“How do you pronounce ‘Tomah,’ Wisconsin?” Mitch asks the woman at the hotel front desk. “TOE’-mah” comes the reply. “Hell, if you live here.”
Seems quaint and peaceful enough to house the tripsters for the first night of UBT; plus, we always enjoy a fine sense of humor. Besides, Tomah, with its forests, farms and wooden lodges, gives us a jump on getting to Minneapolis when the gates open at Target Field. Sunday, June 2, features a 1:10 start to wrap up the Mariners series.
It isn’t that we’re any more eager to see a new Major League ballpark. It’s just that there’s more square footage to explore than in the more intimate venues.
We arrive soon after the gates open, but do we enter? Not on UBT. We take a stroll around the outside of the ballpark, which unveils several treasures: banners of many key Twins players over the years hang neatly on a fence toward a construction site; statues of the most highly regarded Twins dot the landscape at various gates; and, families are everywhere.
Today’s giveaway? A Josh Willingham jersey for the youngsters. We see lots of cute young fans, from infants to Little Leaguers, donning them throughout our stay.
And, it’s good they have that extra layer. A stiff breeze accompanies the bright sunshine all day.
Our seats are second deck in the shade in right field. Folks are wrapped in blankets.
After an inning or two, Mitch and I begin our trek around the inside of this fairly new park. It reminds me somewhat of Nationals Park, but is less conventional.
Nooks and crannies and small, exclusive sections dot the various tiers. Open concourses can accommodate large moving crowds.
One can enjoy the action all around the park on both levels as there’s plenty of room behind the seating. That’s our mission the remainder of the game. Areas in the sun feel most comfortable.
I’m not sure if the wind assisted, but the home team launches four bombs to back Scott Diamond in a 10-0 shellacking. Mitch and I don’t believe the wind is a factor for any of them.
As the game winds down, we’re in center field, where a friendly usherette directs us to get our “First Time at Target Field” certificates. A pleasant couple asks about our trip. They notice our next destination, their home town.
From Deep Short