In August of this year Gene and I had a wonderful time on a Mid-West Adventure through IA, MN and NE. While in the Minneapolis we were loking forward to visiting the home stadium of the Minnesota Twins, Target Field. I was extremely excited to visit the stadium which was my 22nd MLB park. It was very unique and different than some of the other parks we had visited. However, it was a great park and our tour guide was amazing! He was so connected to the some many aspects of MLB and had some wonderful stories. Love when we get a tour guide who loves his job! With that said, I will share some information about the Twins and Target Field.
As I said on my Mid-West Adventure post, I learned that Target Field is the sixth ball park for the Minnesota Twins and the Senators before them. It is located in the historic warehouse district of downtown Minneapolis and is adjacent to the “A” and “B” parking ramps of the large ABC Ramps complex at the end of Interstate 394, which include two major transit bus terminals and link to the rest of downtown Minneapolis via skyway. Over 8,000 people typically arrive to each game via the Metro Blue Line and Metro Green Line, both of which terminate at Target Field Station, just 10 yards from the park’s Gate 6.
Before the Twins started playing baseball at Target Field, they played for 13 seasons in the Metrodome before they made a desire or request to play in a different home on July 18, 1994. Their owner at the time, Carl Pohlad, agreed and told the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission that the Metrodome was economically obsolete due to changes in the MLB.
This was the beginning of 16 years with many ideas, financing plans, as well as locations were suggested and later rejected. Many of the discussions were between the city of Minnesota and St. Paul. With the threat of the ballpark possibly moving to St. Paul, an independent working group based in Minneapolis was formed with the express purpose of bringing their land into the discussion about sites for a new Twins ballpark.
The 8 acre site that is now Target Field seemed to be an unlikely location for an MLB park. It was a little smaller than most other MLB parks, was hemmed in by railroad tracks, a freeway, and two city streets passing on bridges. However, the site was adjacent to three large unused parking ramps, as well as an area planned for a light rail and a commuter rail. Another big perk was the expansive view of the Minneapolis skyline.
On August 30, 2007, the ceremonial groundbreaking took place, and then on September 15, 2008, the Twins and Minneapolis-based Target Corporation announced that the ballpark would be named Target Field. Construction began with the first concrete slab being poured on December 17, 2007. In November of 2008 concrete portion of the stadium construction was completed, and the playing field was installed in late August, 2009. On a side note, due to financial issues, the stadium does not have a retractable roof.
Since Target Field opened on April 12, 2010, there have been many events held in the stadium. The biggest baseball related was hosting the All Star Game in July of 2014. Besides the All Star Game there have been many concerts by such notable artist as Tim McGraw, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Eagles, Green Day, Imagine Dragons, One Republic, Jimmy Buffet and many more.
One more note of interest, the main flagpoles located at Target Field which flies the American Flag and the POW/MIA flag, is the original pole used at the old Metrodome. Home plate is also the same one used from the Metrodome. After the Twins’ final dome game there, the plate was dug up and later installed at Target Field. Thought those were interesting facts to share. Also, they have a golf course. It’s the only one of know of in MLB. Thought that was quite cool as well.
Originally playing in Washington D.C., on October 26, 1960 the president of the Washington Senators Calvin Griffith moved the club to Minneapolis/St Paul area in Minnesota and the team was renamed the Minnesota Twins after the two Upper Midwest cities. In the teams fifth season as the Twins, the club took home its first American pennant since 1933 while in Washington. Minnesota won the AL title by a full seven games over the Chicago White Sox before falling 4-3 to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
1977 was noteworthy as the “Year of Rod Carew”; the Twins stellar first baseman tore American League pitching apart en route to being named AL MVP, leading the circuit in average (.388), hits (239), runs scored (128) and triples (16), in addition to collecting 100 RBI. In 1978 Carew, who had won his seventh batting title in 1978 with a .333 mark, was dealt to the California Angels for pitcher Paul Hartzell, outfielder Ken Landreaux and rookies Brad Havens and Dave Engle.
Minnesota played host to the 56th All-Star Game on July 16, 1985, as 54,960 witnessed a 6-1 win by the National League at the Metrodome. The Twins’ sole representative, Tom Brunansky, went hitless in his only at-bat, but was the winner in the All-Star Home Run Derby the day before the game. In the 1987 regular season; Minnesota won the American League West division title by 2.0 games ahead of Kansas. In the Postseason, Minnesota powered past Detroit, 4-1, in the American League Championship Series before facing National League Champion the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. The Twins took a resounding 2-0 series lead in the first two games at the Metrodome, outscoring the Cardinals 18-5 in those games. However, St. Louis won the next three to take a 3-2 series lead. When the set returned to Minnesota, the Twins won Game 6, 11-5, before outlasting the Cardinals 4-2 in pivotal Game 7 to win the club’s first title in Minnesota history and first overall since the Senators won it all in 1924.
In 1991 Minnesota won the American League pennant, 4-1, over the Toronto Blue Jays and advanced to the World Series for the second time in four seasons. The Twins won the first two games at the Metrodome, before falling in Games 3, 4 and 5 in Atlanta, including a 14-5 setback in Game 5. When the series returned to the Metrodome, they dug deep and won the subsequent two games in extra-innings and became World Series Champions once again.
In 2001, my favorite former Angels player Centerfielder Torii Hunter hit a team-leading 27 home runs for the Twins and earned his first AL Gold Glove Award. In 2002 Minnesota posted a 94-67 record and ran away with the American League Central division title by 13.5 games over the second-place Chicago White Sox for the club’s first Postseason berth since 1991. For the second-straight season, Torii Hunter led the club in home runs (29) and had 94 RBI. He also took home his second consecutive Gold Glove Award for his tremendous defense. However, in the American League Championship Series, Minnesota faced a red-hot Anaheim Angels club. After winning Game 1 of the series at home, the Twins dropped the next four games to give Anaheim its first American League title. The Twins won the American League Central Division, but the ultimate objective of reaching and winning the World Series remained elusive for Minnesota. The Twins made it three in a row by taking the American League Central division again with a 92-70 record – nine games ahead of the second-place Chicago White Sox. The otherwise successful season came to an abrupt ending when the New York Yankees eliminated the Twins in the American League Division Series in four games for the second consecutive year. In 2005 Joe Mauer led the team in batting average (.294) in his first full season. Then in 2006 he (Mauer) hit .347 to become the first American League catcher to win a batting title.
Most of the 2010’s were disappointing time for the Twins, with the 2016 season record of 59-103, the worst in the majors and the worst single-season mark in club history. However, in 2017 the Twins were one of the biggest surprises in baseball, becoming the first team to make the Postseason after losing more than 100 games in the previous year. The Twins went 85-77 en route to earning the second American League Wild Card berth. Even though they lost the Wild Card Game to the New York Yankees in New York, it was still a successful season given the expectations coming into the year. Minnesota relied on a young core and key veterans such as Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Ervin Santana and Matt Belisle, with Dozier also winning his first Gold Glove.
There we are lot of moves and changes for the Twins in 2021, and 2022, and many players had breakout seasons. One such player was Luis Arraez whom led the AL in batting average for most of the season and finished at .316, becoming the fifth player in club history to win a batting title, first since Joe Mauer in 2009; he also earned his first career All-Star selection.
Before I end this section of my post, I wanted to share some of the names and numbers of players that had had their numbers retired in the Twins organization. They are listed below:
36: Jim Kaat
7: Joe Mauer
10: Tom Kelly
28: Bert Blyleven
34: Kirby Puckett
14: Kent Hrbek
6: Tony Oliva
29: Rod Carew
3: Harmon Killebrew
42: Jackie Robinson – Retired in all MLB parks
Gene and I had an amazing time touring Target Field and learning about the Minnesota Twins organization and the development of the stadium. It was a blast and again our tour guide was amazing. I hope to be able to go back one day and attend a game. If you haven’t been to the park, it’s definitely one not to be missed. Here is a link to their website if you want more information of want to plan your own visit.
Target Field Visitor Information
1 Twins Way Minneapolis, MN 55403
Go Behind the Scenes at Target Field – Experience the ballpark as only players and staff do!
Rated a Top 10 MLB Stadium Experience by ESPN the Magazine! Experience the ballpark as only players and staff do. Led by a Tour Host, the historical, behind the scenes tour allows guest to experience the ballpark while learning about the history of Target Field and the Minnesota Twins. Highlights may include:
- Delta SKY360° Club
- Herb Carneal Press Box
- Private Luxury Suite Level
- Budweiser Roof Deck (seasonal)
- Service level
- Various Bars & Restaurants: Truly on Deck, Summit Brewing Pub, Gray Duck Deck
- Visit Clubhouse, batting cage, and dugouts
Monday – Sunday (based on availability)
- Public tours at 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
- Game Day tours at 11:00 AM & 1:00 PM (Note* depending on game time – not all Game Day tours have a 1:00 PM tour)
- Adults: $20
- Children (14 and under): $10
- Seniors (55+): $16
- Military Personnel: $15
- Student: $15
Children aged 5 and under do not require tickets. Public tours are approximately 90 minutes in length. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as tours may cover a distance of approximately one mile. Tours are wheelchair accessible, with complimentary wheelchairs available upon request.
All guests are required to go through a security screening. To ensure you have your complete tour time, please plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to go through your security screening to enter the ballpark. Guests can keep all their items on them and do not need to empty their pockets prior to passing through the walk-through magnetometers, unless otherwise requested. Guests will have the option to be screened by Event Staff via wand; those who cannot have the option of a pat-down screening. If you’re running late, please visit the Media Gate. Inform the security guard you are here for a Pre-Game or VIP tour and he or she will contact the Tour staff.
Take part in a unique, and one-of-a-kind Pre-Game Tour opportunity to experience the Minnesota Twins and Target Field. Your tour will end with an exclusive opportunity to view the Twins and visiting team batting practices from the Thomson Reuters Champions Club seats behind home plate.
Due to restrictions on game days, certain locations seen on our public tours will not be accessible for the Pre-game tours. All tour stops are subject to change depending upon Target Field schedule and area availability.
Pre-game tours do NOT include game tickets, game tickets must be purchased separately. Please note, Pre-game tours are not available prior to day games. Space is limited, so book now!
Pre-Game Tour Rates
- $40.00 per person
Holidays and peak times may affect pricing
Pre-Game Tours Times
All Pre-Game Tours are 120 minutes long. Guests will enter via the Ramp A, Skyway off N. 7th Street.
No Pre-Game Tours on Day Games & Sundays (ex. 12:10PM & 1:10PM), except for September 23 and 24.
Please note: Batting Practice is held at the discretion of both teams and is not guaranteed and is subject to cancellation without prior notification. Pre-Game tour tickets are available for purchase below.
ULTIMATE VIP Tour
This unprecedented behind-the-scenes access of Target Field is truly like no other given by our most highly trained tour hosts. The Target Field Tour team has planned the most efficient, enjoyable experience with unparalleled hospitality. What better way to impress your top customers, client or that special someone than by taking them on Ultimate VIP Tour of Target Field.
Some of the services include:
- VIP field access
- Special walk-through of Herb Carneal Press Box
- Friday Night Firework (access on field)
- Shared insight from your highly knowledgeable VIP Tour Guide throughout your tour
- To make this VIP tour feel more intimate, we are limiting the tour to 10 people. Reservations are required, spots will be limited. To reserve your spot and to check our availability below. Note: Twins game tickets are required.
Weekday (Mon – Thurs) – $125.00 per tour ticket
Weekend (Friday – Saturday) – $200.00 per tour ticket
Sunday – NO TOURS
Please note: Batting Practice and/or player warm-up exercises are held at the discretion of both teams and is not guaranteed and is subject to cancellation without prior notification.
NO REFUNDS. ALL SALES ARE FINAL.
FROM THE NORTH:
Travel southbound on I-35 and follow I-35W at the divide. Merge onto I-94 West via exit 17B. Follow I-94 West and take exit 230 toward Olson
Memorial Highway (Highway 55). Turn right at first traffic light onto Olson Memorial. Highway (Highway 55). Take the second right onto North 7th Street. Turn right onto Twins Way and stay in the far right lane. Target Field Parking Lot and Loading Dock. Entrance is on your right.
FROM THE SOUTH:
Travel northbound on I-35 and follow I-35W at the divide. Take exit 16A Downtown Exits. Follow signs toward 5th Avenue South. Turn left onto
South 7th Street. South 7th Street becomes North 7th Street. Make left onto Twins Way and stay in the far right lane. Proceed through the first stoplight (10th Street North). Target Field Parking Lot and Loading Dock Entrance is on your right.
FROM THE EAST:
Travel westbound on I-94 and take exit 230 toward Olson Memorial Highway (Highway 55). Turn right at first traffic light onto Olson Memorial
Highway (Highway 55). Take the second right onto North 7th Street. Turn right onto Twins Way and stay in the far right lane. Target Field Parking Lot and Loading Dock Entrance is on your right.
FROM THE WEST:
Travel East on I-394. Take exit 9B toward 6th Street North. Make
a right turn on 2nd Avenue North. Take first right onto 7th Street North. Turn left onto Twins Way and stay in the far right lane. Proceed through the first stoplight (10th Street North). Target Field Parking Lot and Loading Dock Entrance is on your right.
FROM THE NORTHWEST:
Travel eastbound on I-94. Take exit 230 and follow signs to 7th Street North. Turn left at first set of traffic lights onto 7th Street North.
Continue onto Twins Way. Make right onto Twins Way and stay in the far right lane. Target Field Parking Lot and Loading Dock Entrance is on your right.
FROM THE SOUTHWEST:
Travel North on 169 and take I-394 East. Take exit 9B toward 6th Street North. Make a right turn on 2nd Avenue North. Take first right onto
7th Street North. Turn left onto Twins Way and stay in the far right lane. Proceed through the first stoplight (10th Street North). Target Field Parking Lot and Loading. Dock Entrance is on your right.
There are 20,000 parking spots within five blocks of the ballpark, including nearly 8,000 spaces in the A, B & C Ramps. Ramp A (located off Glenwood Ave. and N. 10th St.), Ramp B (off 2nd Ave N. and N. 5th St.) and the Hawthorne Ramp (off N. 10th St. and Hawthorne Ave.) are all easily assessable from major freeways and are connected to both Target Field and many Downtown Minneapolis shops and restaurants via Skyway.
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