TARGET FIELD READY FOR A CHILLY START
The boys of summer may be back in town, but opening day will feel a lot more like winter as fans head flock to Target Field to watch the Minnesota Twins take on the Detroit Tigers at 3:10 p.m. CT.
They may be in for the coldest game in franchise history. According to the team, the coldest game on record was played in Chicago when it was 31 degrees.
Inside the stadium, ground crews put the finishing touches on what is surely the greenest parcel in the state -- of course, an underground piping system that warms the playing surface will help.
"This week has been great. Last week was the problem," Larry DiVito, head groundskeeper told FOX 9 News. "Overnight lows fell to below 10 degrees. Had to shock the grass back. Woke it up in mid-March. Had to throw turf blankets back on."
Although DiVito says the grass may have been stunted a bit, the sun should still shine brightly on the blades of green grass.
"Target Field was built and designed for our climate," said Twins spokesman Kevin Smith. "Chilly in April and May, hot in the summer and then the colder side of September and October."
Yet, cool winds between 10-15 miles per hour will also be descending on the field, putting the wind chill at about 20 degrees. Even so, Smith says fans will have plenty of places to go to warm up. The stadium has several indoor restaurants and bars as well as 300 radiant heaters.
"Our fans are a hearty lot," he said. "They come from all over the upper Midwest. Dress for the weather and it will be a great day."
TWINS QUICK HITS:
> This will be the first time the Twins open their season at Target Field since moving to Target Field in 2010.
> New pitcher Vance Worley is set to make his first Opening Day start. The Twins acquired the right-hander in a trade with the Phillies.
> Joe Mauer has been under heavy scrutiny after playing just 82 games in 2011, but he made a rebound in 2012, hitting .319 with 10 home runs and 85 runs batted in.
> The Twins have six players listed in Baseball America's Top 100 prospects list. Among them, Trevor May and Alex Meyer may help bolster a potentially weak pitching staff.
> Last year's Home Opener against Los Angeles saw a slightly warmer 45 degrees on April 9.
> The Twins will look to pick up their 31st Home Opener win on Monday. They've gone 30-22 since 1961.
6 to 9 a.m. - Breakfast on the Plaza: Fans are invited to drive down 7th Street (adjacent to the Twins Majestic Clubhouse Store) and grab breakfast.
1 p.m. - Gates open; legendary Twins players are set to open their respective gates: Bert Blyleven will represent fellow Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew at Gate 3, Tony Oliva at Gate 6, Kent Hrbek at Gate 14, Rod Carew at Gate 29 and Tom Kelly will represent Kirby Puckett at Gate 34.
6 to 9 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. - 'The Target Tube' will make its debut and adorn Twins fans with face paint and hair colors along with photo ops with Target Field mascots.