2010 Baseball Trip: Day 1-Davenport, IA

Quad Cities River Bandits vs. Burlington Bees: Our second game of the day took us to beautiful Modern Woodmen Park, home of the River Bandits. This ballpark was listed #1 on the Minor League ‘must see’ list, and it didn’t disappoint. The bridge going over the mighty Mississippi River in right field was really breathtaking. It had already been a long day, so it was nice to sit back, relax with my $6 brat and beer, and enjoy the game. There were a lot of walks, so we were able to scout many pitching prospects during the game. The weather stayed nice for us, too. It was hard to concentrate on the game at times, as we’d get mesmerized by the bridge and river. A perfect night for baseball. Final: Bees 9, River Bandits 6. Best: The view. Great site lines with the bridge. Worst: Pricey concessions.

QC8.jpgPhotos property of MIB

2010 Baseball Trip: Day 1-DeKalb, IL

Northern Illinois Huskies vs. Central Michigan Chippewas: Our first game slated the Huskies defending their home Ralph McKinzie Field against the Chips. This is the only game where we really cared about the outcome. My dad went to CMU, and the Chips have a local Sault kid on thier roster, so we were rooting for the visitors all the way. Things got a little interensting when a NUI batter ran over the Chips first baseman while he was fielding the ball. Both teams came out of their dugouts, but nothing really came of it. Central’s coach was pretty steamed, though, as the umpires didn’t call for interferance or give the batter a warning of any kind. It was a fun game to watch, as this was the highest scoring game we’d see the whole trip. McKinzie Feld is a simple place to watch a game, as there are just some bleachers behind home plate. There are some places to stand along the fist base wall, though. Final Score: CMU 8, NUI 7. Best: Free admission. Worst: Port-o-potties. I’m lucky I stand.

CMU6.jpgPhotos property of MIB

2010 Baseball Trip: Day 1-Geneva, IL

Our trip this year started out with a long drive as usual, and our first stop was in Geveva, Illinois to the home of the Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League. The Cougars were on the road, as we’ll see later, but while we were in the neiborhood we stopped by Philip B. Elfstrom Stadium to check it out. Lucky for us there was a high school game going on, so we were able to get into the stadium and get our appetite whet for some baseball. The Cougars have a really nice stadium, and I’d like to get back to see them play a game here. It seems like every seat you feel close to the action and a great view. We couldn’t stay too long, though, as we had two games to catch on this day.

KC3.jpgPhotos property of MIB

Farewell, Ernie

harwellauto.jpgI understand this is hardly breaking news at this point, but the passing of Ernie Harwell took place while I was on the road, and this is my first chance to post since. I’m not going to waste time going over Harwell’s great career as a broadcaster, because baseball fans are well aware of his exploits in and out of the booth. Like most Tigers fans, though, we grew up with Ernie on the radio. He was as much a part of the team as any of the players. Sometimes more so, as he was just always there. Enie was broadcasting games well before I was even born, so for so long he was all that I ever new when it came to listening to the Tigers. That’s an easy way to take thing for granted, though. I never had the chance to meet him, but my dad did and was able to get his autograph. There has been no one like him since, nor will there ever be again. Baseball lost a legend, but the world lost just a really good person. Thanks for the memories, Ernie.

Top photo property of MIB

Bottom photo courtesy of the Detroit Tigers