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Minnesota Twins BB Trip in 2022
In June, I went to the Minneapolis/St. Paul to see some baseball with best friends Vince and Sharry Lauter. Over four days, we were able to squeeze in plenty of sites plus the following games:
June 22nd - Cleveland Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins
June 23rd - Cleveland Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins
June 24th - Colorado Rockies vs. Minnesota Twins
The weather was clear with highs in the 80’s. My early morning flight on Southwest was delayed by an hour but at least not cancelled like many flights that day. Once landed and with suitcase in hand, I hopped on the Metro Light Rail Transit (LRT) at the Airport Stop and was on my way to the Marriot City Center Hotel where we would be staying. The Metro LRT has 40 stations and covers 25 miles from the Mall of America to St. Paul including stops at the Airport, Target Field, University of Minnesota and State Capitol in St. Paul. A mode of transportation that would come in handy.
We had plenty of time to settle into our hotel before the game. Below I have included game commentaries with plenty of non-baseball activities
Cleveland Guardians vs Minneapolis Twins at Target Field on 6/22/22
We made the 4-block walk to Target Field, home of the Twins. The open-air stadium with a capacity of 38,544 opened in 2010 and is in the warehouse district of downtown. The tight footprint of 8 acres nestles into a cozy urban site that provides an expansive view of the Minneapolis skyline. Once inside, four prominent bars and restaurants are available to all fans at several levels and provide comfortable spots especially during the frigid spring weather. For each game, we secured seats at field level on the 1st Base side.
The Guardians edged the Twins in a 11-10 see-saw slugfest that included 6 HR’s. The starters Triston MacKenzie (Guardians) and Sonny Gray (Twins) each lasted only 4 innings. The Twins appeared to have the game in hand taking a 3-run lead into the 9th. The Guards started the last inning with 4 straight hits and 4 runs for the come from behind win. Our first day of both travel and baseball left us ready for a night of rest in preparation for the next day’s game.
Cleveland Guardians vs Minneapolis Twins at Target Field on 6/23/22
The next morning, we had breakfast at the Hen House, a bustling diner known for its farm inspired breakfast items plus a cinnamon swirl pancake that will more than satisfy any sweet tooth. Although the diner has only been open several years, the eatery has retained the furnishings and configuration of the former long-time space occupant, Peter’s Grill.
After a short rest, we headed over to Target Field for a day contest. Again, we secured seats at field level on the 1st Base side. The seat location in the shade was very favorable considering the warm sunny afternoon.
The Twins edged the Guard 1-0 in a pitcher’s duel that featured 6-inning stints by winner Devin Smeltzer and hard-luck loser Zach Plesac. The only run came on a HR by Twins centerfielder Nick Gordon. During the game I had an opportunity to hang with Twins mascot, T.C. (below)
After the game we went to Town Hall Brewery in the Seven Corners neighborhood by way of the Metro LRT. For over 25 years, this micro-brewery has been serving award-winning beer. We had some sweet potato fries and pints of West Bank Pale Ale featuring citrus hops.
Before eating at Town Hall, I had a large Tony O’s Cuban Sandwich at Target Field. So, I was ready to spend the evening resting in preparation for the next day’s fully packed schedule.
Colorado Rockies vs. Minnesota Twins at Target Field on 6/24/22
Coffee and a muffin were enough to fuel me for a busy day of Twin Cities sightseeng. By 9:30 we were on the Green Line of Metro RLT to the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. We arrived in plenty of time to make the 1stguided tour at 10:30.
The building of the State Capitol was an amibitious undertaking that started with an architectural competition in 1895 attracting 41 entries. The winning design of the Beaux-Arts architecture style featured a very ornate exterior including a dome (largest self-supported marble dome in the US). A steel and cast building frame is built on a limestone foundation with brick and stone load bearing walls The building dimensions are 430 ft. wide, 220 ft. tall and interior space of 300,000 sq ft.
The State Capitol opened in 1905 with lavish interior furnishes of the day from sources throughout the world. The artwork (murals, sculpture, and paintings) started with about 60 pieces but has grown to over 150 items. The themes of the art range from symbolic to specific historic, with an emphasis on state events. A 2013-2017 renovation of both the exterior and interior has restored much of the building’s original splendor.
Our guided tour included viewing both houses of the legislative branch, the judicial chambers, and a large ceremonial space in the center of the building. We finished by seeing a sculpture of four golden horses pulling a gold chariot atop the Capitol. The capitol is located on an 18-acre mail just north of downtown.
A Capitol staff member offered us lunch suggestions in downtown St. Paul. The mention of Cossetta’s, an Italian emporium of food delights unanimously piqued our interest. The 8-block jaunt to our destination further heightened our appetite which we needed. Our 11:30 timing for arrival was ideal as a line formed quickly.
The mahogany-dressed two-level eatery is furnished in the spirit of its 100-year roots. The cafeteria style portion of the complex has sandwich, pizza and pasta stations. I decided to go the pasta route with a huge portion of lasagna and was surprised to see that every entry comes with mostaccioli. Vince and Sharry chose massive Italian sandwiches. Another part of the 1st level has a Pasticceria offering cookies, pastries, cakes and 13 flavors of gelato. Vince and Sharry opted for gelato. Perhaps the most impressive part of the establishment is the grocery market with bakery, fresh meats, dairy, produce, and dry goods. This store is ideal for getting the ingredients to prepare any Italian meal from scratch.
After lunch we went by way of Lyft to the Mill City Museum on the Mississippi riverfront in Minneapolis. The 8-story building formerly housed a flour mill. The museum features exhibits, advertising, and stories about an industry that supplied much of the US with flour. We finished with watching a film, Minneapolis in 19 Minutes Flat, a brief but thorough journey on the ups and downs of the area’s 400-year history. Next on the agenda was a quick Metro ride to the hotel in preparation for the night baseball game.
After a short rest at the hotel, we headed over to Target Field for a night contest in our familiar field level seats. In another 1-0 pitcher’s duel the Rockies edged the Twins in a contest between winner German Marquez and tough-luck loser Dylan Bundy. The only run scored on a ground out that should have been an inning-ending double play. The game was completed in a brisk 2 hours 15 minutes. Just five batters struck out, matching the ML low for the season: no time for K’s just first-pitch outs and double plays.
Breakfast, Beer and Homeward Bound
On my travel day, I had breakfast with Vince and Sharry at the Keys in the historic Forshay Tower. Thisdowntown landmark, modeled after the Washington Monument, has 32 floors and rises to a height of 447 ft. The Keys, a local diner chain, is known for its award-winning breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, sausage and 2 buckwheat pancakes. I should have read the reviews that described the pancakes as large as manhole covers. I could barely get my arms around this meal and quickly lost the battle to complete. After some fond farewells, I mapped out my strategy to conduct some beer research in the afternoon.
Rather than wasting time walking around or searching the internet for breweries, I went to the nearby visitors center for some suggestions. One of the staff was beer-savvy and mentioned his favorite destination after work, the nearby Modist Brewery and his favorite beverage, False Pattern, a NE pale ale with Mosaic and Simcoe hops.
A quick look at some reviews convinced me Modist was the place for me to have a beer. After a 20-minute walk I was at the brewery in the North Loop neighborhood. This trendy community is the work-and-play spot to live near downtown and is only 3 blocks from Target Field
Modist prides itself in pushing beyond the bounds of traditional beer recipes with experimentation that creates a desired flavor and experience. This approach is followed with their wide varieties of beer which includes many pale ales and IPA’s.
Upon entering I noticed the space has a sleek inside look plus a patio. I settled into a seat at the bar and asked the staff for some suggestions. I sampled several beers and decided to have the recommended False Pattern. I was not disappointed; not your mild pale ale but closer to a West Coast IPA with a clean citrus taste and mild bitterness. Modist could easily become my “go to” brewery in Minneapolis.
Sadly, I made my way back to the Marriott and picked up my luggage. I then got on the Metro for a 35-minute ride to the airport for my 6:00 flight back home. I had the expected 1-hour delay in departure but was surprised that my luggage was on its way to Denver rather than Chicago. Even with the travel hassles, nothing beats a BB trip especially with my best friends Vince and Sharry.