U students find cheap thrills at Metrodome

Sarah Mitchell

Nearly 15,000 people were in attendance at the Metrodome on Friday night. But some who came to watch the Minnesota Twins battle the Anaheim Angels were bargain hunters rather than baseball purists.
Students showing proof of their high school or college enrollment received some of the best seats in the house for only one dollar. It was the last in a string of 15 April and May promotions called “Salute to Education Nights,” and many University students were more than happy to capitalize on the nearly free baseball.
Institute of Technology sophomore Todd Begalke and College of Liberal Arts freshman Peter Strnad took advantage of the ticket deal together.
“I’m just here because it’s cheap,” Begalke said.
Begalke said that without the promotion, his Friday night plans would have been much different than Strnad’s, who was attending his seventh Twins game of the season.
“He would have come,” Begalke said. “I wouldn’t have.”
An avid baseball fan and a big-time supporter of his hometown Milwaukee Brewers, Strnad interpreted the cheap ticket night as more than a promotion to increase fan quantity.
“It’s a good attempt to get the youth of America hooked on baseball, that’s all,” Strnad said.
Strnad’s baseball knowledge was apparent as he predicted an Anaheim victory in the top of the fourth.
“The Angels are going to win,” Strnad said. “They have ace Chuck Finley on the mound. Plus, they are up 1-0.”
The odds were in Anaheim’s favor. Heading into Friday’s game, Minnesota was 2-20 when its opponent scored first, and Friday ended up being no exception.
Finley ended his 0-2 slump in the month of May, guiding the Angels to a 3-1 victory and improving his season record to 5-2.
The starter controlled the Minnesota offense every inning but the eighth. In that inning, left fielder Marty Cordova led off with a single and left fielder Darin Erstad lost Terry Steinbach’s pop-up in the white of the Metrodome roof, allowing Cordova to advance to third and Steinbach to reach second.
That proved to be the point at which Minnesota’s offensive threat reached its peak. A Jon Shave strikeout, Todd Walker RBI ground ball and a Pat Meares line drive that found its way into a leaping Dave Hollins glove ended the inning as quickly as it started.
With Friday’s loss and losses on Saturday and Sunday against Anaheim, the Twins’ record stands at 23-30. Strnad had a couple no-holds-barred suggestions for management on how to improve the organizations.
“They can start by not starting Shave,” Strnad said. “They can find a better clean-up hitter than Ron Coomer. They should schedule all of their games against the St. Paul Saints, and I think they will pick up a few wins.”
Begalke thought less about the actual aspect of playing, adding the building of an outdoor stadium to Strnad’s tips for success.
Rehashing the latest Minnesota loss, fans emptied the Metrodome. A peanut vendor at Milwaukee County Stadium, Strnad had one last complaint.
“Sloppy vendors here,” Strnad said.
A lackluster performance and a sticky floor might have tainted the experience for a few people. For one dollar, however, no one was complaining about the view.