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April 1, 2010

Good times

Unbeknownst to me, my good friend Freealonzo has put together a little tribute to this fine blog on the eve of the first outdoor Twins baseball game in over 28 years. Needless to say, I am very touched by this. Thanks Free!

If you have no clue who I am or what this blog is/was all about ...

I started this blog way back in 2004 with the express purpose of blathering about the efforts to get a new Twins stadium built in Minnesota. Over the years, I have written well over 350 posts about stadiums in Minnesota, with most of those coming between the years 2004 and 2007. This blog was a clearinghouse for Twins stadium information. I wrote about every piece of news, every legislative action, every committee hearing, and finally the fateful votes in the House and the Senate that have resulted in the beauty that is Target Field.

But nothing I did had quite the impact of the Voters' Guide:

The Greet Machine Voters' Guide

Yes, it is still up there. I never updated it to reflect the actual votes, so as you can see I was about 4 votes off. Not too shabby!

I put together the Voters' Guide in October of 2004 using nothing more than library-supplied databases and Google. I searched and searched and searched for any comments made by MN House of Representative legislators concerning the Twins stadium in any source I could find. The result was the Voters' Guide.

The amazing thing I found was that the Twins stadium actually had enough votes to pass the House. Apparently this was not common knowledge.

After a few months of the Voters' Guide being out there, a funny thing started happening: I started to get emails and phone calls from a whole bunch of interesting people, especially from the Hennepin County Commissioners office and the land owners. And I was told my Voters' Guide made it all the way to the Twins front office.

The story I've been told is that the Twins, the County, and the land owners were having a meeting to decide if they were going to try yet again to get a stadium bill passed in the 2006 legislative session. The Twins were skeptical and quite frankly they were defeated. Then someone brought out the Voters' Guide and slapped it down on the table and said, "We have the votes. Some blogger figured it out." The Twins reviewed the document, and while they still remained skeptical (what does some stupid blogger know?) they decided to give it one more try.

I've been told that story by numerous people that were at the table. And while I'm sure I've got some of the details wrong, I have no reason to doubt that the Voters' Guide had some kind of impact.

And that makes me proud. I'll admit it. As I walk around Target Field I am very proud that no matter how pathetic and insignificant my contribution was, I still did something.

Anyway, thanks for all the tributes. We had some good times didn't we? You know, the best part of all of this (besides getting a stadium built) is all the friends I've made. I'll see you all at the ballpark! Come on by section 324 and say hi!

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Posted by snackeru at April 1, 2010 7:04 AM


I've said it before and I'll say it again: thank you, thank you, thank you for doing something.

Posted by: Jon at April 1, 2010 10:05 AM

Thank you so much for this Shane! I spent the spring of 2006 studying abroad in Copenhagen and I remember being up at odd hours of the morning or night on this site getting updates. The final vote came about two days before I returned to Minnesota and I couldn't have asked for a better homecoming.

Thank you again.

Posted by: Karl at April 1, 2010 12:17 PM

Man...I remember watching your blog until the early hours of the morning that day. That was truly a great day! Thanks again!!!

where are your seats? the picture looks close to my season tix.

Posted by: MOJO at April 1, 2010 7:20 PM

If there was any justice in the world:


Posted by: spycake at April 1, 2010 7:28 PM

I've been away from you site for years now - but I will never forget you and all that you did in those heady days 5 years ago.

Thanks for everything Shane.

Posted by: CJ at April 1, 2010 10:41 PM

Thanks for your tireless work, Shane. You really helped me crystalize my thoughts on the stadium. And your voters guide journey was truly remarkable!

Posted by: bjhess at April 2, 2010 12:21 AM

Hey! Thanks for stopping by again everyone! I must admit I don't visit this site too much either, and I run the dumb thing!

It has been a long time coming, but outdoor baseball is here to stay. All the work, and pain, has been worth it.

And spycake, that picture gave me quite the chuckle. Thanks for putting it together. If only! And thanks for stopping by again. It is nice to hear from you.

Again, my seats are in section 324, so stop on by and say hi. I hope to see all of you at the ballpark!

Posted by: Shane at April 2, 2010 8:41 AM

Thanks for all of your work Shane. I think back in 2006 I refreshed this website 10 - 15 times per day at times looking for new information. Your site inspired me to send multiple e-mails to legislators, Hennepin County commissioners, and our favorite Star Tribune writer Nick Coleman.

I'll be at the home opener tomorrow and will be thinking about all the effort you put into making Target Field a reality.

Posted by: IowaWigman at April 11, 2010 8:03 PM

I'm glad to see this is still up and you kept the archives. I still have the 34-32 blog post as a bookmark on my computer. I just looked through it the other day, and didn't even see the new stuff.

Anyway, thanks again for what you did. It obviously had a huge impact. No one will ever really know if this stadium would exist if you hadn't done it. Thanks again.

Posted by: David H at April 11, 2010 11:24 PM

P.S. I'll be one section over in 325. It's quite a trip from VA, but very worth it.

Posted by: David H at April 11, 2010 11:26 PM

You made the cut for the Target Field "Original Starting 9" congrats big guy.......be ready to hit the field.......

ps, WCCO is at the reception desk and your supervisor is looking for you.

Posted by: Twinsville Manager at April 13, 2010 9:11 PM

Hey congrats on making a difference, not everyone tries to you know. And good luck to your team this season.

Posted by: Tile Flooring at May 18, 2010 3:23 PM

So I went to the baseball stadium for the first and LAST time last saturday. $7.50 for a beer? $6.00 for a hotdog?

We were on lower level seats and I couldn't see the game because of the huge HEAD of the guy in front of me blocking the view.

What a HUGE waste of taxpayer money.

Posted by: larry at June 5, 2010 5:21 PM

Sounds like the ticket was wasted on you Larry. Try giving your ticket to someone who deserves it next time.

Posted by: Skip at June 5, 2010 9:35 PM

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