Halsey Hall was a sports journalist in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area from the 1920s to the 1970s. He covered the Twins for both the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press during that time, and also announced Twins games on the radio next to legendary Herb Carneal.
After his passing, the Minnesota Twins named a room in their stadium after him. The Halsey Hall Room has a press conference feel and is located deep in the bowels of the Metrodome.
Much like Hall, Howard Sinker is also a great sports journalist who covers the Twins for the Star Tribune. He is an excellent writer and has a blog on the Star Tribune website.
He invited me to attend a panel session that he moderated Saturday night in the Halsey Hall Room.
I asked if he would arrive a few minutes early so we could get the chance to chat a bit, and he graciously accepted. My dad, my uncle, and I arrived at the room about 15 minutes before anyone else showed up, so we had some time to prepare ourselves and admire the room
As people started trickling in, I felt a little self-conscious. This event was for Macalester College alums. For those that don't know, I am only 15 years old and am still a few years away from graduating high school, much less college.
Howard showed up about a half hour before the event started and we had an awesome chat about non-baseball topics. It was very nice to hear his thoughts on modern newspapers and how he earned his job at the Star Tribune. It was then that I realized that he was not only an expert baseball fan but also very knowledgeable about other things
With about ten minutes to go he excused himself to round up the guests for the panel tonight; Dave St. Peter, the president of the Twins, and Clark Griffith, a sports attorney. He is the son of Calvin Griffith, who ran the Twins long ago and was crucial for the move to Minnesota from Washington D.C.
Howard introduced me to Dave St. Peters and we took the above picture. I tried not to sound nervous, and I don't think I was, but it was very neat to meet such a big dog in the Minnesota organization.
When introductions were made, Howard made a point to introduce me to the 90 people in attendance. The actual question and answer session was very fun to listen to. Dave St. Peters talked about the new ballpark (he revealed that the outfield grass is currently being grown in Colorado) and the 2008 team. Clark Griffith talked about how the Twins have always done the little things right, which has set them apart from other teams through the years
The book "Moneyball" was also brought up. St. Peters made it known that the Twins will always value actual scouting over statistics.
After the session, the alumni were dismissed for the baseball game above. I went back up to Howard and thanked him again for a wonderful time. Little did I know that it wasn't nearly over.
Earlier he had invited me to sit with him for a few innings during the game in Section 127 (I don't know why he wasn't in Section 220 tonight).
We settled into our nosebleed seats and watched the first two innings of the game. After the second inning I caught up with fellow Bleacher Creature Dan Wade. Living in Arizona it is hard to keep up with fellow Twins fans, so this meeting was a treat in every sense
A few innings later I set off on my expedition to find Howard in Section 127. The actual trek around the concourse took a half inning and picking him out of the entire section took another 15 minutes
I finally found him and we talked about anything and everything for a few innings. We discussed Gardy's suspension, Slowey's tendancy to hang pitches tonight, and my new life in Arizona. It was an extremely fun experience
I am indebted to Howard for my amazing night and I thank him greatly. I had an absolute blast and can add another great experience to my mental scrapbook
The fact that the Twins fell to the Indians 5-1 was almost enough to make this wonderful night a little sour. Almost.