It was April 14, 2001. I was finishing up sixth grade. And against the grey of the Metrodome’s Teflon roof, Carlos Lee had lost a pop-fly.
Only God knows how I’d have found my love of baseball if he hadn’t.
At the crack of the bat, I watched as Lee (or was it his White Sox teammate in center field, Chris Singleton?) looked up, slid to his left, scanned the Teflon sky for the hovering ball, then panicked. He raised his arms helplessly as if to say, Where is it? Where is it? A second later, 30 feet in front of Lee, the ball bounced hard on the AstroTurf in left field. Base hit.
I was one of more than 26,480 people in the Metrodome that Saturday night. My family’s seats down the third baseline were awful. But after a decade of fecklessness, the Minnesota Twins had won seven of their first nine in 2001. So 26,000 turned up on a Saturday night, as excited about the team’s early tear as they were skeptical. Can this little team be for real?
But the most gleeful cheers rose from the blue plastic seats that night when Carlos Lee lost the ball in the Metrodome roof.
I’m telling you — we went nuts when our building cost their left fielder an easy put-out.
So this is what it means to play baseball in Minnesota. I was 12, and I was hooked. Continue reading