Twins loss ends series, season and eraby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
For just a brief moment, it looked like the Twins' Metrodome magic was working again. There were two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, with the score tied at zero.
The Twins had a runner in scoring position and batting champion Joe Mauer at the plate. More than 54,000 people rose to their feet as Mauer lined a single to put the Twins ahead 1-0.
It would be the Twins' last big hurrah in the Metrodome.
In the top of the next inning, Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada hit solo homers and put the Yankees up 2-1. The Twins also made some base-running mistakes which likely cost them some runs. New York scored two more in the top of the ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Twins infielder Brendan Harris grounded out to end the game, the season and an era. After 28 seasons indoors, the Twins will move across town and outdoors to their new ballpark, Target Field next year.
Once the final game was finished, fans like Roberta Leistiko of Waconia stayed in the stands to take in the last moments in the dome.
"I'm very sad. I like this dome for my sake with the weather. Because I'm...a gal who likes room temperature and not when it's beastly cold," Leistiko said.
Leistiko is 77-years-old. She said she and her 82-year-old husband are season ticketholders, so they've been to many games at the dome. Leistiko said she'll go to games at Target Field next year. But only if the weather permits.
"I won't go out in the rain and my husband wouldn't either," she said. "It doesn't pay to get chilled and then sick and everything."
Several fans in the upper-deck seats above right field are snapping self-portraits with the field in the background. Kyla Timmerman said this moment is particularly noteworthy for her.
"This is the first game I've ever been to," Timmerman said. "I just moved to Minnesota this year so it's kinda cool being here for the last game and now that I moved here, I'll be going to all the ones at the new stadium. So, it's kinda cool."
Cool indeed. The weather outside the dome at the time of the first pitch was 39 degrees, but Taylor Johnson and Sam John say they won't mind the cold. They're just looking forward to outdoor baseball.
Eventually, the lingering fans in the upper deck began to mosey out. Meanwhile, the Twins grounds crew was on the field digging up home plate and the pitching rubber to add to the team's archives. As they uprooted the dome keepsakes, a group of Minneapolis police officers stood on the field to discourage any unauthorized souvenir hunting.
Fans will get a peak at Target Field when the Twins play an exhibition game there on April 2nd. The first regular season game at the new ballpark will be held Monday, April 12 against the Boston Red Sox.
Chances are fans will want to bring coats to that game.
- Morning Edition, 10/12/2009, 7:20 a.m.