All-Star memories from 1985

Twenty-nine years ago today, give or take a few days, I was on my way to Minneapolis to watch the 1985 Baseball All-Star Game. I was with my friend, Donnie, and how we got the tickets is almost as interesting (to me) as what happened in the Twin Cities.
A couple of months before THE GAME, I read an announcement in The Detroit Free Press that the folks in the Twins’ front office were going to free up 10,000 tickets for purchase by the general public. All one had to do was send in a postcard — one per person — with a name and address to be thrown into a random drawing. They would pluck out 5,000 post cards with each name being drawn given an opportunity to buy two tickets. So I grabbed a few post cards, ones with pictures on them from various Michigan sites, and sent them in: One with my name, one with my wife’s, one for each of my two sons (Corey wasn’t here yet), and one for my dog, Baby. Yes, my dog.
A few weeks went by when we got a letter from Minnesota that Geoffrey’s name had been drawn for the opportunity to buy two tickets. Well, given that Geoffrey was only four years old, I, of course, had to buy the tickets.
It didn’t take much coercing to get Donnie to go with me. We worked together at The Grand Rapids Press and we were partners in the Press’ golf league. Since the game was on a Tuesday night and Tuesday afternoon was our golf day, we had to play our rounds that morning before we left. If I recall, Donnie had a horrible round and he got sick eating the green apples off the trees that were located all around the golf course we played. As he had to sleep off his bellyache, I ended up driving most, if not all, of the way to the Twin Cities.
We got there in plenty of time for the game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, as it was called them, and enjoyed the game. From our seats about 10 rows from the roof way out in center field, American League starting pitcher Jack Morris was just an inch tall. I booed because I didn’t like him (still don’t), but I was drowned out by the cheers of the Minnesota fans who loved their hometown boy. Donnie remarked at one point that second baseman Lou Whitaker’s jersey (Go, Tigers!) looked very, very white. We found out later he forgot to pack his uniform and had to buy a souvenir jersey from a vendor and have a number stitched on the back. The game was a game and the National League won, 6-1. Donnie decided to head out before the American League batted in the home half of the ninth after grabbing some bunting from the railing and stuffing it in his shirt. Bad idea. There were not a lot of people to “blend in with” as he walked toward the exit and security noticed a suspicious bulge in Donnie’s shirt. Of course, he was detained and there I was, wandering around the outside of the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis, wondering what was going on with Donnie. Oh, and he had the keys to the car. Fortunately for me, there was a lot of partying going on, so I had a few beers while I watched a bunch of fireworks. Probably an hour or so later, Donnie showed up, sans bunting, but none the worse for wear. I don’t remember if he got fined or anything, but he did have to apologize and act remorseful. As I drove TO Minneapolis/St. Paul, Donnie had to drive back home. I don’t remember what route he took, but the sun was already high in the sky once we got back to Grand Rapids. Luckily, we both worked in the Sports Department, so we got to sleep most of the day before going back to work our second shift jobs.
Yes, it was an adventure I’ll never forget. I have since lost the souvenir pennant I bought, but somewhere I still have my ticket stub from the 1985 All-Star Game.

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