Most folks attending Twins games remember the multi-story scoreboard in right-center field. It took some time for Metropolitan Stadium to make the 40,000-seat level promised to Griffith — 1964, to be exact — but at the beginning the Met was regarded as one of the nicest stadiums in the major leagues. Such an expenditure for just one team could not be justified, so they persuaded the Twins to go along with a latter-day football-plus-baseball hybrid stadium with phoney baloney Astroturf. Over 18,000 fans showed up in 45-degree weather to see the new park. Next on the suitor list was the Cleveland Indians. The Beatles held a concert at Metropolitan Stadium during their second tour of the United States, on August 21, 1965. At the time, its cantilever design was considered revolutionary, with no poles, or pillars to obstruct any views. This park was located in suburban Bloomington, even though the City of Minneapolis paid for the park. At the same time, expansion franchises were awarded to Los Angeles and Washington. Football. However, home plate remained sacred. Metropolitan Stadium was only the second triple-deck major league stadium -- the first being Yankee Stadium, of course. BEEN THERE (TOO LATE): I photographed the home plate historical marker (see below) while at the Mall of America on January 7, 2014. On the behalf of local business leaders, Johnson made inquiries at the baseball commissioner’s office in New York in the early 1950s about possible expansion plans. Metropolitan Stadium became a major-league ballpark on April 21, 1961, when 24,606 fans showed up for the Twins’ home opener. Still, the committee was living a hand-to-mouth existence: the groundbreaking was initially delayed because the committee had not paid Paul Gerhardt, a farmer who had grown onions, melons and sweet corn on the 50-acre parcel he was selling to the committee, his $122,000. Killebrew Drive runs along the south side of the Mall. Scottsdale Stadium renovations Joe Etzel Field renovations (University of Portland) In the meantime, the stadium was occupied by the Minneapolis Millers, who moved to the Met from the team’s old Nicollet Park location. The feeling was not shared by his nephew Calvin Griffith, who (along with his sister Thelma Haynes) assumed ownership of the Senators when Clark Griffith passed away in 1955. The final game played at the Met was on Sept. 30, 1981 (the Twins lost 5-2 to the Kansas City Royals, by the way), with the Twins moving to the Metrodome for the 1982 season. Louisiana Tech baseball facility The cornfield-turned-stadium had a curved triple-deck grandstand that ran from first base to third base, but maintenance was a constant issue and by the final season railings on the third deck were declared a safety hazard. The cornfield-turned-stadium had a curved triple-deck grandstand that ran from first base to third base, but maintenance was a constant issue and by the final season railings on the third deck were declared a safety hazard.
NOTE: The diagram thumbnails have been continually replaced since 2008, so the images seen in the older blog posts do not reflect how the full-size diagrams looked at that time.
Part of the reason was the hodge-podge design: it was built in sections and it showed. While sluggers like Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison didn’t need any help in getting the ball out of the yard, others did — most famously Orioles pitcher Mike Cuellar, a career .089 hitter whose grand-slam home run in the league championship series in 1970 was certainly aided by the wind. The third deck of Metropolitan Stadium was also on the small side, but it extended much further, comparable to Oakland Coliseum.) Metropolitan Stadium was built on a farm and opened its doors on April 21, 1956 for the American Association Minneapolis Millers. The whole arrangement looked rather tacky, and it is unfortunate that the Twins never built a permanent grandstand along the third base side to match the extension on the first base side. Since that time the company has grown from a single employee working out of a home to a diversified publishing firm featuring Websites, books and other merchandise. O’Brate Stadium (Oklahoma State University) Bailey-Brayton Field Renovation (Washington State)
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