On a quest for better baseball than the parent club has been offering lately we decided to check out some minor league games as our family vacation. I know it's usually boring to look at other people's vacation pictures but since this trip was mainly Cubs/baseball related I thought a few of you might be interested.
Our destinations were Peoria to see the Chiefs and Des Moines to see the Iowa Cubs. We also stopped at Little Cubs Field on the way home. We found that most of our other stops along the way could be tied into our "baseball" theme too. For instance a living history farm we visited had a baseball field for old time games and one of the restaurants had a "Thai Cobb" salad that I just had to try. Our weather was pretty bad so my son picked a movie for us to see. He picked "The Conspirator" which I had forgotten was backed by Joe Ricketts until the final credits rolled by, so even that fit the theme. It was a very good movie BTW. We also visited the Field of Dreams movie site.
The day before we left I received my copy of "Ron Santo-A Perfect 10." My husband thought I bought it for him so I am letting him read it first. He started it on the trip and judging from the expressions on his face and the literal laughing out loud it looks pretty good. He's really enjoying it. Can't wait to read it myself.The Peoria Chiefs
We went to see the Chiefs on Tues. night 6/7/11. We had awesome seats just behind home plate (for only $10). Unfortunately they lost 4-1 to the West Michigan Whitecaps. It was really a decent game. Austin Kirk was pitching well and they were still tied 1-1 until Robinson Lopez gave up a 3 run homer in the 9th.
O'Brien Field was a nice, clean, intimate park. We didn't have much to eat because it was unbearably hot that night, but the few things we tried were good. It was Vampire Night when we went so the silly games played between innings were vampire themed. My husband managed to snag one of the free t-shirts being thrown out.
Went to the Iowa Cubs game on Thurs. 6/9/11. Got to Principal Park and was excited to see Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker had just made it there that day for their rehab assignments. Again we had great seats in the front row right behind the visitors bullpen (only $12). Just to make us feel at home the play and the weather turned ugly. They were losing 8-1 when they got stopped by a severe thunderstorm and hail in the 4th. We waited it out in the concourse for awhile til they suspended the game which was scheduled to be played at 5pm the following night before their regular game. They have a much better rain policy than Wrigley and let you exchange the tickets for another night.
We went on Friday to see the finish of the game, but that too got suspended by rain. They decided to skip it til the following night. We did get to see some baseball though. They finally got underway with the regularly scheduled game at around 7:30pm. This one they lost in 10 innings to Round Rock Express by a score of 7-6. Following the game was a fireworks show which they do every Friday night. That helped ease the pain a little.
Considering most of my experience with Principal Park was the hours we spent in the concourse waiting out rain delays I gotta say it was at least clean, dry and comfortable. Glad they had picnic tables out there. They do have some good beer choices so I was content.
Here are some pics from the game. I do have lots more of Reed Johnson if anyone wants to see. Looks like I found my replacement for Ted Lilly. So happy he's back and doing well after being HBP on Saturday.
Nice to see that both the Chiefs and I Cubs were wearing Ronnie's 10. Didn't know that they were doing that in the minors too. Also, all of the players/coaches on both teams were wearing their socks like knickers or stirrups. Not sure if that is a sign of solidarity or teamwork, but it looked good having them all dressed the same. Wish I could say more about the play looking good.
Little Wrigley Field
This was our last stop and it definitely ended our trip on a high note. If you aren't familiar, Little Cubs Field is a Little League park located in Freeport, IL built to look like a miniature version of Wrigley Field. It was absolutely adorable. What a fantastic job they did. There were bricks, ivy, dirt and bleacher seats imported from Wrigley. The details were amazing down to the warning track, the retired # flags, WGN and street signs and even an Eamus Catuli across the street. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. This link has more information about it if you are interested.
Well, if you got this far, thanks for humoring me and letting me share some of my photos. Beyond the games I attended I'm probably not as familiar with the Chiefs and I Cubs as some of you, but if you have any questions maybe I can answer them.