Dome's issues were discovered quickly

  • Article by: DENNIS BRACKIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 28, 2013 - 8:44 AM

It took all of one game for people to realize that the Metrodome was not as ideal as originally envisioned.

hide

The Twins and Mariners stood at attention for the national anthem in the first regular-season game at the Metrodome in April 1982.

Photo: JOHN CROFT • Star Tribune file,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Early in the 1982 season — the Twins’ first in the Metrodome — outfielder Dave Engle was benched for losing two fly balls. Engle originally worried there might be something wrong with his eyes, but that fear was abated as he watched a succession of outfielders and the occasional infielder lose flies against the off-white Teflon ceiling.

“It proves that my eyes are OK, and there is something wrong with the roof,” a relieved Engle said at the time.

He was right. Players and fans learned almost as soon as the doors to the Dome opened for the Twins that there was a lot wrong with the facility.

Lost fly balls led to some of the most memorable quotes in baseball’s colorful vernacular history. In addition, the turf was rock hard. There were holes in the ceiling that resulted in fans getting wet. And the 1982 seasons for the Twins, Vikings and Gophers were played without air conditioning, a cost-saving move during construction.

Kent Hrbek, a rookie on the 1982 team, said that awareness of the Dome’s uniqueness “sank in pretty quickly.” The Twins realized right away that the hard turf could be an advantage, and Hrbek said the players added a new battle cry to baseball’s vocabulary: “Bounce!”

“We learned that every now and then a routine one-hop single would bounce over the outfielder’s head, and we realized that could be a home-field advantage for us if we could somehow anticipate it,” Hrbek told me in our book, “Tales from the Minnesota Twins Dugout.”

The most memorable bounce was Tim Teufel’s 150-foot Texas leaguer that bounced over the head of Chicago’s Harold Baines, resulting in a three-run, inside-the-park homer for a 3-2 Twins victory.

Said Hrbek: “I don’t think ‘bounce’ is a term that would have ever been used at any other ballpark, but it became part of our vocabulary.”

The Dome never really did have a honeymoon period with baseball fans, who saw immediately that the facility was built for football — that evidence being sight lines that were not directed toward home plate. Neither was there a honeymoon period for pitchers.

After watching one regular-season game in the Dome, Star Tribune columnist Doug Grow wrote a column, “The early Metrodome returns are in: Pity the poor pitchers.”

“This is going to be a hard place for a pitcher to make a living,” said reliever Doug Corbett, the team’s best pitcher.

And it was.

One game. That’s all it took.

And not many more than that for Engle to realize that his eyes were just fine.

  • related content

  • Reusse: Once, there was a ...

    Saturday December 28, 2013

    That’s a fond farewell to the Metrodome after 31 years, or a measure of the time we endured it.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: D. Otero 0
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 6 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano 3
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: E. Butler 5
Boston 2 Bottom 7th Inning
Baltimore 7
Milwaukee 0 Top 7th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Washington 3 Bottom 7th Inning
Miami 2
NY Mets 4 Bottom 8th Inning
Atlanta 0
Chicago WSox 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Cleveland 4 Bottom 4th Inning
Minnesota 2
Seattle 1 Top 8th Inning
Houston 10
Cincinnati 4 Bottom 7th Inning
St. Louis 7
San Francisco 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
San Diego 0
Texas 0 Bottom 1st Inning
LA Angels 1
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Ball State 0 Delayed 9:30
Toledo 6
Appalachian St 7 3rd Qtr 1:34
Southern Miss 14
Miss State 31 3rd Qtr 8:57
(8) LSU 10
Northern Ill 7 4th Qtr
Arkansas 35
Middle Tennessee 10 3rd Qtr 2:25
Memphis 22
Utah State 14 3rd Qtr 3:43
Arkansas State 7
Miami-Ohio 21 3rd Qtr 9:10
Cincinnati 24
Idaho 17 3rd Qtr 2:34
Ohio U 20
(4) Oklahoma 24 3rd Qtr
West Virginia 24
(14) So Carolina 17 3rd Qtr 11:31
Vanderbilt 14
Ga Southern 14 3rd Qtr 11:07
South Alabama 6
Miami-Florida 14 3rd Qtr
(24) Nebraska 17
UNLV 7 2nd Qtr 2:23
Houston 13
New Mexico 21 2nd Qtr 1:43
New Mexico St 14
(22) Clemson 3 2nd Qtr 9:05
(1) Florida State 3
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Portland 3
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 0 2nd Half 5:00
Columbus 1
San Jose 0 2nd Half 2:00
Montreal 2
Seattle 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
D.C. 1 2nd Half
Chicago 2
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 15 14:51
Hamilton 10
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close