Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Roamin' The Dome

It's quite possibly the most reviled sports venue in the world this side of the dearly-departed Veterans Stadium in Philly or perhaps Olympic Stadium in Montreal, but ironically I've attended more Major League Baseball games at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis than any other ballpark except Kauffman Stadium and the recently-demolished Busch Stadium in St. Louis.  I paid yet another visit there Friday night as the Twins beat the Rangers 2-1 in 10 innings, and even though the place is unfit for baseball, I have a soft spot for it all the same, and I'm not sure why.  I think it might be the way the good people of Minnesota make the best of the situation there and make it as loud and unbearable for the opposing team as possible.  Still, I'll be so happy for those folks when they can once again go outside and watch baseball in the new Twins park in 2010it's an absolute crime to be playing baseball indoors on such beautiful summer evenings like they have in the Upper Midwest.

About the only lucid thing the late Billy Martin ever uttered in his life was when he voiced his displeasure with the Metrodome, calling it a travesty to baseball, and adding, "It's too bad they named it after a great guy like Humphrey."  Strange irony that Martin's death was announced during a "Monday Night Football" broadcast of a Minnesota Vikings game that originated from the Metrodome on Christmas night, 1989.  Actually, the "Homerdome" isn't all that bad a football stadium, and as the Vikings continue to beg the state of Minnesota for money for a new stadium, I think they oughtta do like the group Parliament once advocated and "Tear The Roof Off The Sucker!"  Seems to me that after the Twins move to their new stadium, the Vikings could temporarily move in with the U. of Minnesota in 2009 when the Golden Gophers' new on-campus stadium is completed and just have the Metrodome de-roofed and retrofitted for outdoor football only, like in the Vikes' halcyon days at old Metropolitan Stadium.  Ain't never gonna happen, though...

As per my usual when I visit out-of-town stadiums, I didn't care about the game near as much as checking out the various nooks and crannies of the park itself, and the Metrodome has numerous features one won't find in any other stadium in the world.  Please enjoy my little pictorial tour...

This has to be the only baseball stadium in America with a roof that needs to be dry-cleaned!

"Great seats, eh, buddy?"Part 1 [NOTE: I was actually sitting in the seat when I snapped this!]

In the words of B. Bunny:  "Watch out for that next stepit's a doozy!"

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

"Great seats, eh, buddy?"Part 2. Can't even sit down, and that damn pole's in the way!

Don't look like no "Cinch-Sak" to me!  A side view of the infamous "Hefty Bag".

Now here's where they need a friggin' Hefty Bag!

I know those dudes!  Before or after a game at the Metrodome, a must-see is the unofficial gift shop just to the NE of the 'Dome, which doubles as a mini-museum of Twin Cities sports and music history.  It features some wonderful backstage photos of The Fab Four during their 1966 concert at old Metropolitan Stadium.  The store's owner also has numerous photos taken with practically every Country music artist known to man, including Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner, et al.

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