Friday, October 8, 2010

Minnesota Twins dreamin'

Minnesota Twins Dreamin’

by a life-long groupie and stalker of all things Twins

Just like Cinderella I got to go to the ball in the fall way back in the year nineteen hundred and eighty seven. World Series game 1 Minnesota Twins vs St. Louis Cardinals. The proverbial once in a life time deal.

Got the ticket because my friend worked at a bank owned by Carl Pohlad the owner of the Twins and they had season tickets but somebody got sick and she knew I was a fan and I was poor and there was this ticket and I think I wrote a check to her for the price of the ticket and the check probably bounced. But I was at the WW'87 sittin' right there behind third base in the prime seats between people who could afford to buy a ballpark beer. And, breathe!

It was all the clichés and cheesy stuff you read about. The atmosphere, the noise, the excitement, the cold beer soaking my Twins T-shirt--stories I've told my children and I'll tell my granddaughter. Yup, I was a Minnesota Twins fan way before being a Twins fan was ever cool. Way before wanna be’s jumped on the bandwagon.

Inspirational but disillusioned.

As a young 'un I remember snuggling under the covers with a tiny transistor radio set on WNAX in Yankton, SD settling in to listen to my Twins. Harmon Killebrew. Tony Oliva. Rod Carew, Bert Blyleven. Heroes to me. Then I was at the HHH Metrodome to see my new heroes Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky, Dan Gladden and Kirby Puckett. All the clichés apply here-I was like a kid in a candy store or at Christmas yadda yadda yadda. No, people I didn't have enough money for a beer and I didn't even give a crap. I was living a dream. I can still hear the roar of the crowd; see the Homer Hankies swirling in the stands, still feel the cold wetness of the beer the stumbly guy behind me dumped on my Twin’s T-shirt. Who cares? I didn't pay for it, right?

Flash forward and here we go again. Things have changed. I still can't afford a ballpark beer but there's a new stadium, a new Twin's team and the same old (literally) fan sniffing’ around for tickets.

I am sittin' at my computer, cocked glasses, half cup of cold coffee, smushed bedhead hair, drooling about tickets for the playoffs. Fired up the laptop, clicked up three open windows and I was rollin'! Virtual waiting room on two machines with four open windows. Yessss! This is the life for a Twin's fan that waited nigh on 20 year since my boys made the big show.

When I fantasized about Hrbek when I was 30 that was probably normal and okay. Now when I think of Joe Mauer's spikes under my bed it seems more pathetic than naughty. I remember buying a king-sized sheet at Goodwill and painted the words angled from the bottom left corner to the top right: “How do you spell hunk? H-R-B-E-K!” We tied it on the railing in the upper deck cheap seats. But, row one is row one. We’d stand outside the gates and dash for the seats when the doors opened two hours before game time.

And now it's 2010 and my guys have another shot at the big time . . .