Thursday, July 21, 2016

Trip to Target Field - Minnesota Twins

Having lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota for 5 years and being a big fan of the Minnesota Twins, I attended many Twins' games during my years there.  I averaged 15-20 games a year when I was a grad student.  Since graduating and moving away, I've tried to get back, but it is difficult.  I've been back three times, all after the new stadium, Target Field opened.  Prior to the opening of Target Field, the Twins played in the Metrodome, a dump of a stadium.

I can't stress enough how a dump of a stadium the Metrodome was.  It looked dingy.  It smelled dingy, and it wasn't great for baseball viewing.  Target Field, on the other hand is amazing!  My wife and I went during the inaugural season without our kids.  We then returned with our kids a couple of years later and more recently took them to a game over the July 4th weekend.  Target Field is an engineering marvel, in my opinion, for baseball stadiums.  There's a great atmosphere, wonderful seating, and plenty of excellent food options.  

To add some science to this, I always find baseball games interesting because you can easily observe the difference between the speed of light and the speed of sound.  When the batter hits the ball, a sound wave is produced.  However, since the speed of sound is much lower than the speed of light, you see the ball leave the bat before you hear the crack of the bat.  It's actual a very cool event to observe because it contradicts your intuition.  You expect to hear the crack of the bat when you see it, but it comes a split second (very noticeable) later.  Pay attention to this the next time you attend a game.  Note, however, that if you have seats very close to home plate, you won't notice this effect.  Go higher up or in the outfield and you'll easily observe this.  

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