many games I was privileged to watch!