One of the fun things about gearing up for our 2011 travels, is wondering what players we’ll be able to watch who might make it to the big leagues. It takes some players longer to make than others, but some guys just seem to stand out. Last season while in Cedar Rapids, we were lucky enough to watch Mike Trout play, who has been named the top prospect in baseball. His lead-off homer was impressive, but what impressed me more was his attitude. He was nice enough to sign a program for my son who was an Angels fan at the time (he bounces back between the Angels and Cubs..don’t ask). We sat right behind the on deck circle, and our conversation with Mike started when my dad asked him why he had his name and number on his shoes, while his teammates didn’t. He kindly explained that he was their top draft pick and this was part of his deal. He had his own little cheering section which he rewarded with a game ball. It’s nice to see players at this level without the big egos and attitudes. Trout genually seemed gratefull for his fans and to be playing. The next day in DeMoines we saw Hall of Famers Ryne Sandburg again. You really can’t go wrong meeting these guys. We also met some of the Whitecaps players later in the summer, and being a Tigers fan it’s fun to watch these guys progress though the system. So next time you’re travelling by a Minor League ballpark, stop in for a game. Ya just never know who you might see play.
Photos property of M.I.B.
Iowa Cubs vs. Omaha Royals: Our only game on day two took us to Des Moines for some AAA Pacific Coast League action. The game started at 1:00 p.m., and the day was hot and sunny. About the third inning, though, all that changed. A huge storm cloud decided to nest over the field and give us some rain. Not too much, enough to get you a little damp, but not enough to call the game. If you think that a little rain is enough to chase me from a ballgame, though, you’re wrong. We stayed as long as the game was on, and that was the 8th inning. It finally decided to pour on us. Oh, well, 8 innings is still pretty good. I didn’t get a chance to explore Principal Park as much as I would have liked, but our seats were good and there really didn’t seem that there was a bad seat in the house. There was a lot of fans packed in for a Sunday game, but a lot left after the rain started. Our lunch consisted of a beer, a Chicago Dog, and some popcorn. I did like the park, though, and would recommend a game here if you’re in the area. Final: Royals 5, Cubs 4. Best: The scoreboard reading ‘Out of Towners’ and ‘Local Boys’. Worst: Lots of people. If you don’t mind large crowds, this shouldn’t bother you.
Photos property of MIB