Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The sky is falling (or just the roof)

The Metrodome was built about 30 years ago; the roof was
projected to be functional for 20 years. Guess what?
Say, didja hear that the Metrodome's roof caved in Sunday morning? Yeah, I thought you might have heard about that.

Looking at the images of the giant tears reminded me of two of the Dome's baseball lowlights, for both of which I happened to be in attendance:

  • Friday, May 4, 1984, when Dave Kingman hit a pop-up that disappeared into a drainage hole and got caught between the roof's layers of fiberglass fabric; and
  • Saturday, April 26, 1986, when a giant windstorm arose during the bottom of the eighth inning and ripped a hole in the Teflon.

Read the play by play of the second link. It's a marvelous deadpan sentence unmatched in Retrosheet's voluminous files:

TWINS 8TH: BRYDEN REPLACED FORSTER (PITCHING); Lombardozzi walked; On a bunt Gagne singled to second [Lombardozzi to second]; Puckett flied out to right [Lombardozzi to third]; Hatcher hit a sacrifice fly to right [Lombardozzi scored]; 15 minute delay because of roof collapse; Hrbek flied out to right; 1 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Angels 1, Twins 6.

Beauty. The play-by-play of the Kingman roof-rule double doesn't attempt to describe the delicious weirdness of the left side of the Twins infield congregating near the pitchers mound only to cower when the ball vanished from view. It just says: Kingman doubled.

The connection between the 1986 incident and the current problem  is obvious. The Kingman one? Well, so far as I know, that ball was never recovered. Now, it seems to me entirely possible that it's lying on the Dome turf under the snow.

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