Sunday, March 28, 2010

We've Got a Brand New Ball Park

I was in dreamland yesterday and I kept fighting back the tears!
by Charlie Leck

Here’s hoping the late song writer, Joe Raposo, and old blue eyes will forgive me, but I was in a lyric and festive mood yesterday after visiting Target Field, the new home of the Minnesota Twins baseball team.

And now there is a ballpark right here
Where the field is warm and green
And the people play their crazy game
With a joy I'd never seen.
And the air is so wonder filled
From the hot dogs and the beer
Yes, there is a new ballpark, right here.

Now the children come to find it

And they can't believe their eyes
`cause the Twins will soon be playin’
Hitting balls into great wide skies
That sparkle just like diamonds

That are ever bright and clear
And the summer must come quickly…
Very, very quickly… this year.

Yes, there is a brand new ballpark, right here.

And I’ll admit there were some tears in my eyes on occasion as I stood and looked down on a sight that might be as American as can be and as beautiful as anything I’ve ever seen – a brand new ball park with emerald green grass under soft blue skies. I thought of my old man a lot and how he would have loved being by my side. I thought, too, of my wife’s dear father, who was so involved in bringing big league baseball to Minnesota, and how thrilled he would have been to look down on that field with me. I could see, in my mind, his sparkling eyes and that smile of a little child that he always seemed to have.

Forgive me for bursting with pride and joy this morning, but I can’t help it. What a wondrous ball park. It left me breathless as it did thousands and thousands of others who got their first look at it yesterday. The reviews last evening and this morning, on every television station and on every blog and newspaper report were all complete raves. Someone did his homework real good. This park was built with both fans and players and the history of baseball in mind. Nothing was missed. This is a ball park that will make the players feel like kids again and the fans will have uproariously good times watching the kids play.

Our baseball sage in this area, Sid Hartman, who has been following minor league and major league baseball for over 60 years, says: “I don’t believe there is a better stadium anywhere.” Well, Sid, when I first read those comments from you a couple of weeks ago, I thought you were just blowing smoke and doing some home-town humping; but, this morning, I think I absolutely agree with you.

Even our most sarcastic and grumbling sports writers and commentators are raving about this new and wonderful spot to watch baseball. Baseball in our town will again become an occasion -- a very special occasion.

My wife and I spent a few hours just slowly walking around the new stadium yesterday, taking in the views of the field from nearly every angle. We examined club rooms and bars and eateries. We had a better than good lunch in the Town Park Tavern (a sort of shrine to Minnesota’s wonderful small town baseball parks). We checked out the rest rooms and the great Budweiser Deck where there was a huge, low, flat fireplace glowing with heat for fans who were chilly. Everywhere we turned there was something new and fun and interesting.

And, I’ll tell you there are some wonderful spots in this stadium to watch a baseball game – more wonderful spots than in any stadium I’ve ever seen.

You know what’s great? We’re going to have rain-outs again in Minnesota! We’re going to have cool breezes at night games in Minnesota again. There will be full moons glowing down on us on some of our evenings. And warm sunshine for day games. This is the way baseball is supposed to be and I just can’t wait.

There were some geniuses as work in the design of this stadium and I tip my hat to them.

Our professional ball club allowed the University of Minnesota baseball team to play the first game ever at Target Field. The players approached the field quite reverently yesterday, not sure they should step on the pristine grass and the perfectly groomed dirt of the diamond.

The Gopher shortstop, A.J. Peterson said “that was about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.” Sports columnist Jim Souhan wonders this morning if the new stadium ought to be considered a “shrine.” Spectators and players seemed that respectful and over-awed yesterday. Strangers were slapping strangers on the back and they were smiling at each other and singing the praises of the ball park.

“Isn’t that about the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.”

Sing it out Frank! Sing it out! We’ve got a ball park right here in our home town and it’s a thing of beauty and wonder. On April 12 the Twins will give the park it’s official grand opening in a game against the Boston Red Sox and every single seat will be occupied by fans who will be cheering on our home town team.

Not only will it be a great stadium in which to watch a game, but some wonderful ball players are going to pour out on that field on that first afternoon – Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, Denard Span, Michael Cuddayer, Scottie Baker and Joe. That’s all you need to call our catcher – just Joe. He’s our hometown Joe and we’re in love with him and can’t wait to watch him take up his place behind the plate for the opening pitch at Target Field. Wow! I’ll tell you!

And now there is a ball park right here!
How the children come to find it
And they can’t believe their eyes
Cause we’ve got the grandest ball park
Right here!

No comments:

Post a Comment