Our very own J.D. counts down with the Twins.
Jim Deshaies didn’t play in Minnesota long — in fact, his entire tenure as a Twin lasted two seasons — 1993 and 1994. Still, Deshaies has fond memories of the Twin Cities, especially considering this is where his two oldest daughters can first remember their dad playing baseball, while his wife, Lori, was pregnant with their youngest daughter while he was with the Twins.
The Astros are playing at the Metrodome this weekend, their first trip to Minneapolis since they were here for an Interleague Series in 2001. The Twins are closing down the old Dome this year in anticipation of the opening of their brand new ballpark in 2010. To commemorate the final season, the Twins are doing what many teams have done before them — counting down the home games remaining, one day at a time.
Above the left field seats hangs a sign that says, “Countdown to Outdoor Baseball.” Next to it are manually movable pieces serving as numbers. The Twins asked Deshaies, now the Astros’ color television analyst, to be the featured guest to unveil the new number on Friday. Deshaies wore No. 44 as a Twin, so it’s only fitting that was the number he revealed during the sixth inning of the Twins-Astros opener.
Like most of the old ballparks, the Metrodome’s charm has probably reached its expiration point. But this stadium has enjoyed quite a bit of history over the years, including World Series in 1987 and 1991 that will be remembered as two of the most exciting Fall Classics in baseball history. The Twins have a nice group of legendary players who built their memorable careers in Minnesota. Here are two of the six retired numbers that hang on the wall in the outfield — Kirby Puckett, and Kent Hrbek.
Incidentally, Friday was Kent Hrbek bobblehead day.