By Tyger Allen
MINNEAPOLIS — Below the broadcast boxes and alongside a row of paneling that reads “Welcome to Target Field” is just one of a few spots that Dan Taylor stands at Minnesota Twins home games. When he isn’t standing under the sign, he’s either inside the Delta Club, Champions Club or the Budweiser Roof Deck, located behind the left field foul pole.
Taylor works for the premium services offered at Target Field. His main job is to check credentials from fans – or as he calls them, guests of the park.
His road to working for the Twins stemmed from his lifelong passion for baseball. Living on the east side of St. Paul, Minnesota, Taylor remembers playing from T-ball to college, where he played for the University of Minnesota. Despite living in the Twin Cities area, Taylor grew up a New York Yankees fan. Inside the now-diminished Yankees Stadium, he would play catch with some of baseball’s legends – Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra.
Although he loved it, he had to give up baseball for a while. He recalled his time traveling – except it wasn’t for leisure. Taylor served the United States Army for 35 years, serving in both the Vietnam and Iraq wars. According to Taylor, he’s one of the last living veterans to serve in both.
“When I reached 60, they showed me the door, and now I’m getting a nice check every month,” Taylor said.
He takes pride in his job, as he is an employee of the Minnesota Twins. According to Taylor, most other services like his are owned by a separate company, not the professional sports team. Before working for the Twins, he worked for U.S. Bank Stadium when it first opened up with new renovations. The disorganization, he says, is why he quit. After only a year, he was hired at the new home of the Minnesota Vikings. During his time at Target Field, his job has provided him with an opportunity to watch history unfold.
Taylor pointed to a small area to the side of the opponent’s dugout. That was where he stood as Derek Jeter took his final at bat inside Target Field. With fans pressing against the wall, Taylor recalled that many people were looking to get the Yankee legend’s attention.
“He wouldn’t sign any autographs, except for a woman in a wheelchair,” Taylor said.
He was even on the ground level when the Twins presented Mariano Rivera with a rocking chair made up of broken bats. The reason, Taylor recalls, was because of how Rivera’s curveball made players figuratively break their bats.
Taylor, 69, says that working at Target Field as a nice place to retire. He’s proud of his new kitchen that he upgraded and his 2017 Corvette – the third one he’s owned. Baseball, golf and his grandkids mostly occupy his time now, though. With baseball’s demanding schedule, it takes up most of the summer. But for Taylor, each time he pulls over the Carolina blue polo with the Twins logo, there is something new to see at work. His wife of 44 years calls him after every game and asks, “Hey Dan, what’d you take away from the game?”