Reader Marc Aune recently took part in a tour of Target Field (that’s him above, posing in the press conference room). “I’d been to a few Twins games since the stadium opened, but there were so many interesting things I had never seen or even heard about before,” he says. “Also, I realized that I can’t help but view the world through Uni Watch glasses now.”
Here’s Marc’s commentary regarding a few highlights from the tour:
• “This laser-engraved wooden image of Kirby Puckett was created in a guy’s garage. Seriously. There’s a similar image of Rod Carew in another area of the stadium.”
• “The field never actually freezes. It’s covered for most of the winter and kept warm by underground heating coils. Nonetheless, the sod sometimes has to be replaced, which is what’s taking place here.”
• “We’ve all seen the standard MLB uniform guide posted in MLB clubhouses, although I thought it was strange that the visitors’ locker room showed a Twins diagram.”
• “Speaking of the visiting teams: When they arrive, they’re greeted by photos of what the Twins’ locker room has that theirs does not: big TVs, hot tubs, etc.”
• “There are nine different ‘keg rooms’ in the bowels of the stadium. Instead of having workers moving kegs all over the place, there are dedicated beer pipes that run directly to vendors. Do other stadiums have that feature?”
• “This model of the stadium, made before construction and lacking some features that were added later on (like a second large scoreboard), cost $750,000. Yes, $750,000. I don’t think my guide even knew how that was possible, but he assured us we were hearing him correctly.”
• Here’s the official scorer’s chair (which presumably cost less than $750,000).”
• “If I were making a slogan about ‘The Twins Tradition,’ I’d want to add something about, you know, winning.”
• “A wall in the corporate suite concourse features the names of all 10,000+ Minnesota lakes, with the suites named for the lakes in bold.”
Nice job, Marc — just the thing to get us in the mood for Opening Day.
Membership update: Eight more card designs have been added to the membership card gallery (including Patrick Fleming’s card, shown at right, which is based on the Bray Wanderers soccer kit). I hope to get the printed and laminated versions of these cards into the mail within a day or two.
OMFG: My “One-Man Focus Group” column now has its own Twitter feed, which I’ll be using for OMFG-ish news, developments, and of course links to new columns as they’re published. Please consider following it — thanks. (And if you’re somehow unaware of the Uni Watch Twitter feed, that’s available here.)
Meanwhile, the latest OMFG installment involves a Passover Coke taste test. Enjoy.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Lots of these Ticker items would have run back on Friday, but I was too busy recovering from my birthday festivities. Sorry if some of this is old news, and even sorrier that some items got lost in the shuffle. … Here’s the Newtown memorial patch that the Yankees and Bosox will be wearing on Opening Day. Other teams are expected to get on board soon. … David Wright has been named captain of the Mets but will not wear a “C” because, as he put it, “A uniform is a uniform for a reason.” Meanwhile, former Mets captain Keith Hernandez says he liked wearing the “C,” because it was “an ego thing.” ”¦ The Cardinals Facebook-posted an awesome program cover illustration on Friday. In so doing, they also leaked their Stan Musial memorial patch, which hasn’t yet been officially unveiled but will indeed look like the one shown in the illustration. It’s a red 6 in a red circle, overlaid with Musial’s signature. … New superhero costumes for Baylor football. Curtis Schroeder thinks the pattern on the shoulders is supposed to mimic the old bear claw shoulder icon. Eh, maybe. You can see some rear and side views here. … Canada is cutting its tariffs on imported hockey equipment, in large part because almost no hockey gear is made in Canada anymore. … A village in Texas sold off the naming rights to its town name and then discovered — surprise! — that it wasn’t such a great deal after all. … If you’re looking for an old-school, blood-and-guts NFL photo, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than this 1972 shot of Charlie Krueger (from Jon Solomonson). … Here’s a story about a baseball player at Colorado Mesa University who lost everything he owned in a fire, including his uniform. “As a result, he’s changing his uni number for a short time until a new uniform with his old number arrives,” says Scott Schlaufman. … Tulane women’s hoops player Whitney Bibbins wearing a helmet after sustaining a concussion (from Christopher Mycoskie). … Bizarre new court design for FIU basketball. … Surprising sight at the Cal/UNLV tourney game, as someone at the scorer’s table wear wearing a Seattle Rainiers hoodie (from Daniel Carroll). … Sooooo much to like in this 1973 photo of the Cumberland First Methodist youth basketball team (major thanks to Tony Bruno). … Some fun thoughts on the Dolphins’ logo situation here (from Robert Silverman). … Some Valparaiso players weren’t wearing their NCAA tourney patches last Thursday (screen shot by Bryan Linton). … The cupspiracy is in full effect at the NCAA tourney (from Paul Ricciardi and Jonathon Binet, respectively). … MLB and American Needle’s latest stroke of, uh, genius: “Aztec print” brims (from Brad Iverson-Long). … New slate of alternate jerseys for the Brooklyn Cyclones (from Terence Kearns). … Rugby note from Shane Bua, who reports that the Leiceser Tigers have been looking a bit Fruit Stripe-y this season. … NFL headsets were sponsor-free last season, but that apparently won’t be the case this fall. … Nike is doing quite well these days, thank you very much. … Pretty nice cycling print on Etsy (from Jay Sullivan). … “As part of its 50th-anniversary celebration, the German Bundesliga just unearthed an old gem of a video from a 1996 match,” writes Bernd Wilms. “With Hamburg down a goal in Rostock, coach Felix Magath decides his team needs a tall player up front to create chances from headers. So he chooses goalkeeper Richard Golz, who promptly changes into a delightfully makeshift DIY outfield player shirt on the sidelines while his backup is subbed in for a defender.” … New kit for Azzurri. “I enjoyed the product description, which says, ‘Both the official shirt and replica shirt are engineered for embracing mates and hoisting trophies as needed,'” says Yusuke Toyoda. … New bottle design for Pepsi, with more branding changes to come. I’ll be doing an OMFG piece about this in a coupla days. … Chris Creamer has re-confirmed that the leaked Dolphins logo is legit. … Notre Dame QB Everett Golson thinks the football team should go Fruit Striped (from Terry Mark). … A Fort Worth Star-Telegram writer is reporting that TCU football will have a new uniform for its season-opening game on Aug. 31 (from Blain Fowler). … Leo Strawn Jr. created an mosaic based on minimalist versions of Aussie football jumpers. “I used three rules,” he says. “The elements had to be taken from current jumpers; home jumpers, if possible; and two colors. I was able to follow all three rules with all but a few. The only one that I think might be too detailed is Carlton.” … Major change for Olympic boxing, which will no longer use headgear. ”¦ Minnesota hoops player Oto Osenieks was wearing his shorts backwards on Friday (screen shot by Spencer Bowen). … “Little old Wake Forest seems to be getting a lot of football helmet prototypes,” says Duncan Wilson. … Wait, one more Wake helmet. ”¦ Non-sports-related, Part One: “Really, comes close to the satisfying ka-chunk of a stapler: It’s a sound that means work is getting done.” That quote comes from this very nice ode to the stapler. ”¦ Non-sports-related, Part Two: The new album by Waxahatchie, called Cerulean Salt, is really, really good. ”¦ Sports-related, sort of, but not uni-related: Here’s one of the most bizarre sports-related obituaries you’ll ever read (from Heather McCabe). ”¦ Harvard lacrosse is wearing a Sandy Hook memorial decal (from Tris Wykes). ”¦ Wichita State had some vertical-vs.-radial arching inconsistencies on Saturday (from Mike Harmanos). ”¦ In that same game, two of the refs had mismatched flag patch orientations. The third ref had no flag at all (from Jerry Peterson). ”¦ The Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame currently has an exhibit on women’s baseball uniforms. Additional photos here (from Shane Earnest). ”¦ No photos, but an interesting note from Gregory Koch: “This weekend, UConn baseball was supposed to host Georgetown, but the game was moved to Georgetown because snow made the UConn field unplayable. UConn retained the home team designation, batting last, but wore their road grays, while Georgetown wore white and batted first.” ”¦ No photo, but Prince Fielder of the Tigers had some sort of thigh padding under his baseball pants yesterday. Pretty sure he was wearing those briefs with the built-in padding. Never seen anything like that on a baseball player before. ”¦ Here are Tiger Woods’s shoes for the Masters. ”¦ @Uniformswag, whose tweets have proven to be very reliable and accurate in recent months, posted a disturbing Cowboys image yesterday afternoon. I got in touch with @Uniformswag, who told me, “The Cowboy picture was sent to me by a [Twitter] follower. I am not sure if it is legit — that’s why I posted it as a question, hoping someone would confirm if it is real or not. It looks real — normally it’s very easy to spot if someone has made a concept.” Agreed, but there’s no way this is real, nuh-uh. … Ooh, dig this old White Sox necktie (nice find by Bruce Menard). ”¦ “I work for the City of Salem, Virginia, which hosted the NCAA DIII Men’s Basketball tournament,” says Clark Ruhland. “This weekend I noticed one of the referees had the NCAA logo on his whistle. He said they sent him the stickers in the mail. Also, I was able to get one of the NCAA patches they put on the player uniforms, along with one that they issue to the referees. The smaller one on the paper is the player version; the slightly bigger one is for the refs. Not sure why these patches wouldn’t be the same.” … Who knew you could play croquet in the snow? Marty Hick and his intrepid wicketeers, that’s who. … Andy Henderson got this e-mail from a Groupon-esque operation. “Notice the basketball they chose for the ad,” he says. “I know the Timberwolves sometimes play like a low level college team but I thought they’d get more respect than that!” … The Santa Cruz Warriors (D-League) will be wearing tie-dye uniforms this Wednesday night (from Frederick Placido). ”¦ Hmmm, did they really leave the “A” off the end of that wordmark, or was there just a fold in the fabric? (As noted by Ryan Stanish.) ”¦ Happy Passover to all who’ll be observing tonight.