GNABRT Day 41 – A tale of two cities

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GNABRT map - day 41And two games, too.

Most people know that Minneapolis and St. Paul are called the Twin Cities (hence their baseball team name).  We’ll get to more of that in the city section.

I’ll also relate the exciting game from yesterday between the White Sox and the Blue Jays.  And there’s a lot of Miscellany to get to.  And, I wouldn’t say no to some sleep, seeing as I have to boogie out early in order to get to Milwaukee for a 1 pm game tomorrow!

So, without further preamble…

The City:  Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The city is one of French descent, as I’ve found of a number of the locations in the midwest, as with the Spanish in the west and southwest.

Adjacent to St. Anthony Falls, the only falls on the Mississippi River, and bounded by the Minnesota and Mississippi River (I’ll be happy when I can stop spelling the river), it was part of the hot potato land that eventually all became part of the Louisiana Purchase.

Milling and flour were the bedrock of its early growth (you may have heard of the two largest companies, General Mills and Pillsbury).

The town name took some doing, with various offerings receiving no support until the schoolmaster (the very first schoolmaster) suggested “Minnehapolis”, from a combination of Minnehaha (look her up), mni (Dakota Indian for water) and polis (greek for city).  Somehow, all that seemed less convoluted that the other offerings and, with a slight spelling change, became the city’s name.

After a disaster at the St. Anthony Falls, Minneapolis and the sister city by the falls’ name, merged in 1872.  Later still, the milling production ran dry, leaving the city without its main source of economic wealth.

Leveraging rail and water transport, the city slowly shifted to a financial and industrial hub, becoming a vital point in the movement of goods between the northwest and east.  With renewed economic strength came increased vigor to reshape and re-energize the look and culture of the city.

The city has grown large enough to support all four major American sports:  Twins (MLB), Timberwolves (NBA), Wild (NHL) and Vikings (NFL).

The game (previous):  Chicago White Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays.  The White Sox are in the cellar of the AL West Division with their lone bright spot being the fantastic starting pitcher in the game tonight.  The Blue Jays have been everywhere from first to last in the AL East this year and are still in contention for the division.

The game had several subplots:  The starting pitcher for the Blue Jays used to pitch for the White Sox and was their star when they won the World Series in 2005.  The starting pitcher for the White Sox had a chance to make Major League history if he could record another double-digit strikeout performance.

The game went against type, with both pitchers mowing down the other team.  The White Sox pitcher was not getting many strikeouts, but he was getting outs.  Then, a Blue Jays solo-homer seemed to put the Jays in command, as their pitcher was easily getting out the White Sox.

The Sox managed to tie it only to see the Blue Jays hit another solo-homer and fall behind 2-1.  With their pitcher obviously not going to set history and the team rapidly running out of outs, the fans were despondent.

And then, as in so many other GNABRT games, the home team staged a rally in the bottom of the 8th inning and took the lead.  The starting pitcher came back out in the ninth and closed out the game for the win to put the GNABRT record up to a respectable 10-4 and prevent my first 2-game losing streak.

The tab:  Ticket, $20; Parking, $20; Hot dog, $4.75; Lemonade, $5.50, Funnel Cake, $5; Total – $55.25

The game (tonight):  Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles.  Both teams currently sit in second place in their divisions, opening up a three game series that Minnesota took the first of last night in extra innings.

This game was over early.  The rookie call-up for the Twins that I helped get his first hit against Kansas City, I helped get his first home run today against Baltimore.  That put the Twins up 4-0 and they never looked back on their way to an 8-3 romp that moved the GNABRT record to 11-4.

Target Field was a pretty park with sight lines everywhere, even from the concourse, as well as generous supply of flat screens so you could watch the game while waiting for your food.

Speaking of food, the base dog, cheapest yet, included chili, cheese, onions and kraut.  By far the best value dog out of my first 15 ball parks.

The tab:  Ticket, $36; Parking, $14; Hot dog, $4.50;, Soda, $5.50; Total – $61.00

Miscellany of Day 41:

– It rained for the first two hours of the trip and never showed sun until pulling into Minneapolis.

– And I thought the GNABRT was tough on me!  Everything seems to be falling apart…my wallet is separating, my Gator cooler is ripping around the zipper and my daily (soft) suitcase is tearing away at the carry loops.  Sheesh!

– I passed the Weinermobile while on the highway.  I didn’t know they allowed those to travel interstate.  Wonder if it could make it across the border.

– I am getting seriously tired of hot dogs.  It may not be one of those ridiculous eating shows, but putting down 30 dogs in 60 days is not on anyone’s bucket list either.

– Though I will be sitting around in Pittsburgh during the All-Star break, I can see why many players just enjoy having the time off.  I don’t know if I will do any exploring, I may just use the time to recharge.  I do feel a little worn around the edges.

– As I was riding up I-94, I saw a silo and barn that caught my eye.  On the front of the barn were the words “Top Shelf Genetics”.  Mutant chickens?  Irradiated eggs?  Seven-foot long corn cobs?  Hmmm.

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