Here’s a wave of the Homer Hanky for an All-Star Game and weekend that did Minnesota proud. From the magic of Monday’s rainbow over Target Field to Tuesday’s final out courtesy of hometown closer Glen Perkins, the Minnesota rendition of a venerable Major League Baseball tradition was a gem.
For baseball fans, this midsummer classic revived spirits and dispelled worry about the game’s future. The performances on the field both Monday and Tuesday nights provided rich entertainment. The proceedings showcased up-and-coming talent while remembering the game’s past heroes and saying goodbye to a superstar, Derek Jeter, who is playing his final year in Yankee pinstripes.
But one need not be the sort who comes to attention whenever an umpire’s count reaches 3-2 to admire what transpired in and around downtown Minneapolis in the past few days. Tens of thousands of visitors descended without a discernible hitch. Visitors could focus on baseball because no news erupted about crime or chaos. The natural and man-made beauty of this region were on display for the nation, winning full-throated praise from commentators.
Yes, the weather was unseasonably cool, providing free air conditioning for the city’s guests. Monday’s Home Run Derby was delayed for an hour by rain. That meant the post-derby fireworks were late enough to awaken and irritate some downtown dwellers. If those were the biggest causes for complaint, we’ll count them as markers of the event’s success.
Thousands of Minnesotans, many employed far from Target Field, helped this region look good in the national spotlight. To all, from the police officers to the hospitality workers to the fans in the stands, thank you. Because of you, the Twin Cities rank higher today on the nation’s roster of major event destinations.