FanPost

FanPost Friday: Non Camden Yards Flashback: The Metrodome in 1991

I can't believe the Twins are already on their 7th season at Target Field. I have never been to the "new" stadium but I have extremely fond memories of the old. For this post I will now ask you to close your eyes and take a trip back in time to a much more cold and funny speaking climate.

One day early in 1991 I was proudly reading Anasazi the Spider in my 1st grade classroom surrounded by people that properly said "wuh-der" and casserole, My parents arrived suddenly arrived and plucked me off the carpet and into the car. A plane ride later I arrived in a strange land full of people who said "WAH-ter" and hot dish and who were incredulous that being a silly east coaster I had no clue who "Mr. MIMAL" was.

I had arrived in Minnesota the land of the Homer-Hankey, Kirby Pucket, Lutefisk and the Metrodome.

The Metrodome was a glorious stadium to visit as a kid. With multiple levels and a giant weather controlled balloon of a roof it was an exciting and slightly overwhelming building. My recollections were that the place always felt dimly lit and there seemed to be an odd obsession with hanging banners about some guy named Harmon Killebrew. (In retrospect I can now see why people would be excited about a man who once hit a 520 foot home run)

While Wikipedia tells me that the Metrodome was eventually considered one of the worst stadiums in baseball, as a kid who lived in Minnesota in 1991 and during the hey-day of Kirby Puckett and world-series wins, the Metrodome was a great place. Every time the Orioles came to town my dad and I would try to go to a game. As this was the time I was developing my baseball fandom these exciting visits to see the Orioles helped ground me with my roots during my 4.5 year stay in the wintery North. I am proud to say that the Orioles never lost a game I attended at the Metrodome. Considering that in 1991 the Orioles were 1-5 vs. the Twins at the Metrodome, I got pretty lucky that year.

When the stadium was packed full of Minnesotans they would wave a much more polite version of the terrible towel called the Homer Hankey. Proudly, I still have my hankey from cheering the Twins on in their playoff and world series run. To give perspective how exciting the Metrodome was at the time, for those of you unaware, the 1991 world series had 4 games decided on the final pitch of the game and 3 went into extra innings. During the 6th game, Kirby Puckett hit an 11th inning walk off home run that resulted in the Metrodome getting a stylish golden seat memorializing where the ball landed. While I was not able to attend the world-series games, I did watch them on t.v. and the place was rocking.

Part of the magic the metrodome holds for me has nothing to do with baseball and everything to do with Minnesota in the winter. I learned how to roller blade at the Metrodome because during the winter they would open up the indoor concourses as tracks for people to get active. One concourse was for walkers, one for runners, and one was for roller-bladers! I miss the 90's.

Eventually I would move back to Baltimore and experience the glory that was Camden Yards but the Metrodome holds a special place in my memory as a baseball fan and while I am sure Target Field is nice, I will always remember the Metrodome.

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