Stories and Photos by Gordy Jones
You may have watched a Twins game and noticed a few empty seats right behind home. You probably thought: “How can such fortunate people be no-shows at a ball game?” Well chances are, the owners of those tickets are present, but huddled inside the luxurious Champion’s Club.
The Champion’s Club section is something every baseball fan who loves baseball, fine cuisine, and lots of beverage should experience at least once…but to tell you the truth, they probably won’t get the opportunity. The entire section is usually sold out for the season, and if tickets were available, most folks couldn’t or wouldn’t spend $195 on a ball game. I would — and I did! In fact, I’ve been lucky enough to take in several games while sitting in the Champion’s Club since the opening of Target Field. I like to think of it as research. I’ve sat in the nosebleed seats, the infield seats, the outfield seats, on the field in the photo well next to the dugout, but several years ago I told myself I must check out these Champion’s Club seats to make the cycle complete.
If you are lucky enough to acquire tickets, the owner may or may not give you the valet parking ticket as well, depending if he or she is using it that night for other seats they might own in that section. But if you get the valet ticket, you will be able to drive into a special gated and secured lot, right next to the players’ and executives’ lots. You’ll drive curbside, give your car to the nice valet people, and walk 30 feet to a special entrance. There, you’ll be welcomed by a group of smiling greeters who will scan your ticket and give you a wristband to partake in an array of all-inclusive goodies. Next you’ll see a smiling bartender ready to draw you a beer or a glass of wine (or a cocktail at an additional charge). There are buffet’s with fresh fruit, cheese & meats, steak sandwiches, tenderloins, potato varieties, chicken, fish & seafood, dessert bars, warm mini cookies for mini ice cream sandwiches, and even a candy buffet. And most of the hot foods have an attendant preparing the food right at the buffet, so it’s always hot and fresh.
There are traditional baseball foods available as well; such as hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, etc.
There are plenty of tables to dine at, or you can sit at the bar and watch a game on TV before going to your seat. Once at your seat, you’ll find it cushy and comfortable. And if you’re still hungry or you need a refill on you beverage, the Champion’s Club staff will wait on you hand-and-foot. If it’s chilly out, they’ll even get you a blanket.
If you ever have the opportunity to experience the Champion’s Club, maybe through your employer, friends, or a rich uncle…GO! You’ll never be the same. It’s like coming back from a Caribbean vacation; you might be at home back in your routine, but in your head you’re still partying!
The Art of Baseball
It was great having Trevor Plouffe return from his injury and rehab assignment on his birthday, and to have a great game, even cracking out a home run. But while he was gone, it was fun watching his replacement, Chris Herrmann.
Chris is full of fun and enthusiasm, and talent as well. He can and will, adequately play most anywhere on the field, but he is basically a catcher. While he was here he only played in seven games, but was hitting .462 (6-for-13) with one home run and four RBI.
But what surprised me about Herrmann is his hobby. Since he was a child, Chris has loved to draw. And from what others have told me, he is a very good artist. Chris told me he’ll use ebony pencils, charcoal, colors, he doesn’t care, just so he can draw. He went on to tell me that so far, he has only done personal and random pieces, for close friends, members of his family, and his girlfriend. He was excited to be called up to the majors and find out one of his veteran teammate is an artist, too. Chris said, “I found out that Jamey Carroll is another good artist. I play baseball, and it’s cool to see your teammates, doing the same things as you.”
I was also surprised to find out that Jamey is an artist, too. When I next saw Jamey I asked him about his hobby, and he smiled and said, “Yes, I like to draw. But you should talk to Chris Herrmann, he’s really good.”
Well, I’m sure we’ll see more of Chris Herrmann in the future, and when we do, he has promised to share his art with us, so we’ll see that, too.