Gophers baseball coach John Anderson took time after Friday’s season-ending loss to thank the Twins for being such gracious hosts for this week’s Big Ten tournament at Target Field.
It was the first time the event had been held in a major league ballpark, and Anderson said the Twins went to great lengths to “treat us like big leaguers.”
“Just look at the way they take care of the field,” Anderson said. “There’s not just a couple guys out there. They’ve got their whole staff out there, their head ground crew guy out there. They want the field to be perfect, just like a major league game.”
Cool weather probably didn’t help attendance. Wednesday’s announced crowd was 773, followed by 1,761 on Thursday and 1,544 on Friday. The fourth-seeded Gophers went 2-2, defeating Illinois twice and losing to Indiana and Nebraska.
A $10 general admission ticket gave fans access to all the premium seating between the bases, and all the high-definition video boards were lit up just as they are for Twins games.
Behind the scenes, the Twins clubhouse staff did laundry for all six teams and set up areas where teams could unwind between games.
“That’s this [Twins] organization,” Anderson said. “That’s the way it’s always been, and I’ve been around them for 35 years.
“They put their best foot forward in every part of this tournament, and it’s not always the case when you go into somebody else’s home. They let you in, but they don’t let you use the best china for dinner.”