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Nolan Ryan

Friday, August 5th, 2016

A photograph of Nolan Ryan pitching during the 1985 MLB All-Star Game at the Metrodome on July 16th, 1985.

This image forms part of our Minneapolis and St. Paul Newspaper Negative collection. Additional photographs in this series may be available in the library, please view the finding aid here.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this photograph in our collections database.

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World Series Banner

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

A large hand-made pennant banner made of black and red felt. The pennant reads “Racists” above an image of a tomahawk. The banner was made by Joe D. Horse Capture and Lisa Ranallo of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in response to the presence of the Atlanta Braves baseball team’s name and their fans’ “tomahawk chop” at the 1991 World Series, held in Minneapolis.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this banner in our collections database.

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Remembering “The Dome”

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, 501 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, 1982.

With US Bank Stadium opening its doors for a public open house July 23-24 we reflect on its predecessor, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Construction began December 20, 1979 but the Dome, just like most publicly funded stadiums, faced opposition. A statewide coalition known as Minnesotans Against the Downtown Dome (MADD — the clever acronym was not associated with Mothers Against Drunk Driving until after that organization was founded in 1980) opposed to legislation that would enable the construction of a domed stadium. In the late 1970s buttons like this were distributed by MADD:

Anti-Metrodome Button <1994.95.20>

In the end voters approved funding and brought professional sports back to Minneapolis in 1982, more than twenty years after the last professional team (the Minneapolis Lakers) left the city. For over thirty years the Metrodome served its purpose in its utilitarian way, though like most multipurpose stadiums the Dome was not particularly ideal for baseball, football, or hearing anything. And occasionally the roof deflated.

The 1980s were a rough decade for the Dome, which became a bowl four times due to extreme weather conditions that deflated or created tears in the 10 acres of roof fabric. This Teflon and fiberglass fabric sample is from the roof that suffered a catastrophic collapse in December 2010 and was completely replaced:

Metrodome roof sample <2014.43.3>

In spite of its problems, the Metrodome was the only venue to host an All-Star Game (1985), two World Series (1987 & 1991), a Super Bowl (1992), a NFC Championship (1998-99), and two Final Fours (1992 & 2001). With more recent trends back toward single sport venues, it is unlikely that the Dome’s record will be challenged anytime soon. Here are a few souvenirs from some notable events:

1985 All-Star Game bumper sticker <1991.267.1>

1989 Minnesota Timberwolves ticket <1991.139.187>

1992 NCAA Final Four button

1992 Super Bowl XXVI ticket <1993.139.3>

When the Dome closed in 2013 the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) generously donated a selection of items used at the stadium to the Minnesota Historical Society, including a pair of seats. But seats at the Dome were mounted vertically to cement and shared armrests. In order to have a more complete packages, and because the Dome was still operating when MSFA made the initial donation, the seats acquired by the Society are assembled from used spare seat parts. Our Senior Objects Conservator, Tom Braun, created the wooden mount that makes for easy and safe display and handling by museum staff.

Pair of Metrodome row seats <2013.159.1>

Be sure to see the Metrodome seats alongside a folding chair from Metropolitan Stadium and a brand new pair of seats borrowed from US Bank Stadium during the upcoming exhibit “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” on view September 24, 2016 – January 15, 2017 at the Minnesota History Center. And don’t miss the History Flirt event on October 4, 2016, when we’ll be hosting a live “Puppy Bowl”!

–Sondra Reierson, Associate Curator, 3D Objects

Learn more:

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Baseball Awards

Friday, July 8th, 2016

A photograph of Bob Wilson and Jack Cassini of the St. Paul Saints receiving awards before an August 30, 1952 baseball game.

This image forms part of our Minneapolis and St. Paul Newspaper Negative collection. Additional photographs in this series may be available in the library, please view the finding aid here.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this photograph in our collections database.

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Willie Mays

Friday, May 20th, 2016

A photograph of Minneapolis Miller player Willie Mays sliding into third base during a May 7, 1951 game against Louisville.

This image forms part of our Minneapolis and St. Paul Newspaper Negative collection. Additional photographs in this series may be available in the library, please view the finding aid here.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this photograph in our collections database.

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Baseball Jersey

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

A short-sleeved wool flannel baseball uniform jersey with a button-closure front opening. The shirt reads “WACONIA” across the breast and has the number “9″ applied on the back.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this jersey in our collections database.

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Metrodome Home Plate

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

The last home plate used for baseball games at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota, before the stadium’s demolition. The plate was used during amateur and youth baseball games between 2010 and 2013. The professional baseball franchise, the Minnesota Twins, left the “Dome” for their new home at Target Field in 2010 and took their final home plate to the new ballpark.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this home plate in our collections database.

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Homer Hanky

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

A Homer Hanky from the first regular season Minnesota Twins game played at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2010. The Twins played against the Red Sox and won the game by a score of 5 to 2.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this hanky in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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New Bikes

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Two youngsters win new bikes before a baseball game between the St. Paul Saints and Louisville on May 12, 1951.

This image forms part of our Minneapolis and St. Paul Newspaper Negative collection. Additional photographs in this series may be available in the library, please view the finding aid here.

For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this photograph in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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“Sir Rodney”

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

“Hitting .300 is almost like a cause, a campaign.”
–Rod Carew’s Art and Science of Hitting, 1986

“Keep your eye on the ball and hit’em where they ain’t.”  So went the mantra of 1890s right fielder William “Wee Willie” Keeler, perhaps baseball’s greatest place hitter.  In 1964, more than half a century after Keeler retired, the Minnesota Twins signed a 19-year-old Panamanian who would rival Wee Willie’s wizardry with the bat. Rod Carew made his big league debut as a second baseman with the Twins in 1967, hitting .292 and winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award.  Carew had 12 stellar seasons with Minnesota, culminating with a career-high .388 batting average in 1977.  In 1979 he was traded to the California Angels and led the team to two division titles before retiring in 1985.  With a lifetime .328 average and 3,053 hits, Carew was a sure bet for baseball’s Hall of Fame, which enshrined the slugger in 1991.  But what made Sir Rodney a truly exceptional player was more than his seven batting titles (a feat surpassed only by Ty Cobb) and 18 consecutive All-Star Game selections.

He approached hitting as a vocation, studying pitchers and adjusting his stance to spray balls to all parts of the field.  “He has an uncanny ability to move the ball around as if the bat were some kind of magic wand,” recalled Oakland A’s hurler Ken Holtzman.

A member of the Twins’ vaunted “Lumber Company” offense, Carew used this 32-ounce Hillerich & Bradsby bat to secure batting crowns in 1973, 1974 and 1975.  Bearing pine tar residue on the handle and ball marks on the barrel, the bat also features Carew’s autograph and “HOF 7/21/91,” the date of his Hall of Fame induction.

Adam Scher, Senior Object Curator

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An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs