Monday, June 08, 2009

State Memories Project: Minnesota

The HHH Metrodome served as the first major league ballpark on 1993's Love and Baseball Stadium Tour. Mostly to anesthetize myself from the pain of a recent breakup, I decided I’d drive to 11 different major league ballparks and sleep on (mostly female, often romantic-interest) friends’ floors. I got started that afternoon at a fairly crappy indoor ballpark. The game was quite good—Oakland beat Minnesota 8-7, coming back from a 5-0 deficit to do so. Twin Shane Mack had two homers.

My seat was on an aisle in the second row, shaded just a tiny notch to the third-base side of home plate--just a few feet behind the Twins’ on-deck circle. When one buys single seats to meaningless games well in advance, one often gets very, very lucky.

I had my glove on, hoping for a foul ball. And I stayed alert…except once. Between innings…the 6th or so, I don’t remember exactly--there was a pitching change. I filled in my scorecard with the stats of the outgoing pitcher, focusing hard, when…BAM! I jerked my neck up. Something hit the side of my seat.

It was a ball. I guess there was either an errant throw in infield warmups or (more likely) a player decided to toss one into the stands as a souvenir. But I was so carefully doing my stats that I didn’t see it coming. I’m fortunate it didn’t hit me in the head. As it is, I’m not even sure where it wound up. It must have ricocheted across the aisle to someone in the next section.

In spite of that misadventure, I still score every game I’ve been to.

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