Training camps invite youth to play on Target Field

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May 24, 2010
By: Gregory J. Scott
Gregory J. Scott
Watching the Twins play in their new outdoor stadium, do you ever feel a desire to dig into that new dirt batters box yourself? Maybe try fielding a grounder off of the grass infield or spotting a fly ball in the glint of a nearby skyscraper?

Well, if you’re an adult fan, you may have to keep fantasizing. But your kids may get to give it a try.

Thanks to the Twins’ Baseball Training Camps, young sluggers and golden glovers get to train with the pros, taking hands-on instruction from hall of famers like Paul Molitor and Rod Carew. This summer, they’ll get to do it at Target Field.

The Twins last week announced a series of three, one-day camps hosted in July at the new stadium. The special Target Field sessions are an addition to the team’s usual summer camp programming, which this year includes two-day sessions in River Falls, Wis.; Minnetonka, Fargo and Roseville.

The camps are open to young athletes between the ages of 8 to 18. Instructors include college and high school coaches, in addition to the pros. Attendees go through various drills that work on core baseball skills like hitting, throwing and defense. Players over the age of 13 will receive more advanced training.

For more information, or to register, visit minnesota.twins.mlb.com/min/community/youth_camps.jsp.

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HCMC paramedics thanked for ‘big save’ at game


Of all the tests that Target Field has faced in its first few months of operation — the uncertain spring weather, the mass transit challenges, the traffic reconfigurations, the loss of the Dome Dog — perhaps none was as harrowing as what happened on April 21.

During the game against the Cleveland Indians, Twins fan Pat Hall decided to take advantage of the 7th inning stretch and use the restroom. She left her front row seat in Section 103, in right field, and had just made it up the long climb to the concourse when, she says, her legs “felt funny.” The next thing she knew she was in a hospital bed at Hennepin County Medical Center. The 66 year old from Richfield had survived a cardiac arrest.

It was the first major medical crisis for a fan at Target Field — and the first test for the stadium’s emergency responders, many of who are volunteers.

Four weeks later, in honor of National EMS Week, Hall stood with her husband Bill before a room of these emergency workers, teary-eyed as she thanked them for saving her life.

According to Twins Guest Services Director Patrick Forsland, three paramedics from Hennepin County Medical Center staff each home game. One helms the first aid room on the main concourse, and the other two are assigned to the field in case something happens to the players or officials.

But for the most part, fan safety is ensured by a roving team of volunteer first responders led by HCMC emergency physician Dr. Jeff Ho.

One of these volunteers, Rachel Gordon, was the first to reach Hall after she fainted. After a quick 911 call, some CPR and a few shocks, Hall was in an ambulance.

“It’s so reassuring to know that we have the finest first aid volunteers and paramedics in place to care for our fans,” Forsland said. “It’s by far the best ‘save’ we’ve had at the ballpark.”