Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Judge Crump's Ruling

Just days after the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees to finally win one of the greatest World Series' ever, Major League Baseball announced it's plan to contract two teams. Although the Twins had made money while riding a group of young players to a winning record, they were still on the list of teams to be eliminated before the 2002 season.

Minnesotans revolted, holding a rainy rally and brunch at Gabe's, but they knew this would have to be settled in the courts. The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission was set up to run to publicly financed Metrodome on the public's behalf. Although the MSFC allowed to the Twins to play baseball at the dome for free, they still had still signed a lease agreement. They had signed on to play in the dome through the 2002 season.

When the Twins' landlord brought the issue against baseball's high powered lawyers, Judge Harry S. Crump had probably already made up his mind. With most businesses a standing contract can be bought out. Pohlad and Selig were more than willing to pay monetary damages to the MSFC. However, the MSFC was a representative of the public, and therefore, the lease wasn't necessarily an agreement between a building and its tenants.

Here's Judge Crump's ruling, which kept the Twins in existence.

Baseball is as American as turkey and apple pie. Baseball is a tradition that passes from generation to generation. Baseball crosses social barriers, creates community spirit, and is much more than a private enterprise. Baseball is a national pastime. Locally, the Twins have been part of Minnesota history and tradition for forty years. The Twins have given Minnesota two World Series Championships, one in 1987, and one in 1991. The Twins have also given Minnesota legends such as Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, Kent Hrbek, and Kirby Puckett; some of which streets are named after. These legends have bettered the community. most memorably, these legends, volunteered their time to encourage and motivate children to succeed in all challenges of life. Clearly, more than money is at stake. The welfare, recreation, prestige, prosperity, trade and commerce of the people of the community are at stake. The Twins brought the community together with Homer Hankies and bobblehead dolls. The Twins are one of the few professional sports teams in town where a family can afford to take their children to enjoy a hot dog and peanuts at a stadium. The vital public interest, or trust, of the Twins substantially outweighs any private interest. Private businesses were condemned to build the Metrodome. In condemnation proceedings, the building of the Metrdodome was deemed to be in the interest of the public. The Commission, the State, citizenry and fans will suffer irreparable harm if the Twins do not play 2002 baseball games at the Metrodome.

For better or for worse, the public and professional baseball are intertwined, even legally. If I were the Twins, I would etch Crump's ruling in stone and place it in front of Target Field.


soup said...

Nice post. I did not know any of this.

I'm glad the words "Homer Hankies" found their way into a judicial opinion.

BD said...

I don't know whether the ruling was "right" legally. I do know I was thrilled when I heard of it.

Etched in stone or on a plaque out front, I agree people entering Target Field should have an opportunity to consider what would have been lost.

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.