As the title suggests, I'm taking a road trip in which I'll see seven ballgames in seven different cities. All but two of the ballparks will be new to me. Nice!
First up, my hometown Peoria Chiefs, the Class A affiliate of my Chicago Cubs. I'm fortunate to live withing fifteen minutes of the park; I know where to park for free; the concessions are much improved; and I know more than a few people working in the ballpark. It's my own little slice of heaven and I visit as frequently as I can.
Here's the front of the ballpark as I'm walking up to the stadium. Huh, that's a big Budweiser truck parked out in front and an abnormally long line leading up to the gates. What's going on?
Ah, a promotion, of course. Mark Grace and Yadier Molina t-shirt giveaway tonight. Cool. Both players jump-started their careers in Peoria. I snagged this Grace t-shirt with an old school Chiefs logo on the front.
But wait, more than just a t-shirt promotion was in store tonight. Man, I love my Peoria Chiefs. Read on!
My sister joined me for an evening of baseball and she went immediately to the gift shop to buy a team set. Ten minutes later I'm playing "spotter" for her and she's snagging autographs left and right. Nine autos in total were added to her collection including the starting pitcher of tonight's game, the closer, and five Chiefs from the starting lineup. The guys were great and my sister is always throwing around "please" and "thank you" in their direction. The score of the evening was Javier Baez, the 2011 #1 draft pick, who is one heck of a ballplayer (see the middle card).
These guys were from Chicago and player "America the Beautiful" before the game. They did a nice job, but I'm not sure I could pull of the kilt like that.
These guys were from St. Louis and they trotted a lap around the ballpark. Yes, the Budweiser Clydesdales were in the house!
Oh, this guy was in attendance tonight as well. The Famous Chicken! He's walking down the ramp to the home dugout after doing a skit on the field between innings AND giving me a fist bump. Score!
For the record, I purchased this "bobblehead" of the chicken before the fist bump. It's more of a "bobbleuppertorso," but what are you going to do?
The Chiefs lost 5 to 3 to Quad Cities, which snapped a nine game home winning streak, but that didn't stop the corn from celebrating a Paul Hoilman homerun! I love me some dancing corn.
One day down, only six to go.