Twins Open Season with a Bang
Spring is upon us and that means America’s favorite pastime is back in full swing. The Minnesota Twins opened the season against the division rival Cleveland Indians on March 28th and it a good one. The game sold out all 39,504 seats and the Twins faithful packed in to cheer on their favorite ball club.
The festivities started at 6 AM with breakfast on the plaza right outside Target Field. This included music, food, picture taking and fun raffles for a chance at tickets and gift cards. Fans were greeted with a balmy March temperature of 55˚ and the first 30,000 in the gate received a free Twins puffer vest. The other 9,504 people might’ve been disappointed, but they quickly forgot their sorrows when they got to shake hands with various Twins legends like Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, Kent Hrbek and Tom Kelly. The Twins legends decided the best way to give the fans a great opening day experience was to show them some love by welcoming them into the stadium.
Fans’ spirits were high, as a new season lets you forget about the previous one and for Twins fans that is a blessing. Wearing their trendy puffer vests and fresh off a handshake from a Hall of Famer, Twins supporters got to see another familiar face in Justin Morneau as he threw out the first pitch of the season.
The tradition of season ticket holders presenting the American flag continued this year and special guest Lawrence Cline, a 100-year-old World War II veteran, had the honor of raising it. This was accompanied by an excellent national anthem performance by Minneapolis singer and songwriter Sean Tillman (aka Har Mar Superstar) and a flyover by two F-16s from the Minnesota National Guard stationed in Duluth. Although they seemed to ditch the eagle idea (one landed on a pitcher last year) this was still a very patriotic moment and a great way to start off a fun afternoon.
A new season meant that fans could finally experience the renovations the Twins call the “Gate 34 Experience”. This remodel was completed over the offseason and it includs two new points of entry to relieve congestion, a greenspace including 9,300 square feet of turf for fans to enjoy things like lawn games and extra seating. In an interview with CBS, Dave St. Peter, Twins President and CEO said, “Gate 34 has always been the ballpark’s ‘front door’ and we are confident the new design will create a dynamic new space for fans to enjoy the game.” https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2019/01/03/gate-34-renovation-target-field/
At this point, it was starting to feel like baseball season again. The problem for Minnesotans is that our baseball team hasn’t been good in a decade. You could feel the nerves growing among the sold-out crowd as they took on the previous AL Central division champs to start off the year.
Luckily for all of us, Jose Berrios had other ideas. The young Twins ace came off a career year in 2018 and had earned the starting role on opening day. Needless to say, he did not disappoint. Berrios was electric from start to finish, getting 10 strike outs (tying the team Opening Day record) in 7 innings pitched. The rest of the team did their part as Marwin Gonzalez drove in the only two runs of the game in the bottom of the 7th. Although it wasn’t a high scoring, high speed game, Twins fans were more than happy to walk away with a new vest, a new season and a solid win against a tough divisional opponent.