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Target Field trip was a success

The Yankees getting a comeback win definitely added to the ranking of Target Field on my list and the enjoyment of the game.

Target Field View
The view from writer Max O'Neill's seats during the New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins on June 9, 2022.
Max O'Neill / The Jamestown Sun
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MINNEAPOLIS — We haven’t spoke in this format in a while. I believe the last time was my introductory column. I hope you have enjoyed reading my stories in the meantime.

I remember speaking to the man who was my predecessor at The Jamestown Sun, Michael Savaloja, in probably October or November 2021, looking at the 2022 New York Yankees schedule to see when they were in Minneapolis to play the Minnesota Twins. When I saw the series was running June 7-9, I was very excited and immediately started formulating the plan in my head.

I called my mother to let her know that the Yankees would be there on my birthday, June 9. Flash forward to mid-May and the plan started to come together. My mother, Karen Frieman, bought the plane tickets, reserved the hotel, bought the seats, and it became official. I have a goal to attend every Major League Baseball stadium, so this was a trip with that in mind. Target Field is now my 11th ballpark I have been to and ranks fourth on my list.

The trip was scheduled June 8-11. I drove down on the morning of June 8 and met my family in Minneapolis. We walked around for the rest of the day before it was dinner time and we went to a steakhouse. The steakhouse was pretty good and got the job done.

The next day, we walked to see the Mississippi River and saw the water rushing over the limestone bricks in the water. We learned about the construction around the river over the years and how the city developed around it.

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My family including my brother Jamie, my dad, Shane, and my mother Karen, and I love history and so we saw a collapsed building near the water with a nice glass structure behind it and a sign saying “Mill City Museum,” so we decided to check it out and walk around. The collapsed building was destroyed in a fire in 1991 when people went inside the building that had been abandoned since the 1960s and started a fire to keep warm in the winter. The entire museum was very interesting, and we only left when it closed.

The closing time worked out almost perfectly because it was then time to go back to the hotel room to change and get ready for the game between the Yankees and the Twins.

Gold Medal Flour Sign
The Gold Medal Flour Sign sits atop a building next to the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Max O'Neill / The Jamestown Sun

Heading into the area of Target Field, I did not know what to expect. During the walk from the hotel to the game, I saw the Target Center — the home of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx — was right next to Target Field. The street that held both stadiums was a nice street, as it was packed pregame, and you could feel the buzz of the fans making their way to the gate.

I liked the Rod Carew and TC Bear statues outside the ballpark. I also thought it was a unique to have the retired numbers and Twins Hall of Fame members plaques outside the ballpark because it allows people without a ticket to see the retired numbers like two of my favorite players who played for the Twins, Torri Hunter and Johan Santana.

Once we got into the stadium, we made a full lap of the ballpark, taking everything in before we got food and refreshments and sat down to watch the game. The food was pretty decent. The food came in a plastic helmet, which while not biodegradable was cool because it is currently sitting on my desk.

I was happy to see the amount of Yankees fans who had made the trip to support the Bronx Bombers, which included a woman a few rows ahead of us who spoke in agreement of the “MVP” chant I started for Yankees star right fielder Aaron Judge. Later in the game, when Yankees center fielder, Aaron Hicks hit a home run, she looked back at the assembled Yankees fans I was with and yelled, “Hicks hits one to the sticks!” The phrase is the home run call from legendary Yankees radio play- by-play announcer, John Sterling, for when Hicks hits a home run.

I found the fans, regardless of who they were supporting, to be very nice. My father and I struck up a nice conversation with two Twins fans sitting next to us about the game, and the staff at the ballpark were nice too. As my brother, Jamie, was in a wheelchair the ballpark was very accessible for him, which was definitely a plus.

After the Yankees mounted a come back from 7-3 deficit to win 10-7, I appreciated that nobody cussed at me or got mad when I loudly screamed the lyrics to Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York." One part of Target Field that made the stadium stand out was the sculpture in center field that lights up after a Twins home run, which depicts two men with a "St.P" for St. Paul and a "M" for Minneapolis shaking hands above a body of water, the Mississippi River.

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Max O'Neill Target Field
Writer Max O'Neill poses behind the Twins dugout after the New York Yankees win vs. the Minnesota Twins on June 9, 2022.
Contributed / Karen Frieman

I also appreciated the staff letting me walk all the way down to the Twins dugout after the game to take pictures. It is definitely a ballpark that I would like to go back to and on my list ranks ahead of some very nice ballparks, including both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.

On the way back to Jamestown, I also stopped at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota, to see if I could get into the arena. I was happily surprised that I was able to walk around the arena taking pictures of the ice surface and the signs in the hallways depicting the Olympians who played for the Huskies and the program's only player of the year award winner, Drew Leblanc.

St. Cloud State Hockey Arena
Center ice at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota on June 11, 2022.
Max O'Neill / The Jamestown Sun

Overall, the trip was a lot of fun and one that I would like to replicate at some point.

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Hello,
My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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