Day Four – Game 1

As you walk in to Werner Park, you notice a wide open concourse behind the stands. It curves behind home plate and up both base lines. Nothing unusual about that, except it’s really wide, which is convenient. Plus, there’s nothing overhead, so you see signs everywhere alerting you to beware of foul balls. With no warning, two boys near a concession stand almost got nailed by a foul pop behind the plate.

Plus, waiting in line presents opportunities for conversation. A friendly woman behind us notices our UBT schedule and chats with us. We talk about our trip, about Rosenblatt Stadium, about her granddaughter, (one of the school children who sang an energetic rendition of the Star Spangled Banner).

We take our burgers and fries (and craft draughts) to our bleacher seats beyond the left field fence, where we sit among various school groups. Apparently, part of their ticket package includes hot dogs, because their daycare teachers were handing out loads of warm wrapped dogs from large cardboard boxes.

By the time Xavier Nady homers to give the Storm Chasers an early 1-0 lead, the sun shines brightly, reflecting off the bleachers. Memphis Redbird, Jamie Romak, ties it in the 4th with his own long ball. I’m a little sorry that Oscar Tavares is still hurt, but the level of talent and Major League experience on both teams impress.
Werner Park Action - Omaha, NE
The Family Fun Zone, which seems to accompany all Major and Minor League parks these days, remains active to our right, beyond several picnic tables. There’s also berm seating in both left and right fields past our “Fun Porch” bleachers.

A crisply played, sun-filled Game One of today’s doubleheader allows for a more leisurely drive to Game Two.


Brian Williams
From Deep Short

We’re Back

“How do you pronounce ‘Tomah,’ Wisconsin?” Mitch asks the woman at the hotel’s front desk. “TOE’-mah” comes the reply. “Hell, if you live here.”

Seems quaint and peaceful enough to house the tripsters for the first night of UBT; plus, we always enjoy a fine sense of humor. Besides, Tomah — with its forests, farms and wooden lodges — gives us a jump on getting to Minneapolis when the gates open at Target Field. Sunday, June 2, features a 1:10 start to wrap up the Mariners series.

It isn’t that we’re any more eager to see a new Major League ballpark. It’s just that there’s more square footage to explore than in the more intimate venues.

We arrive soon after the gates open, but do we enter? Not on UBT. We take a stroll around the outside of the ballpark, which unveils several treasures: banners of many key Twins players over the years hang neatly on a fence toward a construction site; statues of the most highly regarded Twins dot the landscape at various gates; and, families are everywhere.Minnesota Twins Sign - Target Field - Minneapolis, MNToday’s giveaway? A Josh Willingham jersey for the youngsters. We see lots of cute young fans, from infants to Little Leaguers, donning them throughout our stay.

And, it’s good they have that extra layer. A stiff breeze accompanies the bright sunshine all day.

Our seats are second deck in the shade in right field. Folks are wrapped in blankets.

After an inning or two, Mitch and I begin our trek around the inside of this fairly new park. It reminds me somewhat of Nationals Park, but is less conventional.Target Field Action - Minneapolis, MNNooks and crannies and small, exclusive sections dot the various tiers. Open concourses can accommodate large moving crowds.

One can enjoy the action all around the park on both levels as there’s plenty of room behind the seating. That’s our mission the remainder of the game. Areas in the sun feel most comfortable.Twins Lefty Connects - Target Field - Minneapolis, MNI’m not sure if the wind assisted, but the home team launches four bombs to back Scott Diamond in a 10-0 shellacking. Mitch and I don’t believe the wind is a factor for any of them.

As the game winds down, we’re in center field, where a friendly usherette directs us to get our “First Time at Target Field” certificates. A pleasant couple asks about our trip. They notice our next destination, their home town.

Brian Williams
From Deep Short