Claude Walker | Bicentennial-By-Buttons

“Intimate park; Zoilo Versalles; cool Minnie & Paul sign”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2015

We took in 2 Cubs game last weekend. In fact, including the St. Paul Saints - Gary Railcats game, we saw 31 innings of baseball in 28 hours in 2 cities.

Target Field is easy to reach via Green Line Light Rail & other lines. The stadium design wasn't part of the "retro movement"; no red bricks here. The main gate is next to a steep white wall of local limestone and there's a floating canopy above half the crowd. It has earned LEED certification as a green building.

The Twins Plaza is a nice link between downtown & the Warehouse District, and is filled with interesting displays celebrating Twins' heritage. (Also some good pre-game bars nearby...we enjoyed the beer garden at Gluek's.) On a "Wall of Fame" featuring dozens of player profiles on translucent fabric, I found the bio of my boyhood hero, Zoilo Versalles. There's also an excellent timeline of Twins' history and statues of Twin stars (man, did Rod Carew ever have an odd batting stance!)

Inside, you notice the skyline beyond the outfield (that RF wall is tough on outfielders), two videotrons, and my favorite: a neon sign depicting Minnie & Paul who shake hands whenever a Twin hits a homer. At night, the sign is even better.)

The seating is great...unobstructed sight-lines. Fans are pretty close to the playing field in some areas. First time I saw self-serve beer station. I should have tried it, since we had a 15-minute wait at one of the beer-stands on the upper deck and finally gave up. The Walleye & Chips was pretty tasty, although my pal craved vinegar.

I had a hard time finding the pitch speed & total pitch count; they would appear on the videotrons occasionally but not always. When the videotron aired a replay of a call challenged by the Cubs, the organist played the Beatles' "Let it Be"...cute. The call was overturned.

Everyone was gracious to us Cubs fans, including the Twins' fans we sat near. I scored a cool Paul Molitor Bobblehead, and we bought lots of t-shirts & stuff.

On a personal note, a few weeks ago I caught a Chattanooga Lookouts - Tennessee Smokies game. I saw two hot prospects, Smokies DH Kyle Schwarber & Lookouts outfielder Byron Buxton. Both were called up since then and played against each other in Friday night's game.

Great stadium (though it's no Wrigley), accessible, friendly. Hope to return for the Cubs-Twins World Series.

Visited June 2015

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