After one night covering the Twins at Target Field, here are my new American League ballpark rankings:
1. Fenway Park
2. Camden Yards
3. Target Field, Safeco Field (tie)
4. Jacobs Field
5. Angel Stadium
I'd toured Target Field several times, but this exceeded all my expectations. It changes everything, as a Twins beat writer, getting to come to this spectacular setting to watch outdoor baseball. My favorite parts of this day:
* Eating my first Murray's Steak Sandwich. Set me back $10.50, but it was every bit as good as advertised. The concessions opened at 3 p.m., and I was in line by 3:01.
* Hearing the anthem with my wife and sister-in-law out in their seats overlooking Target Plaza.
* Seeing Phil Miller in the pressbox. Former Twins beat writer for the Pioneer Press is a Stribber now and has a new gig covering the Twins for Fox Sports North.
* Denard Span's catch of Albert Pujols fly ball in the first inning. Pavano thought it was gone. Span kept running and put it in his back pocket. Afterward, we immediately looked at the flag poles, and they were blowing stiff toward home plate. A ball knocked down in the wind -- cool.
* Span's leadoff triple in the first inning. He says he thinks it's going to be a triples park, and he should know, after hitting 10 of them last year, which tied him for the American League lead.
* Jacque Jones' diving catch in the eighth inning, and the standing ovation he received when he came to the plate. "I was excited, I got chills, and I also wanted to be respectful of the other team," he said.
What a night. Can't wait to come back. Biggest question: What ballpark delicacy do I tackle next?