MINNEAPOLIS — As a kid growing up in Minnesota, Dick Bremer went to Twins games at the old Metropolitan Stadium and thought he found his dream job.
No, it wasn’t the job he currently holds as the play-by-play announcer for Twins broadcasts on FOX Sports North. He didn’t even dream of being a baseball player.
Instead, the 8-year-old Bremer had his sights set on another gig.
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“During the game, the grounds crew didn’t do much at Met Stadium,” Bremer said. “They might have raked the infield in the middle of the game real quick, but I just thought it was a cool idea to be able to get into the games for free and sit and watch the game from field level. From where I was sitting in the upper deck, that seemed like a pretty good job to have.”
On Thursday, Bremer finally got to have that job as he helped groundskeeper Larry DiVito and the Target Field grounds crew prepare for — and maintain the field during — the Twins’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Bremer’s day started at 9 a.m. by painting the “TC” logo displayed prominently behind home plate. He was given a can of white spray paint for the “T” and red paint for the “C.”
“It’s one of the first things people see when they get to the ballpark,” Bremer said. “I just wanted to do a good job. They said I did a good job, so I’m happy to have done that and gotten that out of the way right away.”
But the day was just beginning after painting the “TC” logo. Bremer then raked and watered the base paths, cut the grass, dragged the warning track and swept sunflower seeds out of both dugouts. He also helped move the batting cage out onto the field so the visiting Blue Jays could take early BP.
The grounds crew wouldn’t let Bremer use the riding mower, or cut the striped patterns in the outfield grass. But they did give him a chance to cut the grass in foul territory.
“I felt some anxiety with the mower, only because I know how beautiful the grass is here and I didn’t want to screw it up. My teenage kids cut the grass at home, so I haven’t been behind a mower for a while,” Bremer said. “They didn’t trust me with the expensive mower. I got the walk-behind — in foul territory. They didn’t trust me with fair territory.”
By 2 p.m., Bremer got a reprieve as the Blue Jays took the field for early batting practice. Normally, Bremer wouldn’t get to the park until 3:30 p.m. for a 7 o’clock game.
“I wouldn’t be here yet,” Bremer said during his break, “and I’ve already put in a full day.”
That’s the experience Bremer was looking for, however, when he first decided to take on this challenge. He didn’t want to just rake the infield during the game.
He wanted to see everything it takes to maintain a major league ballpark.
“Fans don’t realize it, and I’ve been broadcasting for 29 years now and I’ve never really realized all the things that go into getting a field ready for a major league baseball game,” Bremer said. “It’s really been a unique experience. I’m glad I’ve done it. I do have a greater appreciation for all the work that goes in.”