Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Opening Day 2013

Opening Day is one of my favorite days of the year!

There is so much energy and excitement and hope, no matter how your favorite team performed last year or what lies ahead in the new season. In Minnesota, of course, Opening Day is also the door to all kinds of glorious warm-weather ballpark memories: ice cream cones melting faster than you can eat them, sunscreen, ice cold sodas, and so on. And that's all kinds of refreshing after a long winter...

...even when Opening Day weather conditions aren't so summery. Yesterday's game just missed the Twins' coldest Opening Day on record, with temperatures in the mid-30s at game time. I was seriously bundled up: winter down coat, ski hat, snow boots. It reminded me of another Opening Day outfit, from 2008:

But that was just for the mid-snowstorm trip to the Metrodome. Now the Twins play outside, at Target Field, and I hope you'll never catch me complaining about outdoor baseball conditions. It is a wonderful place and I always try to remember what a dream come true it would've been for my childhood Twins Superfan self, to imagine that the home team would someday play in this beautiful stadium. I went to my share of games at the Metrodome with my dad and, as I've written about before, listened to zillions of them on the radio and really settled in for the evening for the rare Twins games on network TV.

So you see why, for me, it's really a treat to go to a stadium with this view, even on a chilly afternoon like yesterday.

A stadium with conditions that create real late afternoon shadows!

I almost always take the bus over to Target Field and meet Josh there after he's done with work. Yesterday I nearly missed it because Wish practically demanded an impromptu photo shoot. I got the idea in my head that I'd send Josh a little photo message with Wish wearing a Twins cap. But then, when I was deciding what jersey to wear, I looked at the jersey and decided it was perfect for my little dog to model.

It is our only first Opening Day with him, after all. Indulge me?

I acknowledge that he doesn't look thrilled. But then he rolled over onto his back to catch a bellyrub and then just stayed there. I think the jersey grew on him.

I had to scurry over to catch the right bus but arrived at Target Field with plenty of time to find fried pickles (YES), take in the scene, and settle into my seat. For the first couple of innings, the sun was shining brightly, and I was downright comfortable. Later in the game, the sun dipped behind the stadium, and I started to feel the chill. We were always blocked from the wind, but the folks sitting out in center field, I suspect, were feeling it more.

Two bad tidbits: I forgot to get our apparently not so traditional Opening Day photo for the second year in a row, and the home team lost. Nonetheless, I am happy to continue our Opening Day streak (I think Josh and I have attended seven years in a row) - the latest little chapter in nearly three decades of being a Twins fan.

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