Metrodome pitcher, bullpen mounds head to the Range

Metrodome

Jason Kubel hits a Grand Slam for the Minnesota Twins in the former Metrodome stadium on June 13, 2006. Several Metrodome seats and the pitcher’s and bullpen mounds are now on the Iron Range. PHOTO: syslfrog, Creative Commons license.

Metrodome pitcher's mound

The Metrodome pitcher’s mound is loaded onto a Hibbing Community College truck headed back to the Iron Range. The pitcher’s mound is headed for Nashwauk-Keewatin High School, while the bullpen mound is going to the HCC practice field. PHOTO: Ande Jarvi

I’ve been following this in conversations at my day job (instructor at Hibbing Community College) but today it’s official: the pitcher’s mound and bullpen mound from the Metrodome are headed to northern Minnesota’s Iron Range.

From the employee newsletter this morning:

There are no stadium seats for sale, but HCC baseball coach Dave Bevacqua bid on and won the pitching mound and a bullpen mound in a state auction of artifacts held before the demolition of the Minneapolis Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The pitching mound will go to Nashwauk High School with a bullpen mound coming to HCC, giving the college a nice piece of Metrodome history.

Delivery, however, isn’t easy. The pitching mounds’ weight is estimated at 5,000 pounds and they have a diameter of 12 feet. John Bright, HCC’s CDL instructor, will be sending one of HCC’s semi-trucks down for the pick-up and delivery, which is expected to occur on Tuesday, February 18. More than a dozen items used at the Dome in downtown Minneapolis were posted on the state’s online auction site, and more will be offered as they become available.

Metrodome pitcher's mound

Another view of the mound being loaded onto the flatbed.

Of course, several Metrodome seats were already acquired several weeks ago for the baseball fields in Chisholm, which means at least three Iron Range towns will now sport part of Metrodome history.

It’s interesting seeing how the legacy of the Metrodome is settling in. Many in the Twin Cities (and around the country) view the Metrodome as a subpar stadium. Noisy, oddly colored, bland. A lot of people got really excited for the construction of Target Field for the Twins and, after the controversy dies down, I’m sure others will muster enthusiasm for the Vikings new stadium, too.

But for those of us in greater Minnesota, the Metrodome was something special. For one thing, the Dome ensured that every time we bought tickets to see the Twins and made the four hour drive to see them, the game was held in a comfortable environment. There were no April snow-outs or July heat strokes. And the Dome was such a unique environment. Target field is an attractive ballfield, like many you might have been in. But the Metrodome had its own atmospheric vibe. It breathed you in and breathed you out, like a spell. It was another of the strange feelings you had going to the big city, which is so very different from life on the Iron Range.

Perhaps that’s why so many artifacts of the former Dome have found their way up north, and why people like me (and Ande Jarvi, who sent me these photos) get so excited at the silly thought that this is very, very important.

Metrodome pitcher's mound

The Metrodome pitcher’s mound loaded on the truck bound for Hibbing Community College. This mound will eventually end up at the fields in Nashwauk. The less impressive bullpen mound, described as “a dirty little rectangle,” is headed for the HCC practice fields. PHOTO: Ande Jarvi

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