Wendel: An appreciation of the Metrodome

From SABR member Tim Wendel at The National Pastime Museum on May 26, 2014:

The walls at the Metrodome came tumbling down in late February 2014. During its 31-year run, the indoor stadium in Minneapolis hosted the NCAA’s Final Four, the Super Bowl, such rock headliners as Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones, and, most importantly, the 1987 and 1991 World Series.

Some would say good riddance. After all, this baseball venue had a Hefty-like bag—stretched taut and true—as the right-field fence, and Plexiglas topped the fence in center field, where Kirby Puckett once took up residence. Such peculiarities prompted Time magazine to once rank the Metrodome the worst stadium in the country.

Still, the old-time Twins recognized the home-field edge they once had. The new Target Field is a true jewel, perhaps the best of the new era in ballparks, which began with Baltimore’s Camden Yards in 1992. But it doesn’t intimidate opposing players like the Metrodome did.

No place was louder than the Twins’ old home. During the 1987 World Series, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Magrane wore earplugs, and infielders for both teams had to use hand signals to communicate with each other. Down in the bullpens, coaches resorted to putting a foot on the phone receiver. The vibration told them there was a call, as they couldn’t hear it ring.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/metrodome

Originally published: May 27, 2014. Last Updated: May 27, 2014.