There is far more to see at 2012 Twins home opener than just the game against the Los Angeles Angels. The game kicks off at 3:10 p.m., but opening day festivities begin at noon, with a rally at the IDS Crystal Court. From the rally, a processional will head to Target Field, led by pedicabs carrying members of the 2002 Twins team. Players scheduled to participate in the rally include Eddie Guardado, Jacque Jones, Brad Radke, Corey Koskie, Denny Hocking and Doug Mientkiewicz.
At 1 p.m., the gates to Target Field open, with legendary Twins players and their relatives ceremonially opening their respective gates. Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek and Rod Carew will be on hand to open the gates that bear their names, as will the grandsons of Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett Jr. and Catherine Puckett.
Once the gates are open, both teams will be introduced along the foul lines. Outgoing Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglein will raise the Hennepin County flag and incoming Twins Community Fund board member Richard Hartnack will raise the American flag. The National Anthem will be performed by the Minnesota Brass Drum & Bugle Corps, followed by a flyover by the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.
Following a fireworks display, former Twins manager Tom Kelly will raise the Twins Territory flag, and a pre-game video celebrating the Twins 2002 AL Central Division Championship will play before the Twins take the field for the game.
All fans at the home opener will receive a free Twins schedule magnet and will be entered into a prize drawing that will take place in the new version of Target’s Race to Target Field between the 4th and 5th innings. Once an onscreen-only event, the new version takes place on the field and feature live versions of mascots Louie the loon, Wanda the fish, Skeeta the mosquito, Babe the ox and Bullseye the dog.
“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” will be performed during the 7th inning stretch by members of the 2002 American League Central Division Championship Twins team.
For more details, go to Minnesota.twins.mlb.com.
Where to eat near Target Field
Target Field has many great food options, but if you’re interested in doing some exploring outside of the ballpark, there are a lot of great places to try. Here are some highlights:
Darby’s Pub and Grill, 315 N. 5th Ave., has a spacious outdoor patio facing the Cedar Lake Bike Trail and the Northstar Commuter rail line.
Hubert’s Sports Bar & Grill, 600 1st Ave. N., is a popular pre-game hangout inside of Target Center.
Kieran’s Irish Pub, 601 1st Ave. N., in the lower-level of Block E is a just a few blocks from Target Field and always draws a crowd on game days.
O’Donovan’s, 700 1st Ave. N., is another fun Irish bar and boasts that it’s the first Irish pub in the state built in Ireland and shipped piece by piece to Minnesota.
The Loon Café, 500 1st Ave. N., is famous for its chili and features a special Sportman’s Breakfast before game days.
Pizza Luce, 119 N. 4th St., is not your run-of-the-mill pizza joint. It’s famous for its many specialty pizzas, which also cater to vegans and gluten-free diners.
Gluek’s, 16 N. 6th St., has been in business for 75 years. Its happy hour runs 2–6 p.m. and features $4 drink and appetizer specials.
For more ideas for a pre- or post-game hangout idea, visit the Warehouse District Business Association website at mplswarehouse.com.
To get season, group or single-game tickets go to twinsbaseball.com or call 612-33-TWINS or 800-33-TWINS. Tickets can be purchased at the Target Field ticket office and Twins Pro Shops in Minnetonka, Apple Valley and Roseville.
There are several ways to get to Target Field. Target Field is a major transit hub with links to light rail, the Northstar commuter rail line, Metro Transit buses and bike routes, include the Cedar Lake Bike Trail. For more information and details on where to park, go to the Twins’ website.
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