MINNEAPOLIS - Thursday was supposed to mark the home opener for the Minnesota Twins. First pitch was supposed to be around 3:10 p.m. at Target Field against the Oakland A's.
New foods would be indulged, craft beer would be consumed and nearly 40,000 fans would be in attendance on a day to celebrate baseball. A day that would’ve marked the first Twins home game since their season-ending loss to the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series.
But instead, Target Field sat empty and quiet on Thursday. No morning coffee on the plaza, no pregame concerts and no celebration of baseball. Major League Baseball shut down Spring Training across the country in mid-March, sent teams and players home and delayed the start of the season due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Twins owner Jim Pohlad penned a letter to fans Thursday that the team posted on social media as we wait for the season to start.
“Today, although we are not gathered together at Target Field to celebrate the 2020 Twins Home Opener, it is still a day of unity, a day of possibility and – yes – a day of hope.
Today, we are all teammates in a greater cause: Joining together to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus by staying home. By following the direction of our public health experts and government officials now, the day will hopefully come soon where we will be back at the ballpark, back to the game we love,” the letter states.
Anticipation and excitement couldn’t have been much higher coming into the 2020 season. The Twins are coming off their first AL Central title since 2010, and added slugger Josh Donaldson to a squad that broke last year’s single-season home run record with 307 bombas.
But now all we can do is wait, hope and stay safe inside our homes until sports can safely resume. The problem there is nobody knows when that will be. Twins players don’t know, nor do team officials or the people at the top of MLB.
Taylor Rogers acknowledged last week there's a very real possiblity of October regular season baseball at Target Field. November? That's another story. We'll wait to find out what MLB officials do as the uncertainty of the baseball season grows during the Covid-19 pandemic.