Kirby Puckett won Game 6 of the 1991 World Series, perhaps the greatest Fall Classic ever played, with a dramatic 11th inning home run.
The hit is legendary. The fan who caught the ball, Joe Reis, is well-documented. Even the blue seat itself, Seat 27, Row 5, Section 101, got a makeover. A replacement seat, a gold replica, was unveiled in left-center field May of 1997 so future Metrodome-goers had a point of reference.
So what happened to the original seat? After years in storage, it’s the centerpiece of an exhibit opening Tuesday. Located in Target Field’s Digital Clubhouse in the U.S. Bank Home Run Porch in left field, the exhibit is open for fans throughout the stadium to visit.
Fun to have the original seat where Kirby Puckett's famed '91 World Series HR landed now on display at Target Field. pic.twitter.com/NVeZFN3et1— Dave St. Peter (@TwinsPrez) July 26, 2016
“It certainly tells a cool story,” said Dustin Morse, the Twins’ Senior Director of Communications. “And this is a fun time to launch the exhibit.”
Fittingly, the Atlanta Braves, the team Minnesota edged in the 1991 Series, is the opponent Tuesday and Wednesday.
More than just featuring a hunk of plastic, the exhibit allows fans to hear one of four home run calls: national broadcasters Jack Buck and Vin Scully, former Twins broadcaster John Gordon and a Spanish media outlet. A reading rail gives fans information on Reis, who returned the ball to Puckett.
After the 1997 ceremony, the blue seat and back went into a file cabinet in the office belonging to Matt Hoy, Twins senior vice president of operations. The gold seat remained in the Metrodome until its destruction.
“This is a true story: We asked for the gold seat and the stadium commission refused to give it to us,” team President Dave St. Peter said.
Displaying the original at Target Field, which opened in 2010, was always the plan, St. Peter said.
Sitting in the seat is not permitted but fans are welcome to take a photo standing next to the seat.
If you were there in the 11th inning in 1991, you certainly wouldn’t have been sitting anyway.