Buy a Purse & Things Can’t Get Much Worse
Photos and Story by Gordy Jones
I have written about my friend Jim Cunningham in this column before. He is the Target Field pregame announcer — identifying first-pitch-throwers, sponsors, award winners, charity donors and recipients, National Anthem singers, flag hoisters, etc. It is fun to sit next to him near the dugout before the game, and hear his smooth voice nonchalantly announce all of the above. He’ll glance at his clipboard as he reads, while sporting a Twins jersey, cowboy boots, and blue jeans. A few seconds after hearing him in real-time, I hear his voice coming through the Target Field P.A. system repeating his last sentence, and that totally confuses me. But the echoing delay doesn’t even faze this broadcast professional.
I am always excited to find a human-interest story to write about, especially when it’s connected to Twins baseball. So when Jim told me he was part of a new business venture, I was thrilled. He and his partner had purchased the collapsed roof of the Dome: the original roof that reigned over countless Twins’ greats and as they played in some unbelievable games…and even two World Championships. In one decider, Minnesota native Jack Morris pitched 10 shutout innings. Kirby Puckett and Kent Hrbek played under that roof, as well as Justin and Joe. Hall of Famer Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor got their 3000th hits under it as Twins. Dave Kingman hit a high pop fly which was trapped in the roof’s lining and never came down. Chuck Knoblauch, who had been a Twin, returned to Minnesota as a Yankee, and was pelted with wieners under this roof on Dollar Dog Night. Families bonded, marriage proposals were accepted and denied, business deals were sealed, laughter was expelled, and tears were shed under the Dome — and that’s not even touching on historic Gopher, Viking, and Timberwolves moments.
Jim Cunningham has teamed up with Duluth Pack to create and market purses and duffel bags made from the roof. Owning one of these would be like owning a piece of history. I was excited to have the opportunity to give a shout-out to help announce my friend’s new product line. In fact, to order or inquire about one of these products, go to: http://duluthpack.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=domer
But here’s what makes me sad about writing this story: We are in late August, and heading down the stretch. Instead of writing about good baseball and related fun, I’m writing about purses. I’m sure they are quality products, and I may order one to give as a gift to a friend. But I wish I were writing about winning baseball games and similar topics.
Unfortunately, everything relating to Twins baseball seems depressing, chaotic, and uncertain. I have developed relationships and enjoyed the company of many of the players and staff. But right now everyone’s futures are uncertain as the Twins are in their third consecutive losing season. Even Gardy, who led them to the playoffs six times, and pitching coach Rick Anderson, whom Johan Santana credited for his success, have unclear futures.
The Minnesota future of Justin Morneau, who came from Canada, met his bride here, and made this his home, is uncertain. He is one half of the M & M boys, and has done wonders for our community.
It was depressing to see “Morny” struggle after his concussion, and now a relief to watch him as he continues to overcome his injuries.
And now my buddy Joe Mauer is out with a concussion. Who knows if he’ll ever be the Twins’ regular catcher again? He is, however, the only player who is sure to be a Twin next year.
But that’s baseball. People come and go. Since 1961 Twins players have come and gone, and the team has had both horrible and great seasons. Through it all, the team has always survived. We have a lot of good people in the Twins’ organization, both players and staff. As history has proven, things will eventually get better, because they can’t get much worse.