The choice for the final spot on the National League home run derby squad was easy for captain Troy Tulowitzki. Justin Morneau, his Colorado teammate, had the chance to go back to his baseball home in Minnesota.
Derek Jeter was an elite shortstop winning World Series not long after many of baseball’s current greats were born.
Some are tucked away, others, out front, all working to roll out the welcome mat to baseball fans this week. “It’s just bringing our Minnesota Nice and spreading it to people who are here for the All Star Game,” Tara Olson Medina, of Spong, said.
Even with more than 90 losses for three straight seasons, the Minnesota Twins have averaged more than 30,000 fans a game since Target Field opened in 2010. The ballpark itself is clearly part of the draw. “I love the architecture,” Jessi Oeltjen of Spring Valley said. “I’m a design buff, so just the architecture, the design, the layout. Once you get inside, there is not a bad seat in the house.”
It was a sunny, summer Sunday as some of the brightest prospects in baseball took to Target Field for the 2014 All-Star Futures Game. It was especially fun for Twins fans as they got their first look at prospects Jose Berrios, Kennys Vargas and Alex Meyer playing in their future home ballpark. Berrios was recently promoted from High-A Fort Meyers to AA-New Britain. So far, advancing a level hasn’t phased him.
Brian Dozier played his own version of Home Run Derby against the Colorado Rockies, hitting two into the left-field seats. Next up, the real thing — in his home park. Dozier had his first career multihomer game to get cranked up for the derby and the Minnesota Twins beat the Rockies 13-5 on Sunday.
Before I headed out to watch the All-Star Futures Game this afternoon, I wanted to take a glimpse into the past…
The Minnesota Twins and the city of Minneapolis found new locations for the two streets commemorating the Twins’ Hall of Famers, Kirby Puckett and Rod Carew. Kirby Puckett Place and Rod Carew Drive will be relocated next to Target Field.
Before the All-Star Game is even played at Target Field on Tuesday it could set a record. Demand has been so high ticket prices for both Tuesday’s game and Monday’s Home Run Derby could set a record for a Minnesota event. Tickets are going for an average of $675 on websites like Stub Hub and Tickets Now for Tuesday’s All Star Game.
Some run support at long last made all the difference for Kevin Correia. Correia pitched six innings of one-run ball, Eduardo Escobar homered, and the Minnesota Twins pulled away late to beat the Colorado Rockies 9-3 on Saturday. Correia (5-11) scattered seven hits and cooled the power-hitting Rockies, who stranded 10 baserunners and were kept in the yard after slugging eight home runs in their previous two games. He walked one and struck out one in snapping a hard-luck three-game losing streak during which he had received no run support.
With three games to go before a much needed break in the season, the Minnesota Twins are wrapping up a quick trip out west with a series against the Colorado Rockies. While purple is the dominant color in the stands, you can’t help but notice the abundance of Twins fans in attendance. It’s of course, for good reason.
With the All-Star game coming to the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Twins see the mid-summer party as more than a way to distract from another disappointing season. In some ways, it’s a referendum on the success of outdoor baseball in the chilly north country and the first chance 5-year-old Target Field has had to take center stage.
The last time the All-Star Game was held in Minnesota in 1985, it featured just one Twins player. But it also had three St. Paul natives, giving the game a real hometown feel.
The Home Run Derby is Monday night at Target Field, returning to the city where it was born. That was at Minnesota’s last All-Star Game, at the Metrodome in 1985.
Baseball fans don’t have to wait for Tuesday’s All-Star game to celebrate the All-Star break. The All-Star FanFest kicked off Friday at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Thousands are expected to attend the five-day event that celebrates everything baseball.
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Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes became the first repeat winner of the All-Star home run derby in 15 years, powering his way past Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier by a whopping 9-1 in the final round Monday night.
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