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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Taking Back the Ballparks - Minnesota Twins

As with just about everything else in the Twin City, the new stadium there sports the Target brand, a company headquartered there, not in France. Surely, the metropolis that gave us Husker Du, Prince and Craig Finn can do a little better on a name for its nifty new park*.

Unlike their wimpy football-playing brethren, the Twins gave a big middle finger to the notoriously challenging Upper Midwest weather by opting against a lid for Target Field. If they ever enjoy a return to the glory of the Kirby and Hrby years, we’ll see if they (and MLB) come to regret that decision.

I took my daughter, wife and a temporary family member to the Twin Cities for a college visit back in 2016. During the mandatory stop at the Mall of America, I found the old home plate plaque. Saving home plate’s spot on planet earth should be federally mandated when any old ballpark comes tumbling down. It’s just the right thing to do.

*Which, the bottom part tells me, has now been open for eight seasons. That doesn’t seem possible.

Ballpark History

Built: 2010

Capacity:38,649

Name: Target Field 2010-present. 

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Metropolitan Stadium, 1961-1981; Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, 1982-2009.

Distinctive Features:Double-decker bullpens in left-center; the major’s only bonfire in the roof deck; illuminated Minnie and Paul logo; small ballpark footprint in the city’s Warehouse District.

Ballpark Highlights:
On Oct. 3, 2010, the Twins lost a 5-2 decision to New York to fall behind 0-2 in the ALDS, proving the club could be just as inept in outdoor home games with the Bronx Bombers as they were inside.

In 2014, Mike Trout went 2-3 to claim his first of back-to-back All-Star Game MVPs in a 5-3 American League victory.

In the final game of his best big league season, Phil Hughes fanned five and walked none in eight innings against the Angels. Hughes finished the 2014 campaign with 186 strikeouts and 16 walks, setting the major league record for the best K:BB ratio. He also came up 1/3 of an inning short of triggering a $500,000 bonus for throwing 210 innings, declining a later offer from Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire to pitch an inning in relief.

In 2017, the first college football game was played at the ballpark, a contest between the St. Thomas Tommies and the St. John’s Johnnies, setting us up for our next renaming project – Minnesota’s Division III college teams.

Selections to Date

San Francisco Giants - China Basin

Texas Rangers - The Ballpark in Arlington

San Diego Padres - Mission Field

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park

Washington Nationals - Nationals Park

Tampa Bay Rays - Suncoast Dome

Philadelphia Phillies - Citizens Park

Seattle Mariners - Cascadia Field

Pittsburgh Pirates - Allegheny Park

Kansas City Royals -Kauffman Stadium

New York Mets - Willets Point

Los Angeles Angels - Autry Field

St. Louis Cardinals - Busch Stadium

Detroit Tigers - Tiger Field

Miami Marlins - Fish Tank

Cleveland Indians - Jacobs Field

Chicago Cubs - Wrigley Field

New York Yankees - Yankee Stadium

Milwaukee Brewers -

Miller Park

Baltimore Orioles - Camden Yards

Colorado Rockies - Coors Field

Houston Astros -Astrodome 2000

Arizona Diamondbacks - Sonoran Grounds

 

 

SoSH U at work Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:00 AM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: stadium names

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: July 24, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5714838)
Great Northern Park
North Star Park
Headwater Park
Park of the North
Kasota Stone Park
Curling Water Field
Crooked Water Field
   2. aberg Posted: July 24, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5714867)
I have to admit, I don't mind Target Field.

Failing that, something that harkens back to Metropolitan stadium would be nice- maybe Metropolitan Park? A more generic "Twin Cities Ballpark" would fit the team and region. Let's not do "The Stadium of 10,000 Lakes" or "Baseball on a Stick."
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5714884)
the major’s only bonfire in the roof deck
Witnesses to the ongoing tire fires in Flushing and Baltimore may disagree.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5714891)
Witnesses to the ongoing tire fires in Flushing and Baltimore may disagree.


On-field conflagrations are an entirely separate category.
   5. BDC Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5714894)
Time for my regular Google expedition into ballpark history …

The Minneapolis Millers, in the first half of the 20th century, played at Nicollet Park, named after Nicollet Avenue, named in turn after "early 19th-century French explorer and cartographer Joseph Nicollet," who sounds like a fairly resourceful guy, having made three expeditions into uncharted wildernesses in hopes of mapping the upper Mississippi and its tributaries. Unfortunately Target Field is several blocks from Nicollet Avenue and nowhere near the Nicollet Park site.

The St. Paul Saints, in the same era, played at Lexington Park, also named after a street, which must be named after the Revolutionary town in Massachusetts.

On the whole "Nicollet" sounds more distinctive, so I'll nominate "Nicollet Park" despite its lack of fit to the current site. It has the advantage of not being the name of an early predatory team owner :)

Neither Nicollet nor Lexington were particularly close to their respective downtowns. Like most early-20th-century ballparks they were built out on cheaper land fairly remote (for the period) from the city center, and I'll bet there were streetcar lines leading out to them. Some sort of light rail line still leads past the old Lexington Park site in St. Paul.
   6. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5714896)
Target Field is a decent name.

I like some of the suggestions in post #1, in particular Great Northern Park. That said, I object to "Headwater Park." Mississippi River headwaters is way up north in Minnesota. The river has already winded its way for a few hundred miles before making its way to the Twin Cities.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5714900)
I'm going boring with this one:

Twins Field
   8. QLE Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5714902)
Griffith Park
Stoneham Field
Hennepin Stadium
North Loop Grounds
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:33 PM (#5714907)
I think I'm OK with Target Field as well. Local corporation with established history, seems pretty stable, people actually know what it is and what it does.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5714911)
Warehouse Lot.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5714913)
My problem with Target Field is the Timberwolves play nearby in the Target Center, which beat them to the Target punch by 20 years.
   12. DavidFoss Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5714921)
Hennepin Stadium

I agree that Hennepin is better name than Nicollet for this. Hennepin is the name of the county and a block closer to than Nicollet (which is called Nicollet Mall downtown because it is closed to all traffic but buses). I'd call it Hennepin Park or Hennepin Field, though.

They recently renamed a local lake because it was named after John Calhoun (before he was the pro-slavery senator, he was the Secretary of War who funded the building of Fort Snelling). For better or worse, they gave the lake the original Dakota name of "Bde Maka Ska" which is not that hard to say once you hear it a few dozen times, but it is almost impossible to sightread. So, you could translate "Field of the Multiple-Birth Children" into Dakota and see what you get.
   13. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5714944)
The Minneapolis Millers, in the first half of the 20th century, played at Nicollet Park, named after Nicollet Avenue, named in turn after "early 19th-century French explorer and cartographer Joseph Nicollet," who sounds like a fairly resourceful guy, having made three expeditions into uncharted wildernesses in hopes of mapping the upper Mississippi and its tributaries.

About 200 years before Joseph, there was a Jean Nicolet, who was one of the early explorers of the Great Lakes. He was the first European to set foot in Wisconsin, near Green Bay. There's a national forest in the northern part of the state bearing his name, along with a couple of schools.
   14. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: July 24, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5715118)
That said, I object to "Headwater Park." Mississippi River headwaters is way up north in Minnesota. The river has already winded its way for a few hundred miles before making its way to the Twin Cities.

I'll offer the same defense I did of Painted Desert Park: the team represents the entire state, so a geographic feature that evokes the state is perfectly fine.
   15. Bote Man is no David Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:16 PM (#5715176)
Mary Tyler Moore Field
alternate: Hat Toss Field
alternate 2: Hat Trick Field
Senators Park (since they stole our damned team the first time!)

But seriously, folks, Great Northern appeals to my railfan sensibilities and contributed to the development of the northern tier of states*, and I'm also good with the Nicollet and Hennepin names.

Target started life as Dayton's which was the building in the background when MTM threw her tam up in the air while stood freezing in the middle of busy Nicollet Avenue before it was closed to vehicle traffic. That's my trivia contribution.


* But since Great Northern is itself the name of a corporation, a big bad dirty railroad that ultimately became BNSF, that might disqualify it in the same way that Target is disqualified.
   16. Omineca Greg Posted: July 25, 2018 at 05:46 AM (#5715455)
Well, what does Tom Waits say?

Well it's 9th and Hennepin
And all the donuts have
Names that sound like prostitutes

And the moon's teeth marks are
On the sky like a tarp thrown over all this
And the broken umbrellas like
Dead birds and the steam
Comes out of the grill like
The whole goddamned town is ready to blow
And the bricks are all scarred with jailhouse tattoos
And everyone is behaving like dogs
And the horses are coming down Violin Road
And Dutch is dead on his feet
And the rooms all smell like diesel
And you take on the
Dreams of the ones who have slept here
And I'm lost in the window
I hide on the stairway
I hang in the curtain
I sleep in your hat
And no one brings anything
Small into a bar around here
They all started out with bad directions
And the girl behind the counter has a tattooed tear
One for every year he's away she said
Such a crumbling beauty, but there's
Well, nothing wrong with her that
$100 won't fix
She has that razor sadness
That only gets worse
With the clang and the thunder
Of the Southern Pacific going by
As the clock ticks out like a dripping faucet
Till you're full of rag water and bitters and blue ruin
And you spill out
Over the side to anyone who'll listen
And I've seen it
All through the yellow windows
Of the evening train

Waits


Clearly, Tom feels that the stadium should have a name that sounds like a prostitute.

Let's take a look at some of the neighbourhood names in Minneapolis...

Diamond Lake

Long Fellow

Hia Watha

Powder Horn

Bryn Mawr

Minnie Haha

Ken Wood

Marcy Holmes

Summer Glenwood

Nicollet Island

Damn. The whole town is named like a prostitute already. I guess we'll go with the one good one they haven't used.

Destiny Colling.

That's my nomination, Destiny Colling.

If they have a really good rookie, they can call him "Destiny's Child".

If they have home field advantage for an important series, they can say, "They have Destiny in their hands."

If they lose at home in an important series, and don't make it back out onto the road, they can say, "They couldn't escape their..."

Never mind. I'm sure everyone can see all the possibilities already.
   17. yo la tengo Posted: July 25, 2018 at 09:02 AM (#5715489)
Name for a favorite player? Puckett Park?
   18. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 25, 2018 at 09:13 AM (#5715490)
Target started life as Dayton's which was the building in the background when MTM threw her tam up in the air while stood freezing in the middle of busy Nicollet Avenue before it was closed to vehicle traffic. That's my trivia contribution.

and the theme "Love is All Around" was written by Sonny Curtis, who also wrote "I Fought the Law"
   19. DavidFoss Posted: July 25, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5715506)
Name for a favorite player? Puckett Park?

One of the freeway exits for the Mall of America is Killebrew Drive because it's on the side of the old stadium.

Dayton would be a great name if the family wasn't still around and active in politics (the current governor is a Dayton). They are renovating the old Dayton's store on Nicollet and they found a mummified monkey inside one of the walls. Evidently, the store used to sell exotic pets and one escaped its cage only to get trapped for a few decades.

Pillsbury is another good name. The company is long gone, but I suppose the brand is too active.
   20. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 25, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5715516)
My problem with Target Field is the Timberwolves play nearby in the Target Center, which beat them to the Target punch by 20 years.


It is worse than that. There is a Target store downtown and also Target's corporate HQ is there as well (IT used to be based there, but they moved out to the burbs shortly after I stopped working for them). Basically downtown Minneapolis is chock-full of Target this or that.

But still I kind of like the name (perhaps because I am fond of Target Corp).

I am not enamored with any of the other choices though, so I am not being much help.
   21. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 25, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5715517)
Name for a favorite player? Puckett Park?

I'm not a fan of naming stadiums mentioned for players. Puckett is a good example of why. Beloved in his day - but had some ugly crud after his career ended. And he's just a favorite-player-for-the-generation-who-saw-him rather than something more iconic than that. And stadium are expected to last over a generation (Atlanta notwithstanding).
   22. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 25, 2018 at 10:02 AM (#5715518)
Dayton would be a great name if the family wasn't still around and active in politics (the current governor is a Dayton).

Humphrey Non-Dome.
   23. jmurph Posted: July 25, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5715520)
Mill City Field/Park/(Something) would be cool, but probably too close to Miller.
   24. Rusty Priske Posted: July 25, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5715523)
Name dropping Husker Du while ignoring the Replacements is akin to blasphemy.
   25. Rusty Priske Posted: July 25, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5715528)
Also, as a Canadian I always find it off when things it the U.S. are cold 'northern' if they aren't in Alaska.

Growing in Victoria with access to Washington state TV, I found it strange when this place to the south of us called itself the Pacific North West.
   26. Rusty Priske Posted: July 25, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5715529)
Locals call the Twin Cities just The Cities so how about Cities Park?
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: July 25, 2018 at 10:35 AM (#5715536)

Name dropping Husker Du while ignoring the Replacements is akin to blasphemy.


I do love the Mats, but not as much as I do Bob and the boys. And I needed some generational balance there.
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 25, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5715552)
They are renovating the old Dayton's store on Nicollet and they found a mummified monkey inside one of the walls. Evidently, the store used to sell exotic pets
Wait...what?? You could go to your local department store and buy a monkey?? Seems like this should come up more in discussion of the good ol' days.
   29. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 25, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5715572)
St. Twineapolis Field. St. Paul shouldn't feel left out.
   30. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 25, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5715582)
St. Paul shouldn't feel left out.


Don't worry, they are used to it. When the hockey team moved to down town St. Paul there was a major freak out in many quarters, because "OMG I don't ever go to St. Paul, how will I manage?"

The number of people who never go to "the other side" (from either the Mpls or StP sides) is ridiculous, but there you have it.

I admit I do kind of like "Mill City Field".
   31. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 25, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5715693)
Name dropping Husker Du while ignoring the Replacements is akin to blasphemy.

Well, if you're going to go with a musical artist (and you shouldn't), it should be called His Royal Purple Ballpark.

But the team colors are wrong for that anyway.
   32. DavidFoss Posted: July 25, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5715864)
But the team colors are wrong for that anyway.

Highway 61 doesn't work either. The US Highway System colors are black and white, while the team colors are more like that of the Interstate. No one interstate connects Minnesota to New Orleans like Highway 61 does.
   33. Ziggy's screen name Posted: July 25, 2018 at 04:24 PM (#5715865)
"The Field Formerly Known as 'Target Field'"
   34. Bote Man is no David Posted: July 25, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5715915)
The US Highway System colors are black and white

Not in Florida (at least back in the day)! Sadly, Robert V. Droz site showing all of these around the state has gone to the Internet graveyard.
   35. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 25, 2018 at 08:33 PM (#5715986)
#33 - Oh, that's a good one.
   36. QLE Posted: July 26, 2018 at 12:36 AM (#5716126)
Dayton would be a great name if the family wasn't still around and active in politics


We could always name it Stassen Field- but I have a feeling Twins management would get really mad at us if they realized part of the reason why.....
   37. Greg Pope Posted: July 26, 2018 at 09:22 AM (#5716187)
In the spirit of the Angels stadium being named after a beloved former owner, I think Carl Pohlad Park would be appropriate.

Hey, he didn't actually contract the team back in 2001, just threatened it.
   38. Cris E Posted: July 26, 2018 at 10:11 AM (#5716218)
Trivias!

Husker Du actually covered Love is All Around as a B side to "Makes No Sense At All" from Flip Your Wig.

The first year the park was open there was a line of spruce trees in the batter's eye. They looked pretty sharp, but a few players complained that it was a distraction so they were removed.

Of the 17 Fortune 500 companies in MN, only two others would not be terrible names (General Mills and Land O'Lakes, both major food producers.) United Health Group is by far our largest company (#6, 2016 revenues of $157.1 billion) but no one wants that. Ugh.

The capital city Saint Paul was originally named Pig's Eye after Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant, an early resident who ran a tavern out of Fountain Cave near today's downtown St Paul. Back in the early 90s there was also a local brewery called Pig's Eye Brewing. They made a couple really bad, cheap lagers until they inevitably went broke in 02. There are still signs all over St Paul bars.

The Mayo Clinic was founded in Rochester MN, just down the road an hour. They might have the cash for a naming. (Too bad they aren't in Oakland though.)
   39. Bote Man is no David Posted: July 26, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5716220)
In the spirit of the Angels stadium being named after a beloved former owner, I think Carl Pohlad Park would be appropriate.

I understand Carl Pohlad would not meet the stringent standards of non-racist fans. YMMV.

But what's with all these suggestions of corporate names?? I thought the idea was to get away from that, toward names of local geographic or historic interest.
   40. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 26, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5716223)
Back in the early 90s there was also a local brewery called Pig's Eye Brewing. They made a couple really bad, cheap lagers until they inevitably went broke in 02. There are still signs all over St Paul bars.

I remember drinking Pig's Eye on a college visit in the mid '90s. I thought it was just the best! Then again I was used to whatever I could get in HS, which was typically Natty Light or Piehl's.
   41. DL from MN Posted: July 26, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5716453)
Hubert H Humphrey Hennepin Energy Recovery Center Park (or the Humpty-Dumpty)

I like how Great Northern Ballpark acknowledges the past and present of the rail lines surrounding the field.
   42. DL from MN Posted: July 26, 2018 at 03:07 PM (#5716457)
History of the area

http://ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/groups/public/@cped/documents/webcontent/convert_264533.pdf
   43. DL from MN Posted: July 26, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5716464)
setting us up for our next renaming project – Minnesota’s Division III college teams


St. Thomas - Tommies
St. John's - Johnnies
St. Olaf - Oles
St. Benedict - Bennies
Gustavus - Gusties
Augsburg - Auggies
St. Catherine - Wildcats (or Cats)

Then you have

Bethel - Royals
St. Mary's - Cardinals
Carleton - Knights

These schools get to keep the mascot

Concordia - Cobbers
Macalester - Scots
Hamline - Pipers
   44. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: July 26, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5716467)
My problem with Target Field is the Timberwolves play nearby in the Target Center, which beat them to the Target punch by 20 years.


I think that the local continuity is a feature, not a bug. Plus "Target" is a much better name on its face than most corporations (BankOne, Progressive, etc.).
   45. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 26, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5716503)
Macalester - Scots


Whoo hooo! The old school gets a mention! ugly ugly colors and a terrible sports history, but otherwise a fine school.
   46. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: July 26, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5716515)
Hennepin Park
Twin Cities Stadium
Zimmerman Field (Duluth's not that far away, is it?)
Can't believe no one's yet suggested Paisley Park
Fitzgerald Field (it's shorter than Beat On Boats Against the Current Borne Back Ceaselessly Into the Past Park)
Cold Storage
The Big Igloo
Harmon Killebrew Did You Ever Get My Letter Box
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: July 26, 2018 at 06:17 PM (#5716551)
Whoo hooo! The old school gets a mention! ugly ugly colors and a terrible sports history, but otherwise a fine school.


That was the aforementioned college visit. Mrs. Unacceptable and I were hoping our daughter would choose to go there.
   48. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 26, 2018 at 06:34 PM (#5716561)
That was the aforementioned college visit. Mrs. Unacceptable and I were hoping our daughter would choose to go there.


Good school and one of my best friends teaches there, but no, huh?
   49. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: July 26, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5716572)
On the whole "Nicollet" sounds more distinctive, so I'll nominate "Nicollet Park" despite its lack of fit to the current site.


NB that this name is said "NICK-oh-let", with the T very distinctly audible. For what it's worth.

I hate the idea of using this project to just name things after the giant, faceless corporations that already own the naming rights just because said giant, faceless corporation happens to be local. Target Field is exactly the kind of name this project was undertaken to displace.

If we are going to name it after a giant local corporation, Pillsbury Park has a far better ring to it.

Anyway, I like Hennepin Field or Hennepin Stadium of those already nominated. Twins Stadium is fine, given that the whole name is supposed to help those boring weirdos who live in St Paul feel included. You could also call it Lake Park, as Minneapolis and Minnesota are both well-known for their plentiful lakes. Though the stadium itself is closer to the Mississippi than any lake.

Also, in researching this, I have discovered that the quondam Lake Calhoun, which I lived a block away from for years, is now no longer called that (I think it was named after notorious villain John C. Calhoun), and is now called something unpronounceable to the English-speaking reader. That's giving me weird feelings.
   50. SoSH U at work Posted: July 26, 2018 at 07:09 PM (#5716574)
Good school and one of my best friends teaches there, but no, huh?


It was her second choice.
   51. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 26, 2018 at 10:02 PM (#5716633)
Also, in researching this, I have discovered that the quondam Lake Calhoun, which I lived a block away from for years, is now no longer called that (I think it was named after notorious villain John C. Calhoun), and is now called something unpronounceable to the English-speaking reader. That's giving me weird feelings.


There was quite the to do about it. I can't remember the whole story behind it, but basically the locals felt it was better to go back to the original Native American name than have it named after evil defender of slavery and bad guy (who has basically no connection to the place). Personally I am OK with it either way (and most locals still call it Lake Calhoun, FWIW).

And I still like Mill City for a prefix (either Park or Field for the rest), as Minneapolis is big on its history around mills and milling.
   52. Perry Posted: July 27, 2018 at 05:40 PM (#5717078)
That was the aforementioned college visit. Mrs. Unacceptable and I were hoping our daughter would choose to go there.


My daughter did. Chose it over, IIRC, Northwestern, Penn, and Earlham, among others. Wanted Swarthmore but got waitlisted. Anyway, she hated it her first year -- loved her classes but found her fellow students -- especially but not only her roommate -- too entitled and not serious enough about school for her liking. After she got into her major(s) (poli sci/philosophy) she made some good friends and ended up pretty happy there. Also loved her internships at the MN state legislature.
   53. SoSH U at work Posted: July 30, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5718048)
We'll close nominations tomorrow evening.

   54. Bote Man is no David Posted: July 30, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5718071)
YaYouBetcha Field

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