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Target Field's debut sticks out for Duensing

Twins left-hander recalls excitement of new ballpark during 2010 home opener

Target Field's debut sticks out for Duensing

I'll always remember my first Opening Day at the Metrodome in 2009, but the 2010 home opener at Target Field was the most memorable for me. I just remember we were all so nervous for the weather because it was the first time baseball had been played outdoors in Minnesota in a long time. But I remember we got there and the grass was green and it was like 70 degrees and clear skies.

The game was sold out, so we had an unbelievable crowd. Just standing on that line, I tried to take it all in. It was a lot of fun. I remember the flyover and everything. I threw in that game and pitched out of the bullpen. I just remember thinking it was fun. We played Boston and we won, [5-2,] and I remember thinking there was no better way to open the season than that way. We hadn't seen much of the stadium, because the most we were able to do that was during TwinsFest, which we had at the Metrodome, we had our team party at Target Field. So we were able to walk around the bullpen area, but at the time, it was covered in snow.

But I remember when we flew in that it came over the PA system that outside the left side of the plane, you could see Target Field, and it was all lit up for us. They even gave us special clearance to fly closer to it than normal, so that was pretty awesome to see that.

We showed up the next day for the workout day, and we were able to get some of the cobwebs and anxiety out. But that first game at Target Field was just amazing.

It was 2010, and so I was just happy to be in the big leagues, but just seeing the clubhouse was amazing. Everything was just so grand and on a huge scale. Everything was top-of-the-line, so it was a huge upgrade from the Metrodome. The whole experience was just cool. Even just parking at the stadium -- we had assigned spots and then you walk into the clubhouse and see it, and know it'll be your clubhouse for 162 games, which was just awesome.

I don't really remember pitching [a scoreless seventh inning] in the game, because it went by so fast. The one thing I really remember is just standing on the foul line during the national anthem and flyover and just trying to take it all in. I just kept telling myself, "This is something I need to remember." I don't remember how I pitched, but I remember all the other stuff, and it was awesome.

Brian Duensing is a pitcher for the Twins. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["opening_day" ] }
{"event":["opening_day" ] }
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