Our fifth and final MLB ballpark for 2019 was Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. In first place and playing at home on Fathers’ Day, this was our first sellout game experience since son Ben joined us for a Chicago Cubs game when he was still in college, more than 15 years ago.
There is something electric about a packed stadium, watching a first place team play. A few years ago, ESPN magazine called this park the best fan experience in major league baseball, and I would certainly agree it is in contention for that title. The “crowd participation” captain certainly did his part, with more ways to get the fans to cheer more often than any MLB game I can ever remember.
The Twins previously played in a dome, but abandoned that for this beautiful park. Like some of the other parks, most notably St. Louis and Cleveland, the downtown skyline looms just beyond the outfield wall, giving an urban ambiance to the experience.
Every ballpark has some variation on the same themes. Since this is Target Field, the sideline race in about the 6th inning is kids dressed as characters from Target commercials (see pictures below). Home team home runs are celebrated with fireworks. In the 7th inning, before “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” a featured speaker does “God Bless America.” A veteran raises the flag at the start of the game. We loved each of these endearing touches.
It did not hurt that the weather for the game was a picture-perfect 70 degrees. As usual, we found a local fan to talk with about the team and the park, and we rooted for the home team. Unfortunately, they lost on this particular day, after having won the first two games of the series before. We left the park pleased and happy. It is a great stadium.