I want to give you all a run down of opening day. And I want to try and convey how it felt. Here it goes.
Now presenting, your NEW batter's eye (the crowd screams)
As long as it prevents Justin Morneau from suffering another concussion, it's fine (I have dubbed it, "The Black Hole").
Here is the Twins' new "Boundary Stone":
Not as distracting as I thought. It's ok.
Massive amounts of Japanese reporters are on the field for the A's batting practice.
It's hard to convey through pictures--but there a lot of Japanese reporters. I knew there would be a lot, but I didn't expect such ubiquity. Many likely for Nishi, but Hideki Matsui-who plays for the A's now--garners a lot of Japanese media attention himself.
In fact, Nishi and Hideki met for a 30 second exchange just after the lineups were announced:
(MSN Japanese has great photos of Nishioka and Matsui too)
AND NOW--FOR YOUR MINNESOTA TWINS!
Nishioka got the second biggest ovation during the opening (behind Joe Nathan's). (Although, the more unexpected part was the loud cheering his interpreter, Ryo, got when he was introduced with the coaches).
(Oliva's son and Zilio Versalles' daughter, who can be seen in the above pic, did an EXCELLENT job with the national anthem--as excepted after their performance during last year's play-offs and such)
Moment of silence for Japan.
AND NOW! John Gordon will raise our national flag!
(And for the last time--he's never going to be Vin Scully. No one else will ever be Vin Scully. Stop complaining.)
Joining John Gordon is World War II veteran, Retired Cpl. Harold Kurvers! Kurvers is one of the few survivors of the Bataan Death March in 1942.
Kurvers was one of 75,000 other American and Filipino prisoners of war who endured great abuse at the hands of the Japanese Empire. Few prisoners survived. The Japanese forces beat them with sticks and.... UM--AWKWARD. Let's move on!
WOO TWINS BASEBALL!!!
Justin Morneau got his 1,000th hit!
MORE YES (and no, that's not a picture of his hit, but that's Morneau on first!)!
Here's the new scoreboard and tower in action:
The tower isn't as bad as I pictured. I think it might be unnecessary at this point.... but who cares.
As you can see, the stadium was absolutely PACKED:
MORE IMPORTANTLY--we are now counting down until Bert's official Hall of Fame induction--as if you thought we weren't.
FIVE MORE GAMES! FIVE MORE GAMES! Wait--what? FIFTY?
There is also a new sign showing Thome's number of career homeruns, but that's really more of a "count up"
Thome doing extra exercises before the game to stay loose; his "count up" can be seen just below the "Field" part of the Twnkie and Paul sign.
Then Twins play the game, yadda yadda (read a much less influenced and better report on that elsewhere).
The important part was when the Twins scored two in the 8th to go ahead by one. Joe Mauer provided the game winning RBI, which I captured in the video below.
Check out the excitement in the crowd! Baseball everyone! Baseball!!
Joe Nathan made his first in-game appearance ever at Target Field when he came in to pitch the 9th inning. Fans were quite excited to stand up and shout!
Apparently, I learned while reading Ball Park Magic's great rundown on opening day, at some point here, Nathan took out the dirt he had saved from the Metrodome and sprinkled it on the mound at Target Field. It was for luck, and apparently it worked!
Oddly enough, I actually have videos of both of Joe Nathan's two most recent saves at home.
Wow... certainly glad Nathan's back!
I'm glad all my boys are all finally back!
GO TWINS! I'm so excited for 2011!