My family made a trip to Minneapolis on Friday afternoon to watch the Twins play the Yankees. We left early and made the Dome in plenty of time to pick up the tickets so we spent a bit of time wandering around.
The "Governor's Band," the Minnesota Guard, performed prior to the game and displayed a large flag on the field during the National Anthem. It was an excellent start to what we figured was going to be a great game. Despite the outcome, I wasn't disappointed: and no, I'm not a Yankee fan either.
Once we settled in with Dome dogs and soft drinks, I started looking around. There were a lot of younger kids sporting all kinds of Twins stuff. They owned the same look of optimism I saw on a lot of adults' faces.
The game started off with a bang with the Twins getting a home run early in the game. Things didn't go so well for the Twins after that. By the 6th Inning, people started moving out. The look of optimism was gone from a lot of the adults but not in the faces of those younger kids. They were there until the very end. I was sitting between my 12-year old-daughter and 14-year-old son. Besides losing my voice yelling during the game, I got a pretty good case of whiplash going back and forth between dual conversations with them. Even at their ages, they were optimistic that the Twins would stage a come-from-behind victory.
A reporter in the Saturday edition of the Star Tribune
had observed that most of the 54,803 in attendance Friday night had left by the 6th or 7th Innings. I have to say that I saw a lot of faces still in the Dome and they weren't all Yankee fans, but I suppose there are ways of measuring how many people leave. In fact, those who left early probably missed some of the best baseball of the entire game. Somewhere around the 8th or 9th Innings, the Twins capitalized on some Yankee miss-steps and wound up with the bases loaded, ultimately scoring 3 runs getting the score to 4 to 8. There was still time. The crowd erupted at a volume level higher than any I had heard that night. I guess if the reporter was right that most people had left, those of us who stayed must have been pretty loud because the cheering resulted in an almost painfull noise level by those fans who stayed.
I found myself wondering, was it possible? Could the Twins stage the upset of the decade, if not the new century? Could the Twins send the Yankees packing back to New York worried that the Twins would foil their plans for another championship?
Well, by now you know it didn't happen. What was amazing to me was the energy the Twins came back on Saturday afternoon with to shake up the Yankees again. I guess somebody forgot to tell the Twins they were "outgunned and outmatched," to borrow a TV commentator's phrase.
What didn't change was the excitement in the faces of those kids.
Earlier I told you, I wasn't disappointed and here's why. Against the odds, and most conventional wisdom, a group of individuals pulled together and challenged a better financed and deeper field of talent and held their own...every time. Consider the fact that no other ball club in the division can even have this discussion.
On the way home, we spent a lot of time talking about the dedication it takes to hang in there and to fight and hope against all odds that you can succeed. That you can have the courage to try, get knocked down, pick yourself back up and keep on trying. It was a great teaching moment. It was a great family moment.
Hotdogs, great pitching, and Kids' Dreams, it was a great afternoon!