The Metrodome hosted its final game Sunday, as the NFL's Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions. The Minnesota Twins, who won the World Series there in 1987 and 1991, left after 2009 for Target Field.
Those are the two pro sports franchises most closely associated with the Metrodome, but keen sports fans will remember that the Minnesota Timberwolves played there for a season too. It was their first season in the NBA, 1989, and their arena, the Target Center wasn't open yet. One fun tidbit that's come out of the farewell-to-the-Metrodome columns — ex-Twins manager Tom Kelly loved to hang around the T-Wolves that season.
Writing at NBA.com, Steve Aschburner reveals:
The Wolves used the visitors’ [baseball] clubhouse, on the other side of the laundry room,” said Clayton Wilson, the Timberwolves’ longtime equipment manager, who worked for the Twins before switching over with the move to Target Center. “Tom Kelly could sit in there and listen to [head coach Bill] Musselman rip into the players. ‘Lohaus, you [bleep]!’ Muss would get in their faces a little bit.”
Kelly was a season-ticket holder, like Twins Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett.
“T.K. loved the Xs & Os,” Wilson said, “so he would go in pregame and listen to them, and then [during the game] he’d say, ‘OK, see how the coaches said they were going to deny this guy the ball and get it to that guy? That’s what they’re doing.’ “
That's coaches being coaches, but here's the goofy bit of trivia that might impress your friends:
There were more than a few nights, Wilson said, that Kelly – rattling around his Dome office in the middle of a Minnesota winter – would give the regular laundry guy a night off and wash the Wolves’ sweaty uniforms and socks.
Well, if you're going to do laundry for a pro sports team, basketball would definitely be a better choice than baseball.
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