I experienced something Friday evening that I have never experienced before — a Twins rainout! Since the Twins had spent almost 30 years playing inside the “Dome”, whole generations of young fans had never seen such a thing as a rainout. Before that, the only two Twins games I ever attended, one in 1964 and the other in 1965, were played on nice, sunny afternoons. So this rainout thing was a strange new world to me.
Truth be told, we were well aware that the game could be called off when we left home Friday afternoon. But what do you do? The tickets were bought, and they’re not cheap. Besides, the weather people were saying there was a chance the rain would stop around game time, and the game may go on, though after a possible delay.
The temp at game time was predicted to be 43 degrees, and the wind was blowing around 15-20 mph. That’s not exactly ideal baseball weather, but they’ve played in worse conditions. Even so, when my son and I arrived at the stadium, a good hour and a half before game time, things were already pretty miserable. I was glad I had chosen to wear my winter coat and a nice, warm baseball cap, but when we got to our seats and started sitting there, I was soon wishing I had brought along a pair of gloves as well.
We had gotten seats way up high in the “nosebleed section”, actually three rows from the very top of the stadium. We were tucked way up under the small roof, or “canopy” as it is called, so we were hoping to be relatively warm and dry. Unfortunately, because of the wind blowing up there, which was also blowing the rain in under the roof, it was neither warm nor dry.
So after sitting there for some fifteen minutes, and realizing it was still well more than an hour until game time, (Did I really want to sit there and watch my cold turn into pneumonia?) I said to my son, “Let’s go down below and wander around for a while, maybe find something to eat, and stay warm.” So down the steep steps we went, to the top concourse. Lots of vendors up there, just like they are all over the stadium, with lots of good food to choose from, but for the most part they were all outdoors, and I simply didn’t want to be outdoors any more. We wandered along for a few moments and came across a vendor standing outside a “room” with a roof and big windows. He said to us, “Why don’t you come on in here and warm up. There are heaters in there, big windows with a great view of everything, and you can even have a drink if you like.” Very friendly guy. We don’t drink, but at that point I was more than happy to take him up on the invitation and went inside the “Twins Pub”.
So there we stood, next to a big window with a wonderful view of the ballpark. We saw a few of the Cleveland Indians down on the field playing catch in the rain, and we watched as the Target Field grounds crew worked hard at trying to push the water off the big tarp that was covering the infield, in hopes that a baseball game would soon happen. My legs were getting tired and sore, but we were warm and dry, and for an hour or so that’s what mattered most of all.
Then, a half hour before game time, came the announcement: “Tonights game has been called off. It will be rescheduled at a later date to be announced.”
Well, that was that. We decided it didn’t make any sense to climb back up to our perch near the roof again, so we headed for the exits. We got down to the ground floor, headed out the doors, and pretty soon we were seated comfortable on the warm, dry light rail train headed south to the Mall of America, where we had parked our car. As we passed the Metrodome in the southern part of downtown Minneapolis, we realized that for once, it wouldn’t have helped if the Twins were still playing there, because the roof was still under repairs after it collapsed under the strain of a heavy snowfall this past winter. It would have still been a rainout!