Since I live an hour an a half away from Target Field it was extremely helpful that Mateo Fischer let me stay with him for the duration of the All-Star Break. Instead of driving home the night before, I was able to head back to Mateo’s apartment with him and Leiming.
The three of us left Mateo’s his place around noon and arrived in the Warehouse District after a short ride on the light rail. We spent a bit of time at the Pepsi Block Party and then we followed the All Star Path to the Convention Center for one last visit to FanFest. Along the way I was very tempted to stop for a game of bean bags:
The roadways were all ready for the Red Carpet Show that would take place later today. The Show hadn’t started yet, but there were a number of MLB mascots who were throwing things into the crowd. Here’s Bernie Brewer, the mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers:
Incase you’re wondering, the flower was from the Yoplait people at the Pepsi Block Party and the A’s garage parking helper came from Bernie Brewer. We saw many more mascots along the way, but none as nice as Bernie.
We did many things at FanFest that I had done two days earlier, but we did some new things as well. Just for the heck of it the three of us played “Fast Pitch Relief” (Step up to the pitcher’s mound and test your arm strength while trying to throw your fastest pitch), “FanFest Fielding Practice” (Self explanatory), and “Steal A Base” (Also self-explanatory). Then we got cake:
The cake was good, but there was too much chocolate. As you can see from above, there were three layers of cake with chocolate frosting between, and then more frosting on top. It was difficult to finish, but free cake is still free cake.
For lunch we ate at Lotus Restaurant, a Vietnamese establishment, a few blocks away from the Convention Center. Here’s a street view of the building via google maps:
I didn’t take any pictures at Lotus, but here are two pictures via Yelp:
I ordered the Beef Pho. If I remember right then it is soup that consists of beef, noodles, some veggies and a few other things. It was pretty good, but I’m not huge on Vietnamese food.
Chevy sponsored the All Star Game and gave free rides from FanFest to Target Field. Had we not found another way back to Target Field we would’ve gotten a complimentary ride via a new Chevy Impala:
Instead, the three of us pilled in the back of a Yoplait yogurt bike cart. This was also complimentary, and it was a lot of fun!
We were dropped off at the corner of the Pepsi Block Party right next to the Yoplait stand where we got yogurt a few hours before. We got to Target field around 3:45, only about 15 minutes before the gates opened. I had just enough time to circle the stadium to find the gate with the shortest line. Gate 3 was the answer to my question:
My goal for today was to get a commemorative ball with a perfect logo. It didn’t matter to me if the ball was from the futures game, the derby or the ASG, I just wanted it to have an undamaged logo. Upon entering the stadium I quickly found a nice spot in the Powerball Pavilion, away from the larger crowds in foul territory. When David Price finished playing catch he hooked me up with a derby ball:
I was thrilled to get another commemorative but I was disappointed in its condition. This logo was hardly visible. I was just worried that I wouldn’t get another chance because (1) the crowds were so large and (2) because I had limited space to work with because the ushers were checking tickets in every section. Speaking of ushers… immediately after the toss up from Price, I was asked to show my ticket for the Powerball Pavilion. Therefore, I was booted out of the section.
With my options running out I managed to find my way into the left field bleachers. I hoped to get a ball from the bullpen, but that didn’t pan out.
No, my next ball wasn’t from the bullpen but instead it was a toss up from Padres’ All-Star Tyson Ross:
YES!!! Finally a ball with a fantastic logo! Huge thank you to Tyson Ross. With my goal completed I waited out the last few minutes of batting practice. Following batting practice I was told that the Clydesdale would be making another appearance. Any guesses to what that meant for me?
Let’s just say I ate very well at the All-Star Game. I didn’t keep it all for myself, though. I gave one to Leiming, and gave one to an usher who I’d made friends with over the past few years. It was sort of thank you for letting me in his section so often. Before leaving to get food I stuck around to watch the pregame festivities.
I’ve seen a few flyovers at baseball games over the last few years, but this one was definitely the best so far:
There was still some time before the game was supposed to start so Leiming and I got some food. This is how crowded the concourse was:
It was insane, there were people everywhere! At certain times it was so packed that no one could move and we all just stood in one place. It was like rush hour in Chicago! We ate our food in the standing room area behind home plate.
We liked the view so much that this is where we spent the majority of the game. The game was spectacular! I’ve always been a fan of Derek Jeter, but I’ve never fawned over him like other fans do. However, seeing Jeter in his final All-Star game was something I will never forget. Jeter went 2-2 with a double and a run scored.
Here are some accomplishments that Derek Jeter had in this All-Star Game alone:
“With Derek Jeter’s 3rd-inning single, he becomes only the sixth player in baseball history with 10 career singles in the All-Star Game, trailing five Hall-of-Famers.” -ESPN
“Oldest player with multiple hits in an All-Star Game Derek Jeter (40, 2014), Carl Yastrzemski (39, 1979), Babe Ruth” -ESPN
Seeing Derek Jeter’s standing ovation has to be the coolest thing I’ve ever witnessed in person at a baseball game.
Here are a few panoramic pictures I took throughout the night:
The American League beat the National League 5-3. Glen Perkins, the hometown hero, picked up the clutch save for the American League. Here’s a recap via MLB on YouTube:
After the game Mateo, Leiming, Garrett and I all got together for a picture at the National League dugout.
We all had quite the day, and quite the All-Star experience throughout the last few days. This was potentially a once in a lifetime event, and I was thrilled to have been a part of it here in Minneapolis.
When we left there were bags of Cheez-Its being giving away outside of the stadium. Not expecting to get one, one of us joking said, “Can I have a box?” To our surprise they tossed each of us a box of Cheez-Its!
That’s such a strange thing, isn’t it? We got some pretty funny looks from people as we carried our boxes of Cheez-Its down the sidewalk. Here is the final haul from the All-Star Break: