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Opinion

Magical Metrodome era ending for one Minnesota sports team

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October 9, 2009

The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, also known as The Dome, The Hefty Bag, The Roller Dome, The Thunder Dome and The Homer Dome has acquired a reputation of being a dump and is rated as one of the worst sports stadiums in the country, but for one team is should just be called Magical. Like the Vikings and University of Minnesota football team, the Twins have called the Metrodome their home for the last 27 years.

Like many so many times before, the 2009 Minnesota Twins used their home field advantage and utilized their Metrodome Magic to capture the Division title in the one-game tiebreaker game against the Detroit Tigers. It’s not too surprising; the 2006 Twins did the same thing, needing to beat the Kansas City Royals at the Metrodome and for the Detroit Tigers to lose to the Chicago White Sox to clinch the division on the very last day of the regular season. And it happened.

The Metrodome saw two World Series in ‘87 and ‘91. Both saw a little magic of their own. In 1987, the Twins had the worst record of any of the playoff teams. And came back from a 3-2 series deficit and won their last two games in the best of seven series to win the World Series four games to three. The last two games of the series were played at the Metrodome.

In 1991, the Twins also had to come back from a 3-2 series deficit. Twins’ centerfielder Kirby Puckett became the star of game six. After a home run saving catch in the third inning, Puckett hit the game winning home run in the 11th inning to extend the series to a game seven. That home run led to Jack Buck’s now famous call of “And we’ll see you tomorrow night!” Jack Morris became the star of game seven, in which he pitched a 10-inning complete game shutout and the Twins won 1-0. The 1991 World Series was ranked by ESPN to be the best ever played.

The Metrodome has been home for several events. It has hosted the 1985 MLB All- Star Game, held several World Series games in ‘87 and ‘91, hosted Super Bowl XXVI in 92’, ten Men’s Basketball NCAA tournaments ranging from 1st and 2nd round coverage to Final Fours, Prep Bowls for High School football championships, Motocross, Wrestling Shows such as AWA Wrestlerock 86’ and WWE, Monster Jam and the list goes on.

The Metrodome is the seventh-oldest stadium in the MLB and tenth-oldest in the NFL. It was the scene for several players joining the 3000 hit club, including Eddie Murray, Dave Winfield, and Cal Ripkin Jr. In 2007, as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Frank Thomas hit is 500th career home run. In the same year, Brett Favre threw his 421st touchdown pass to Greg Jennings to break former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino.

In 2009, Chicago White Sox pitcher, Mark Buehrle broke the MLB record of consecutive batters retired. The record was 41; Buehrle retired 45 in a row. And just this last Monday, Minnesota Vikings quarterback, Brett Favre, beat his former team, Green Bay Packers, 30-23 to become the first quarterback in NFL history to defeat the league’s 32 franchises. This fall the U of M football program moved out to go to their new home TCF Bank Stadium. Now, the Twins are next. This upcoming spring the Twins move to their new stadium, Target Field.

While the Twins are ready for outdoor baseball, the Metrodome is not ready to let go of the Twins just yet. The 2009 postseason is upon us and now the question is, does the Metrodome have enough magic left in it for another World Series run this postseason? We will just have to wait and see.

Derek Johnson is a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.