Twins representatives have recruited big-shot first baseman Joe Mauer for a Thursday morning press conference to announce a summer concert at Target Field, and our guess for the performer is the guy who sang “Big Shot.”
Piano man Billy Joel has already announced a string of 2017 tour dates in baseball stadiums around the country, starting with the first concert at the Atlanta Braves’ new home, SunTrust Park, on April 28. Another good indicator Joel is the one being called up: His handlers also deemed his 2015 concert at Target Center one of the rare music events worthy of a morning press conference (to the dismay of many of its attendees).
Some of Joel’s other ballpark dates in 2017 include May 14 at San Diego’s Petco Park and Aug. 11 at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. A Minneapolis date would likely fall sometime in between those two shows when the Twins have a stretch of away games. Memorial Day weekend – when last year’s Zac Brown concert was held at Target Field – is not an option this year because the Twins will be hosting the Rays then.
A well-known baseball fanatic who grew up loving the Mets on Long Island, N.Y., Joel even has his own web page at MLB.com. Like the Mets, the 67-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has had his ups and downs in recent years, but he has kept up his chops as a live performer with a once-per-month residency gig at Madison Square Garden for the past three years.
Other names that have been loosely tossed around as possible 2017 Target Field concerts include Pearl Jam, Garth Brooks and U2 (who announced a stadium tour Monday with no Minnesota date). But if Joel isn't the one being announced Thursday, the other most likely suspect is probably the usual one: Kenny Chesney, who has played there four times already. Joel would only be the second non-country act to put on a major concert at the eight-year-old ballpark after Paul McCartney in 2014.