10 Never Before Seen Facts on Target Field

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10 Never Before Seen Facts on Target Field

Target Field is the league’s youngest Midwest MLB stadium every baseball fan has on their bucket list. In fact, the Twins ballpark opened in 2010 and last hosted the All-Star Game in 2014. Any Minnesota fan that bleeds Twins Navy Blue and Red will know every information possible, from the team winning back-to-back AL Central Division titles (2019-2020) to Joe Mauer claiming the 2009 MVP Award. However, there are new Target Field facts that many baseball supporters never knew or never heard of in their lives. For details on what facts baseball fans rarely knew about, please refer to 10 Never Before Seen Facts on Target Field below!

10: There a Harmon Killebrew Photo Under Home Plate at Target Field

Twins OF/INF Harmon Killebrew is one of the greatest players in Senators/Twins history. He won the MVP Award in 1969 and claimed 13 All-Star selections. What makes Killebrew a legend is that he hit over 500 home runs and drove in at least 1,500 runs batted in with the Senators/Twins. On top of that, the Twins great was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown (Class of 1984). But did you know that there’s a photo of Harmon Killebrew underneath home plate at Target Field? 

When Killebrew passed away in 2011 due to a cancer battle, the Twins decided to do something to make sure the legend’s memory lives on at the ballpark. So they put an old photo of Killebrew under home plate at Target Field. Speaking of home plate, that feature was actually dug up from the Metrodome and relocated it to the new ballpark. However, the photo under home plate is not the only piece of Harmon Killebrew the Twins incorporated at Target Field. In left field, there is a retired number section where the legend’s number (3) hangs to this day. 

9: The Batter’s Eye Used to Have 10 Spruce Trees

In some ballparks, having landscaping features like trees and plants can be a great way to enhance the fan experience. For instance, Coors Field in Denver has bullpens that contain multiple trees and plants. Another example is that Wrigley Field in Chicago is notable for its ivy-covered outfield walls. But believe it or not, the batter’s eye at Target Field originally had over 10 spruce trees. The idea was possibly implemented since the Twins wanted the fans to capture the feel for the great outdoors. 

However, the spruce trees only lasted one season because of the players’ complaints while batting during games. They were frustrated by the moving trees caused by the wind, therefore distracting them from looking at the pitches. The trees have since been relocated to a nearby parking lot, while a couple of them were held for auction. Eventually, in 2019, the Twins added a “Living Wall” at the batter’s eye that consists of thousands and thousands of small plants

8: Groundbreaking Ceremony for Target Field was Rescheduled Due to Bridge Collapse

After so many years of roadblocks and obstacles regarding the Twins’ new stadium search, the team finally reached a deal to build their new home. They had been playing at the multi-use facility Metrodome for nearly three decades. The Twins had been wanting to get their own venue without having to share with the Vikings. Also, Minnesota expressed a desire to play in a newer stadium rather than an outdated domed venue. Perhaps the most important plan for the Twins was the 2007 groundbreaking ceremony, which would make it the end for their ballpark search.

Unfortunately, Minnesota had to wait a little longer as the groundbreaking ceremony was postponed by almost a month. The reason was to show respect for those who were affected by the collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge in August 2007. The tragedy resulted in the deaths of 13 people and the injuries of over 140. Eventually, the groundbreaking ceremony was rescheduled to later in the month. Also, the bridge was replaced by the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge (which opened in 2008). 

7: Twins Ballpark is One of America’s Most Vegan-Friendly Stadiums

Target Field was well-received by fans for not only the views of Downtown Minneapolis, but also for its outdoor feel. In fact, the Twins stadium is known for its “Minnie & Paul” electronic sign located at the outfield. But did you know that Target Field is one of America’s most vegan-friendly stadiums? Traditionally, ballparks and arenas across the country would serve meaty food like chicken tenders and hot dogs. And if that’s not enough, the vegetarian options might be limited to salads and cheese cups. 

Fortunately, with Target Field, baseball fans can find vegan-friendly meals at the Twins venue. For instance, one of the Mexican food stands sell veggie tacos and veggie burritos. Other examples where fans will find can range from vegan pizzas to plant-based hot dogs & burgers. Target Field’s commitment to selling food choices for any diet needs has earned praise from the national public. In 2018, the animal-friendly organization PETA claimed the Twins stadium as the top choice to get vegan food at a sporting event. 

6: Kenny Chesney & Zac Brown Band Played the Most Shows at Target Field

It is not uncommon that live show concerts are taking place at baseball stadiums. Interestingly, there are teams that previously hosted live music shows. Those teams were the following: Giants, Pirates, Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Dodgers, Rangers, Cardinals, Brewers, and many more. Concerts can vary with either a post-game event or just a stand alone performance during the off-season. But did you know that Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band have played the most shows at Target Field? And that doesn’t count singing at National Anthems or having themed nights. 

For Kenny Chesney, he and his band played at the Twins stadium three times: 2012, 2013, and 2015. In fact, Chesney was the 1st artist to play a live music concert at Target Field. As for the Zac Brown Band, they performed at the downtown ballpark on three occasions: 2013, 2016, and 2018. Interestingly, the 2013 show turned out to be a special show as both Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band took the stage together. What makes those shows more special is that the Metrodome was nearing its end. Also, the bands needed a stadium with a larger capacity instead of hockey/basketball arenas.

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5: Chuck Knoblauch was Nearly Inducted into Twins Hall of Fame

2B Chuck Knoblauch was remembered by the Twins for both good and controversial moments. He won Rookie of the Year in 1991 and led Minnesota to a World Series title that year. In fact, Knoblauch went on to claim 4 All-Star selections and two Silver Slugger Awards. However, his time in the Twin Cities ended on a sour note when he requested to be traded. Knoblauch was dealt to the New York Yankees and won three World Series championships (1998-2000). Despite the painful end to the Twins tenure, Minnesota elected the former second baseman to the team’s Hall of Fame. Also, Target Field scheduled the induction ceremony for August 2014 as he was the only player from that year’s class. 

Unfortunately, the Twins pulled the plug on Knoblauch’s hall of fame induction ceremony due to his earlier arrest. In July 2014, Knoblauch was taken into custody following his arrest for domestic violence. Since the Twins have zero excuses for domestic violence, the baseball club decided it was in their best interest to scrap the induction ceremony indefinitely. Twins President Dave St. Peter did, however, leave the door open on Knoblauch getting inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame at some point in the future. By the way, this was not the first time Chuck Knoblauch got into trouble with the law. In 2009, the former player turned himself in to authorities on similar charges

4: The Canopy Roof at Target Field was Added Last Minute

When construction began in 2007, it signaled a new beginning for the Minnesota Twins franchise. They were finally getting a new ballpark that they wouldn’t have to share with another team. Most importantly, the new stadium would be a new environment for fans because of its outdoor vibe. But perhaps the main disadvantage of having an open-air venue was a lack of a roof to protect fans from rain and snow. If there was ever a rain delay, fans sitting in lower level seats would retreat to the nearest concourse for shelter. Believe it or not, the canopy roof on top of the stadium was actually added last minute.

In early 2008, during the construction phase, Target Field received new upgrades in order to modify the overall fan experience. One of those upgrades was the canopy roof to compensate spectators for not having a retractable roof. That way, fans who are sitting at the 300 level can walk up the aisles to go beneath the roof during rain delays. To do the math, it took Target Field over $22 million to build those types of upgrades. The Twins are not the only team that uses a canopy roof as other teams use the feature in their ballparks: Guardians, Tigers, Reds, White Sox, Yankees, Mets, Braves & more. 

3: Twins Ballpark Paid Tribute to Prince by Lighting Up Purple

Prince was one of the most beloved celebrities to be born in Minnesota. In fact, the artist was known for making songs like “Purple Rain” and “Let’s Go Crazy.” Prince even performed at the Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show in early 2007 (Miami: Colts vs. Bears). But suddenly, the singer passed away in April 2016 from an apparent drug overdose. Music fans from across the country paid respect to Prince by playing his music on the radio and leaving flowers near his Minnesota home. 

For the Minnesota Twins, they paid tribute to the singer by lighting up purple through the entire stadium. As a matter of fact, other buildings and places in Minneapolis/ST. Paul also lighted up purple. Since 2016, Target Field has hosted Prince Night once a year. During the special event, Twins players wore purple shirts during fielding/batting practice. In addition, there were also fan giveaways dedicated to Prince, like the “Purple Rain” umbrellas in 2022. In the 7th inning, fans stood up and opened those umbrellas to pay homage to the Minnesota-born singer

2: Fans Can Get a Taste of Metropolitan Stadium at Target Field

Metropolitan Stadium served as the home for the Twins and Vikings from 1961 to 1981. The now-defunct ballpark was the Twins’ first home in Minnesota since the club relocated from Washington D.C. Perhaps the most famous event that took place at Metropolitan Stadium was the 1965 World Series, where the Twins lost to the Dodgers in seven games. The old baseball venue is now the site for Mall of America®. But did you know that fans can get a taste of the old stadium at Target Field?

Today, Twins fans and baseball supporters in general can find a piece of Metropolitan Stadium at the Twins ballpark. The fan plaza in the outfield contains the original U.S. Flag Pole that was relocated from Metropolitan Stadium. When the old venue got demolished in the mid-1980s, the flag pole held a temporary residence at the American Legion Post in Richfield suburb of Minneapolis. But when Target Field opened, the Twins acquired the flag pole from the Legion Post. 

1: Target Field is the Only MLB Stadium to be Built on Top of Railroad Tracks

Target Field is one of the new ballparks that stand out in the big leagues. One fact to know is that fans sitting in the 3rd base seats can get a view of the Target Center (home of the NBA’s Timberwolves & WNBA’s Lynx). The other thing fans can notice is the “Minnie & Paul” sign in the outfield where it flashes the letters “T” and “S” for every Twins victory. Target field previously hosted the 2014 MLB All-Star Game as well as the 2022 NHL Winter Classic (Wild vs. Blues). But what many fans don’t realize is that the Twins venue is the only MLB ballpark to be built on top of railroad tracks.

Next to the Twins ballpark is a railroad station called Target Field Station. In fact, the station hosts modernized train vehicles like the NorthStar Commuter Rail and the METRO Blue & Green Lines. The most important part of the train station is that the railroad tracks go through beneath the 3rd base side of Target Field. Before the new ballpark was built, Target Field was the site of railroad warehouses and train buildings. Other stadiums like Yankee Stadium and Citi Field might have subway stations, but their tracks don’t go under the ballpark like Target Field. 

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