Twins vs. Royals (Kauffman Stadium) – 9/15/18 and 9/16/18

This trip had been in the making for over a year and was bound to happen at some point. The division rival Kansas City Royals play in a top ten MLB stadium just 6.5 hours away, making a weekend trip possible to see the Twins on the road. Since the two teams played a Saturday night game followed by a Sunday day game, we got to see two games on just one overnight and avoiding extreme driving hours. While Tony, James, and others made the same trip in July over the dates I originally planned on, Dave and I coordinated to make a budget speed trip in mid-September for lower attendance and cooler weather. The first part ended up being true, since both teams were playing meaningless baseball with two weeks to go (attendance was around 20,000 each game), but it was unseasonably warm with temperatures reaching 90 degrees both days. Though hot, this meant that we didn’t have to pack a jacket or worry about rain delays, and I truly appreciated the last days of summer weather. I had been looking forward to this trip for a long time and its completion marked my ninth current MLB stadium at which I’ve attended a game, the third time I had seen the Twins on the road (Angel Stadium in 2011 and Miller Park in 2017), and my second true baseball road trip, a combination of my two favorite things.

I left my house at 5:45 on Saturday morning and arrived at the hotel at 2:00 pm, after picking up Dave and stopping for food and gas along the way. It proved to be a very easy drive but would’ve been tougher without good conversation. This was the view of the stadium from our hotel:

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The Four Points by Sheraton was one of several hotels at the same freeway exit as the stadium and we decided to stay here so we didn’t have to deal with parking. We made the five minute walk over to the stadium just before 3:00:

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…and crossed behind the outfield over to the left field gate for Early Bird BP:

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For $12 more per ticket, you can get in 2.5 hours early, where you are confined to foul territory down the left field line and the visitor’s bullpen for the first hour. We played catch to warm up (as if we weren’t already sweating) and pass the time until 3:30:

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We also met up with TK who had last been seen at Ballhawk Fest. The Royals did not take BP today, so the only action for the first 15 minutes was the injured Miguel Sano and Mitch Garver getting loose and the Twins’ position players running sprints and playing catch. Overall, it was a very laid back atmosphere that early before game time with just a couple dozen fans in the stadium. I was able to get Garver to sign a ball down by the dugout:

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It turned out great because Garver took his time and knows how to properly sign and prep a pen. I also got my favorite player, Eddie Rosario, to throw me a ball after Dave had gotten his attention earlier and pointed to the back of my red Rosario jersey I was wearing, which he acknowledged:

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This was now the fourth stadium I had gotten a ball at after Target Field, Fenway Park, and Miller Park, but I really wanted to also snag a hit ball during BP like I had at the others. Even though I was in a good spot down the line when the Twins started hitting, I didn’t get any action:

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This was as close as you could get this far into the outfield for the first hour, which was okay because I often position myself in a similar spot at Target Field for the final group of Twins hitters, but everything went to right field or left center. There were only two snaggable balls to enter the stands, both slicing into the seats in foul territory, so it was pretty slow. Miguel Sano once again highlighted the third group, so I moved behind the bullpen for his first few cuts before the stadium officially opened:

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The rest of the outfield finally opened up with just five minutes left of BP and I moved over to left center in front of the fountains for Sano’s final swings:

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Sano put on a show, blasting homers on just about every pitch, but once again proved that he is too good for the purpose of batting practice. At Target Field, he hit a bunch into the upper decks that are closed off at that time and at Miller Park, he hit several clear out of the stadium through the giant glass panels. I was able to easily move around thanks to a wide cross aisle at the back of the section, but the four rows of seats in front of the fountains were too steep to climb over without using the stairs. I could only watch as Sano deposited balls into and over the fountains and high off of the Royals Hall of Fame down the left field line. Dave was able to scoop up one fountain ball by leaning all the way over with his hat but that was frowned upon. Here are the signature fountains:

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That was it for BP. Though the Royals never hit (the both times, including Fenway, that I paid money to get in extra early at a new stadium the home team didn’t even hit) and batting practice was dead for the first forty minutes as I was stuck down the line, it was still a blast to be ballhawking in a new stadium. The five minutes of having the obstacle of the fountains while chasing down Sano bombs was truly exhilarating. Several times, I would track the ball the whole way and get into position only to have the ball land over my head and off the back wall of the fountains. Naturally, I would turn around to play the ricochet, but I got a “kerplunk” instead.

We then made a couple of laps around the stadium taking pictures and looking for food. The following pictures will show just how beautiful the stadium is:

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Sano had hit balls into this section above the fountains and off of the ribbon board above the green advertisement in left during BP.

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The grass was pristine and separation between the outfield and the warning track was flawless. Check out this wide cross aisle down the right field line:

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Here is the lower concourse:

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We then took an escalator up to the upper deck:

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The sleek glass paneled exterior and spiral ramps only added to the spaceship feel of the stadium. Here is the view from the very top of the 30 plus row upper deck:

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Here was the view looking across the parking lot at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs:

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As we continued the lap around the stadium, we stopped into the Authentics Shop which was very impressive. They had game used jerseys, bats, hats, and balls, as well as every autographed item you can image and souvenirs from the stadium including infield dirt, fountain water, and framed pictures. All of it was easily sorted and displayed. Outside of the shop, they had a baseball card table selling individual base cards of every Royal and opponent and even full hobby boxes of new products at the standard price. I appreciated this as a card collector and wish that other stadiums would do this too.

Both Dave and I wanted to try the breakfast “Sunrise Dog” hotdog, but later learned that they discontinued it but not before spending 15 minutes looking for it. I settled for another specialty hotdog, Southern style:

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It was a foot long with meat, cole slaw, barbecue, and pickles and had to be eaten with a fork. I knew I wanted to try something local or unique to the stadium and this did the trick. We had splurged for front row seats in left center field in the only true outfield section in the ballpark, in front of the fountains where I had been chasing down Sano bombs earlier:

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Since our whole row was sold out, it got claustrophobic with little leg row and an obstructed view from fence. Still, it was a good place to catch a homerun:

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Unfortunately, there wasn’t a single homer hit the whole game. The game itself was very dull, so I decided to wander more around the stadium to see what it looked like at night. Here are the fountains that provided a cool mist, a clean chlorine smell, and a relaxing sound:

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Here is the Twins bullpen:

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I like the bullpen setup because you can watch players from all three sides of it but it does swallow up a bunch of homers. Here is the view down the line:

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Here is the staircase to the outfield concourse:

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Here is the outfield concourse:

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And the area directly behind the batters eye that lets you walk quickly between right and left:

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Here is my favorite standing room view in all of baseball behind the dancing fountains:

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Here is the view from the corner of the upper deck:

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Check out how far back the fountains go in right center:

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I hung out for a couple innings with this view:

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I actually liked being this high up. You could kick back on a perfect night and watch all the action without ever turning your head. Finally, this was the view of our outfield section, showing the the fountains, the cross aisle, and the step four rows of seats:

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That was it for first game. The Twins lost 10-3. Since it was an early 6:15 start time, we made it back to the hotel by 9:30. This was the view of the stadium as we left:

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The next morning, I got up at a much more reasonable time of 9:30 and made it to the stadium before 11 am after stopping for breakfast next to the hotel. Check out this cool view of both stadiums:

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We made our way over to left field, completing a loop around the stadium by walking around first base and home plate this time:

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Even though we were just two hours early, we got to see a couple of players, Alcides Escobar and Jose Berrios, enter the stadium, as well as the Twins TV and radio broadcast crew. There wasn’t anything to do once inside the stadium since there was no batting practice, so we just wandered around again. We were planning on sitting in the same section again, but thanks to a tip off from one of the many friendly ushers, we claimed first come, first serve drink rail seats in the Pepsi Party Porch which had not been rented out today. This is what it looked like in each direction:

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There was only a handful of other people down there and we were the only ones with gloves. We stood up against the wall the whole game and had plenty of running room because the walkway behind the blue line was clear. This was the view:

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For selected power lefties, I went up to the empty flat area in front of the fountains:

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It was arguably a better spot, but I still moved back and forth for different batters using this convenient staircase:

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Whenever I went up top, it meant Dave had the whole lower deck to himself. Check out how much room he had:IMG_4554

We had a good chance of catching a homerun because both righties and lefties could reach us. Luckily, there was a lot more action today. The teams combined for five homers and we were close on two of them. In the third inning, Max Kepler crushed a ball to Dave’s right on his side of the deck. He didn’t get there in time and it was claimed in a scramble that he was unintentionally blocked from by people trying to take cover. In the 5th inning, Adalberto Mondesi of the Royals hit a moonshot that carried over my head, landed on the upper platform, and bounced into the upper fountains. I read it all the way and was able to get to where I thought it would land, about 30 feet from where I was positioned. I jumped though I knew I had no chance to make a fool of myself on TV:

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In hindsight, I should’ve been playing him up top since I knew he has sneaky power after seeing him hit a plaza shot earlier in the year at Target Field. It would’ve been the easiest catch ever with no competition. Just look at the people ducking for cover in the photo above! Since no one even got a hand on it, the ball was claimed by the fountains which was a shame.

The only other highlight was in the middle of the third inning when I got centerfielder Max Kepler to throw me his warmup ball, just minutes after he hit a homerun in the top of the inning:

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That was the only other ball I got this trip and neither of them were KC 50th Anniversary commemoratives. I ended with one tossup each game, but they both came in cool ways so I’m happy with that. That was it for the game. The Twins won 9-6 in a lot more of an entertaining game. This was the my final view of the field:

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We were on the road again before 5:30 after stopping for food near the hotel. We drove (but I did all the work) straight through, not even stopping for gas until reaching the Twin Cities. I arrived back home just before 1:00 am, completing the speed trip with no problems arising. These were the souvenirs that I took home, thanks to a couple of awesome stadium giveaways:

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The trip was a huge success and the easy drive and convenient hotel made it likely for a return in the future. I was blown away by how nice everyone was. We had at least a dozen positive interchanges with fans, ushers, and employees and not a single negative one. They had the best qualities of Southerners mixed with the best qualities of Midwesterners, so they were essentially a hyperbreed of the two nicest American regional groups. Their fans were hospitable, knowledgeable, and passionate, adding to the charm of Kauffman Stadium. I was already a fan of the ballpark before I visited, ranking it number 7 of 30 in my post Ranking All 30 MLB Stadiums, but it climbed even higher. I love the unique design and the outfield configuration is a fun challenge that can definitely work towards your advantage. It is definitely the best small market stadium and my second favorite stadium I’ve visited after Fenway.

Thanks for reading and thanks to Dave for making this speed trip possible. Blogging about new stadiums is one of my favorite parts of each visit, so I’m glad that they are popular. This was the first time I ever blogged about two games in one, but it worked out better for this trip to just write one long post. I apologize if it was lengthy, but we packed a lot into just 48 hours. If you enjoyed this trip recap, you can check out my other stadium visits/ballpark reviews:

And if you just liked all the pictures, check out these stadium tours:

This was my last game of the regular season, so be on the lookout for several posts this offseason. Also, be sure to follow/subscribe to be notified whenever I post. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Instagram @everythingtwins. Thanks again and Go Twins (I can’t wait for 2019)!

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Athletics vs. Twins – 8/25/18 (Ballhawk Fest 2018)

I had been looking forward to this game for a very long time. Back in April, it was announced that Target Field had been selected as the host for this year’s Ballhawk Fest, the official annual celebration of ballhawking across the country. Normally, the event is held on the East Coast, a day trip from most stadiums to attract the most people, but for the first time ever, it was coming to the Midwest, thanks to Nate’s campaigning and Tony’s submitted proposal. We had decided beforehand that even if Minnesota wasn’t selected as the official host, we would still put on our own local event. Well, it pretty much turned out to be just that even with the official designation as we were unable to bring in any out-of-towners, but we still had a good time with just the “regulars.”

As is Ballhawk Fest tradition, the day began with softball in the early afternoon. Tony and I were the first to arrive at 11:30 at a ball field just over a mile from Target Field, but we were quickly joined by Nate, Dave, James, Mateo, a grapher named Cayden, and Tony’s friend TK. After each taking a few cuts of batting practice, we partook in a team home run derby, where points were awarded based on distance for any hit ball not caught by the opposing team. Here is Nate hitting with the skyline in the background:

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My team of Tony, James, Nate, and I got demolished. Here I am taking a giant Happy Gilmore hack, so don’t mind my bad form:

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Here is an epic group selfie:

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Before we headed over to the Gate 34 of Target Field, this happened (and you don’t need to know why):

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We had finished recording an episode of Tony’s “At The Gates” podcast by the time the Twins started hitting and I got the first ball of the day that bounced through the open gate, my 20th ball of the year:

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When the gates opened, I headed up to the second deck in left for the final group of Twins BP and stayed put for the entirety of Athletics BP. It was definitely the spot to be since there were a lot of good righties and the left field bleachers were packed. However, the second deck was also the most crowded I had seen it this year:

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Including to my left, there were over half a dozen talented ballhawks who posed serious competition. The A’s were really swinging it, crushing balls all over the place, but yet only a handful made it up top and they were all snagged by other fans. I got shutout once inside the stadium, and everyone else struggled as well. It was definitely the toughest BP of the year primarily due to the large crowd. We combined to snag nine balls during batting practice (no hit balls that I’m aware of), but half of those came as a result of Tony working the dugout at the end of BP. We finished with 14 balls total with four being tossed up post game. Nate joined me for this view for the game itself:

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That was it for the game. The Twins lost 6-4. After the game, Nate, Mateo, Tony, and I headed over a few blocks to Pizza Luce for a postgame celebration before finally wrapping up the day’s activities after 11 pm:

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Thanks for reading. It was a long, fun day full of good people, good weather, and good baseball. And who knows, we might just have to do this again next summer! This may or may not have been my last game of the season, but even if it was, stay tuned for the beginning of my planned offseason posts. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Instagram @everythingtwins. Thanks again and Go Twins!

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Tigers vs. Twins – 8/16/18

I arrived at the gates at 4:45 and got in early for the last time this season at 5:00. Check out how empty it was for the first half hour:

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There was nobody on the other side of me, meaning that there was a total of four people ranging the left field bleachers for almost a full two groups. While there was no homerun action, though Sano hit a half dozen into the second deck, we each landed at least one tossup for our loyalty. Mine was thrown to me by Kohl Stewart and I didn’t even have to hold my glove up to get his attention. Eddie Rosario tried to hook me up from long range as he was jogging back to the infield but he put it short.

The Tigers’ first group had three righties in it, so I had no reason to leave the empty bleachers. I got my second ball of the day on another tossup, this one coming from a Tigers pitcher. He made a nice running catch and flipped it to me, catching me by surprise because I was already focused on the next pitch. When 5:30 came around, I headed up to the second deck for the final swings of the first group. As I was coming up from the ramp into the concourse, I saw a ball already in the air that was coming up top. I ran forward and caught it on the fly in the concourse two sections from the line:

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That was great timing. I was the only fan up there, so I was ready for more action if it came my way. The same guy who hit the first one up here did so again his next time in the cage, putting another one into the concourse that I was able to scramble after, though I wasn’t in competition with anyone. That was it for the first group. As I made my way to the plaza for the second group, I looked for Sano’s Easter eggs but they had already been collected. The plaza was equally as empty, though the Overlook, the Pavilion, and the bleachers were now lined with fans:

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And yet the second deck remained practically empty… All of the colorful shirts are youth baseball teams which didn’t affect me where I was positioned but definitely clogged things up around the ballpark.

The second group had three lefties, so I knew I could see lots of action on the plaza. Unfortunately, there was only one ball to reach me and I caught it on the fly making a lunging basket catch over railing of the wheelchair area:

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That was already my fifth ball of the day, matching my personal record that I achieved 5/24/16, 6/8/16, and once from 2014. I stayed put in the plaza for the rest of the second group and all of the split righty/lefty third group, but there was no more action. Even though I snagged five baseballs, it wasn’t a very impressive BP. Though there wasn’t much action, I was helped out by little competition. This was the exact opposite from the batting practice two days prior where there was lots of action but I got shutout partially because of the large crowd.

I spent the whole game on the plaza watching the Twins out-slug the Tigers 15-8. I decided to try to break my record by going for an umpire ball at the end of the game, and I was successful:

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Because of the long game, my first and last balls of the day came over 5.5 hours apart. That was it for my big day, though it didn’t feel as rewarding since two catches on the fly were also combined with three easy tossups. Here are all six baseballs:

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The four that I got from the Tigers were all marked with sharpie on the sweetspot.

Thanks for reading. My final game at Target Field for the year will be this Saturday for Ballhawk Fest, but I might also be visiting Kauffman Stadium in September, so stay tuned for those upcoming posts. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Instagram @everythingtwins. Thanks again and Go Twins (who are now only five games back of .500)!

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Pirates vs. Twins – 8/14/18

I arrived at the gates at 3:40 and was later joined by Nate and Dave. The only action on the plaza before the gates opened was a ball that snuck through the gap and onto the freeway that Dave was able to recover. We all got in early at 5:00 and I headed to the left field corner of the bleachers for the Twins’ dull and uneventful 10 minutes of BP. The first group for the Pirates had three righties and one lefty, Corey Dickerson. In hindsight, I should’ve moved over to right field for him because he put on a show, but instead, I stayed put in the bleachers until 5:30. The best chance I had was on a homer hit right at me that I misjudged and bounced back onto the field. I headed up to the second deck for the final swings but was out of luck. I finally headed over to right field for the second group featuring three good lefties: Bell, Polanco, and Moran. I wanted to position myself in the plaza, but check out how crowded it was:

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Despite the large crowd, Dave and Nate decided to tough it out while I positioned myself in one of my favorite spots on the flat part of the Grandstand between the stairs and the wheelchair area:

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I had the whole area to myself, so if anything came up there, I would be all over it. There was a ton of action from the group, but nothing hit right at me. Five balls made it to the plaza and Nate was able to work his way around the traffic to catch two of them. An additional four balls were hit to the Grandstand, but they were snagged by other fans. It was impressive to watch but frustrating that I didn’t have the opportunity to catch anything. I moved back to the second deck in left for the final group for the Pirates, but nothing came up there. It was a solid BP but I was definitely limited by competition in my shutout performance.

That was it for the game. I spent the whole game on the plaza with Nate watching the Twins pull off the 5-2 win. We went for an umpire ball near the dugout at the end of the game but came up empty handed.

Thanks for reading. This was the first of three games in a row I attended, so be sure to follow/subscribe or check back soon for a post from that third game. My final game at Target Field this season will be this Saturday for Ballhawk Fest. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Instagram @everythingtwins. Thanks again and Go Twins!

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100th Game at Target Field!

I just hit my biggest milestone as a fan, having attended 100 games at my home stadium. Just as I did for my other milestone posts 50th Game at Target Field! and My First Full Season at Target Field! (81 games), I will be sharing a bunch of random stats that I have compiled from all 100 box scores. But first, here are some mindboggling numbers:

(But actually first, a disclaimer: I am blessed to have been able to attend all of these games almost entirely self funded. I truly enjoy numbers and blogging, so I hope that the facts in this post don’t come off as bragging.)

  • If you wanted to watch the TV broadcast of all of these games back to back, it would take you almost 13 days since I have witnessed 18,424 minutes of elapsed game time.
  • If you factor in arriving an average of two hours early, that means I’ve spent over 500 hours at the ballpark, the same amount of time as a full time stadium employee would spend there in three months, assuming a 40 hour work week.
  • Since I live roughly 20 miles away from Target Field by road, that means I could’ve driven from San Francisco to New York City and back to Chicago instead of driving to and from the ballpark 100 times. That is, if I had driven to every game, which I didn’t.

And here are some general statistics:

  • The Twins are an even 50-50 in these games, despite being out-scored 495-447, out-homered 124-111, and out-hit 1004-887.
  • Here is the breakdown of games attended per year:
    • 2010 – 2 games (2-0 record)
    • 2011 – 2 games (1-1 record)
    • 2012 – 1 game (1-0 record)
    • 2013 – 3 games (1-2 record)
    • 2014 – 23 games (12-11 record)
    • 2015 – 12 games (9-3 record)
    • 2016 – 24 games (8-16 record)
    • 2017 – 16 games (7-9 record)
    • 2018 – 17 games (9-8 record)
  • The 92 games attended since 2014 means that I have been to 24% of all games played at Target Field in the last 5 years.
  • I have seen every team play at Target Field that has visited the ballpark (27 different teams), with the Nationals and Giants being the only two teams who have never played there.
  • 42 games have been against division rivals while 19 games have been interleague games.
  • Here is the breakdown of record against each division and league:
    • All of American League: 39-42 in 81 games
      • AL East: 7-10 in 17 games
      • AL Central: 18-24 in 42 games
      • AL West: 14-8 in 22 games
    • All of National League: 11-8 in 19 games
      • NL East: 3-4 in 7 games
      • NL Central: 6-2 in 8 games
      • NL West: 2-2 in 4 games
  • Here is the breakdown of record against each team:
    • KC: 5-7 in 12 games
    • CLE: 4-8 in 12 games
    • CWS: 5-4 in 9 games
    • DET: 4-5 in 9 games
    • HOU: 3-3 in 6 games
    • TEX: 4-1 in 5 games
    • BAL: 4-1 in 5 games
    • BOS: 2-3 in 5 games
    • SEA: 3-1 in 4 games
    • OAK: 3-1 in 4 games
    • MIA: 2-1 in 3 games
    • PIT: 2-1 in 3 games
    • LAA: 1-2 in 3 games
    • TOR: 1-2 in 3 games
    • MIL: 1-1 in 2 games
    • PHI: 1-1 in 2 games
    • TB: 0-2 in 2 games
    • NYY: 0-2 in 2 games
    • CHI: 1-0 in 1 game
    • STL: 1-0 in 1 game
    • CIN: 1-0 in 1 game
    • ARI: 1-0 in 1 game
    • SDP: 1-0 in 1 game
    • ATL: 0-1 in 1 game
    • NYM: 0-1 in 1 game
    • COL: 0-1 in 1 game
    • LAD: 0-1 in 1 game
  • Here in the breakdown by month (The most number of games I’ve attended in a single month was 7 games in June 2016):
    • April – 19 games
    • May – 19 games
    • June – 23 games
    • July – 15 games
    • August – 13 games
    • September – 10 games
    • October – 1 game
  • I have snagged 105 baseballs at Target Field, resulting in a average of just over a ball per game. However, I estimate that I have ballhawked at only about 55 of these games, bringing that average closer to two balls per game when attending a batting practice. Here is the breakdown of balls snagged per year:
    • 2010 – 0 balls
    • 2011 – 0 balls
    • 2012 – 0 balls
    • 2013 – 0 balls
    • 2014 – 28 balls
    • 2015 – 16 balls
    • 2016 – 32 balls
    • 2017 – 16 balls
    • 2018 – 13 balls (so far)
  • I have attended 66 night games and 34 day games as well as three doubleheaders, including the only two straight, single admission doubleheaders in Target Field history.
  • The longest winning streak of games I’ve attended has been 7 games from 7/6/17 to 4/28/18 and the longest losing streak has been 4 games from both 6/9/16 to 6/23/16 and from 4/30/18 to 5/31/18. So yes, the Twins followed their record 7 game winning streak with a record 4 game losing streak.
  • I have been to 12 rain delayed games, 7 extra inning games (with the longest going 12 innings), and witnessed 10 walkoffs. Of these 10 walkoffs, 4 have been walkoff homers (3 by Brian Dozier), 4 have been walkoff singles, and 2 have been walkoff errors. The Twins have a 5-2 record in extra innings, which means that half of the walkoffs came in the 9th inning and half of them came in extras. There has only been one game (7/16/16) to have a walkoff in extra innings after a rain delay.
  • I have seen a total of 235 homeruns at Target Field, 111 by the Twins and 124 by the visiting team. I have seen 118 different players hit a homerun, including 31 different Twins and 90 different visitors. I have seen three players (Colabello, Willingham, and Morrison) homer both for the Twins and as a visitor.
  • Here is the homerun leaderboard for the Twins:
    • Dozier – 20
    • Arcia – 7
    • Nunez – 7
    • Sano – 7
    • Grossman – 7
    • Plouffe – 6
    • Rosario – 5
    • Buxton – 5
    • Mauer – 5
    • Vargas – 4
    • Willingham – 4
    • Morrison – 3
    • Escobar – 3
    • Castro – 3
    • Hunter – 3
    • Pinto – 3
    • 4 others – 2
    • 11 others – 1
  • Here is the homerun leaderboard for visitors:
    • Perez – 6
    • Ortiz – 4
    • V. Martinez – 3
    • J. Ramirez – 3
    • Lindor – 3
    • Abreu – 3
    • Springer – 3
    • 16 others – 2
    • 67 others – 1
  • I have also seen 109 different pitchers start a game at Target Field, going 62-68 with 70 no decisions. There have been 28 different Twins starters in 100 games, pitching to a record of 29-41. 81 different visitors have started the 100 games against the Twins, going 33-27.
  • Here is the leaderboard for Twins pitchers by number of games started:
    • Gibson – 16 games (5-8 record)
    • Santana – 11 games (5-4 record)
    • Hughes – 9 games (3-2 record)
    • Berrios – 8 games (2-3 record)
    • Nolasco – 8 games (1-3 record)
    • Correia – 7 games (2-4 record)
    • Odorizzi – 5 games (3-0 record)
    • Mejia – 4 games (1-1 record)
    • Duffey – 4 games (0-3 record)
    • Blackburn – 3 games (2-0 record)
    • Santiago – 3 games (0-3 record)
    • 5 others – 2 games
    • 12 others – 1 game
  • Here is the leaderboard for visiting pitchers by number of games started:
    • Porcello – 3 games (2-0 record)
    • Bauer – 3 games (1-0 record)
    • Quintana – 3 games (1-1 record)
    • Kennedy – 3 games (1-1 record)
    • House – 3 games (1-1 record)
    • Chen – 3 games (0-1 record)
    • Vargas – 2 games (1-0 record)
    • Boyd – 2 games (1-0 record)
    • Volquez – 2 games (1-1 record)
    • Giolito – 2 games (1-1 record)
    • Duffy – 2 games (0-0 record)
    • An. Sanchez – 2 games (0-0 record)
    • Sonny Gray – 2 games (0-2 record)
    • 68 others – 1 game

And now some box score data:

  • The Twins have hit 111 homeruns while the visiting team has hit 124, combining for any average of 2.35 homers per game. Both sides have hit 6 homers in a single game (Twins: 5/2/17, Astros: 5/31/17).
  • On average, the Twins get outscored 5 runs to 4.5 runs. The most the Twins have scored in a game is 20 (6/13/17) and the most the visitor has scored is 17 (Astros: 5/31/17). Each team has been shutout 4 times.
  • The average margin of victory for either side is 3.36 runs. The largest margin of victory for the Twins was 13 runs (6/13/17) and the largest margin of defeat was 11 runs (Astros: 5/31/17). There have been 21 one run games.
  • The Twins get outhit an average of 10 to 8.7 every game. The most amount of hits for the Twins in a game is 28, the franchise record (6/13/17). The Twins and Mariners combined for a record 27 runs and 42 hits that day. The Astros also had the most hits against the Twins on 5/31/17 with 19. Each side has been two-hit before, the closest to a no-hitter I have ever seen. Ervin Santana pitched a two hit shutout over the Athletics on 7/6/16 while Jeff Niemann and the Rays’ bullpen shutdown the Twins on 4/28/11.
  • The Twins have committed 18 more errors than their opponent, out-erroring them 73-55. The Twins and Indians have played the sloppiest games I have ever seen, racking up a combined 5 errors on two separate occasions, The Twins committed 4 of them on 9/11/16 while the Tribe collected 3 of them on 7/16/16, both record highs for either side. There have been 26 combined error free games.
  • The average game time is 3:04, with the shortest game being 2:15 (5/29/15) and the longest game being 4:30 (9/5/14) in extra innings. The longest nine inning game was 4:00 (4/22/17).
  • The average game time temperature is 69.6 degrees, with a low extreme of 38 degrees (4/5/18) and a high extreme of 89 degrees, occurring three different times (7/21/14, 7/5/17, and 7/6/17).
  • Here is the breakdown of games at each temperature:
    • 30s – 2 games
    • 40s – 7 games
    • 50s – 14 games
    • 60s – 18 games
    • 70s – 37 games
    • 80s – 22 games
  • The average attendance is 25,893, with a high of 40,638 (4/11/16) and a Target Field record low of 15,474 (4/12/18).
  • Here is the breakdown of attendance by number of games (Only 98 games have recorded attendance because two games were single admission doubleheaders):
    • Empty (Below 20,000) – 15 games
    • Average (20,000-30,000) – 58 games
    • Packed (Over 30,000) – 25 games (including 6 sellouts of over 38,000)

That’s all the numbers I have for you today. Here is all of my data in PDF form:

Thanks for reading and Go Twins!

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Indians vs. Twins – 7/31/18

I arrived at the gates at 4:20, hoping for some action out on the plaza before the gates opened. There were indeed multiple baseballs that left the yard, but I was unable to snag any of them, the beginning of my bad luck for the day. One ball made it through Gate 34 but ricocheted directly to the only other fan on the plaza and another was destined for my glove before striking a metal detector and bouncing back. After entering early at 5:00, I headed for the left center field corner of the bleachers. Check out how empty it was during the entire half hour:

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I pretty much had two whole sections to myself. Unfortunately, the Twins put on a rather unspirited batting practice just two hours after the Dozier trade news broke. It was nice to have Sano back in the final group for the Twins, but he is too strong for the bleachers, only hitting balls into the upper decks. In fact, the only ball to reach the stands during Twins BP, either thrown or hit, came on the final pitch of BP off the bat of Mitch Garver. It was a ball I made a play on… and dropped. I had to run almost a whole section to my right and it tipped off my glove as I was reaching out in front of another fan. The ball landed on the seat but I was unable to pick it up in time. I got my first ball of the day on a tossup from an Indians coach who brought three balls out with him to the outfield and tossed them randomly to fans. The Indians first group and only group was split righty and lefty and featured no power sluggers, so I decided to stay put in the empty bleachers until 5:30. I quickly had my next blunder. It was a moonshot hit right at me on the aisle. I struggled to maneuver down a couple of stairs and reached out to make a basket catch at the last second only to have the ball enter my glove, force it down, smash my fingers against the metal railing, and bounce out before I could close my glove around it. The ball squirted down the row and to another fan who wasn’t even ballhawking, or else I could’ve scrambled after that one. I only slightly redeemed myself a minute later by perfectly reading a ground rule double and catching the lazy hop four rows back. I didn’t take a picture of it because I didn’t want to miss a second of having the whole bleachers practically to myself. When the gates opened for everyone at 5:30, I headed to the plaza for the final swings of the two lefties. I was forced to jump in front of Waldo for the only ball that made it to the plaza, and what do you know, that one tipped off the top of my glove as well and fell directly at my feet. I was unable to recover in time to scoop it up. That was it for BP. The Indians only had one group and were wrapped up by 5:35. I can only laugh about what could’ve been and my string of bad luck. Though my glove does need to be restrung, I won’t use that as an excuse for why I dropped three balls today and wasn’t able to recover any of them. I kept shying away from balls by not reaching out as far or jumping as I high as I could, fearing injury and contact with other gloves. If the Twins had a better BP or if the Indians fully hit, and if I had gotten one outside the gates, caught two of three balls that I dropped (or at least picked them up off the ground), I could have been looking at a record day with all of the conditions seemingly in place. Instead, I finished with just two, but that’s just how it goes. Last game, everything seemed to go right and I was able to snag four on the fly in front of friends and family, so it is only fitting that the events of today would happen the following game by myself.

That was it for the game. The Twins lost 6-2. I spent the whole game in the plaza but there was only one homer the entire game, just a day after two Jose Ramirez homers made it to the plaza.

Thanks for reading. My next stretch of games will be three days in a row from August 14-16 to close out my summer, so be sure to follow/subscribe or check back for a couple more posts, including a special 100th game at Target Field entry. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Instagram @everythingtwins. Thanks again and Go Twins (who recently made it known that they gave up on the season)!

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Royals vs. Twins – 7/10/18

I arrived at Target Field at 4:30 with my mom and joined Dave and James outside of Gate 34. We all got in early at 5:00 and I headed to the bleachers down the left field line. I positioned myself in the fourth row a section and a half from the line:

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The third group of Twins BP has produced more action lately than ever before, and today was no exception. Though Bobby Wilson and Willians Austullio aren’t known for their power, they do pull a couple into the seats in their final cuts. After multiple tough breaks on homers that bounced back onto the field, (should be) ground rule doubles that just caught the top of the wall, and a homer that I thought I had until my glove was knocked away at the last moment, things finally started to turn my way. Willians Austullio hit me one that I caught on the fly after stepping over a row in the middle of the section:

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This was my 100th lifetime ball at Target Field, which is quite the milestone. Zack Hample has a goal to reach triple digits at each MLB stadium and has not done so yet in Minnesota, which means I’ve accomplished something that he has not yet. To be fair, it did take me 97 games to rack up 100 balls, but it also should be noted that I only ballhawked at roughly 55 of them. A minute later, I caught another off the bat of Bobby Wilson:

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I had to roam to the aisle to my right, but it once I got to the spot, it was a really easy catch. It was not contested and I knew I had it all the way. That was it for Twins BP, having been treated to a full 15 minutes of action today. The Royals started hitting right away, which meant we got to see almost the entire first group before the stadium opened to the general public. All three groups for the Royals were split righty and lefty, so there was never one great location to be. I stayed put in the left field bleachers for the first group which featured Salvador Perez. There was a bit of action, but nothing for me. I joined James and Mateo in plaza in right for Alex Gordon and the second group, which turned out to be a great decision. I ended up catching two more on the fly hit by Alex Gordon in the plaza, benefited by lots of running room and a fair amount of luck. The first one was a liner that would’ve smacked the seats in the last row of the Overlook had I not reached over the drink rail:

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The second came minutes later, this one a high rainbow. I was playing further back and kept an eye on the sky as I maneuvered past a couple of people and back to the same spot that I caught the first:

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That last one felt great. After missed chances to start the day, I had managed to tie my career high with four catches on the fly. (The other one came Marlins vs. Twins – 6/8/16). As usual, the third and final group was uneventful and that was it for batting practice. The four I got today matched my season high from Red Sox vs. Twins – 6/19/18 from a few weeks prior. With lots of action and not much competition, the conditions were perfect for a big day. I was definitely feeling it today, and if I had been even luckier, I could have gotten a couple more to set a new career high. After getting just one ball through my first ten games this season (just two batting practices), I now had ten balls in my last four games, including six on the fly. I guess it is now the heart of the season and the bats are heating up.

Though I’ve had them before, I officially photographed Target Field’s nachos to add them to the list of stadium nachos that I have tried:

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They are right at the top of the list that includes signature nachos from the Marlins, Padres, Brewers, and Reds.

The Twins lost 9-4, ending their five game win streak. After watching Aaron Slegers pick up his first MLB win in his previous start, he struggled tonight, giving up five runs and only recording four outs.

Thanks for reading. I’m not sure when my next game will be, so be sure to follow/subscribe or check back for an upcoming post. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Instagram @everythingtwins. Thanks again and Go Twins!

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