Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Being Mischievous in Des Moines

Vince and Craig taking in another Cubs loss.

On Saturday six of us piled into two different vehicles and we drove four hours west to Des Moines, Iowa, to see the I-Cubs play the dreaded Memphis Redbirds.

Why?  Well, because some might argue that the bats in Des Moines are more potent than the ones featured in Wrigley.

3-4-5?  Yeah, that's a pretty solid heart of the order.

We actually saw two homers from Javier Baez, the second of which seemingly was shot out of a cannon.  Jorger Soler crushed one that knifed through a 20+ mph wind to dead center on Sunday.  I love me some offense as long as it is wearing Cubbie blue.

Unfortunately, we were witness to some less than stellar baseball on the whole being played by the home team, and the I-Cubs dropped both games of a doubleheader Saturday night and the early game on Sunday before our return trip.  Overall, the Redbids swept the I-Cubs in a five game series played over a three day span. 

The trip wasn't a total loss though.  Let's run through a few highlights...
1. My sister left two separate complimentary messages for truckers on their "How's my driving?" hotline.  That was a hoot.

2. My buddy, Vince, knows a guy and snagged us a pair of rooms in a pretty swank hotel for $39.99 each.  I wish I knew a guy.

3. I got to relieve my college days when we ordered a couple of large pizzas after the Saturday night doubleheader.  Mmmm... pizza after midnight!  If you're in the Des Moines area be sure to try Paul Revere's Pizza. Delish!

4. We took Craig frisbee-golfing Sunday morning for the first time.  I think he had a fun time!
Craig recovering a disc amongst the "rhubarb."
5. On Sunday we took part in the Family Deal, which includes, 4 tickets, 4 slices of pizza, 4 drinks, and 4 I-Cubs hats for only $48. Totally worth it!

6.  The best part, for me, happened when my sister found a suite ticket on the concourse.

"I dare you to go up there, Tom"

"Challenge accepted!"

 The employee at the elevator pressed the up button for me and smiled as though we were old friends.

I don't know why I pressed the Floor 2 button, because the ticket was for Suite 321.  Oops.  At least I didn't draw attention to myself.

When I reached the suite level on Floor 3 the ballpark representative was busy attending to a matter with some paying customers, so I just started meandering up and down the hallway until I found 321.

"Oops, wrong suite!"  Yep, that's what I said when I entered 321 and found it full with fans of the I-Cubs.  Bummer, I was hoping my sister found the ticket because the suite owners had left after game one of the doubleheader.

I did an about face and made off for the other end of the hall and passed an exhibit on how baseball bats are made.

The stadium was previously name Sec Taylor Stadium, and I found the little section on the suite level which paid tribute to him.

Mr. Taylor was previously a beloved sports editor for the local paper.

I passed some two foot tall, glass encased statues of past Cubs greats.  The one on the left could be Ernie Banks, bu the on eon the right looks nothing like Greg Maddux if you ask me.

I snapped a few shots of framed pictures of the bigger names who donned an Iowa Cubs uniform.
Give yourself a pat on the back if you know who #34 is!

Then I came across an empty suite.  The door was a ajar, the lights were dimmed, there were a few plates and napkins on tables leftover from the guests.  No one was there.  Their ticket stubs were there, a handful of programs were there, and some nachos were there.  But no one was there. Huh.
 I like nachos!  Yes, there were only blue tortilla chips left.  No matter.  Just in case you're wondering... There's nothing better than eating nachos in a suite you can't afford and watching a game from a vantage point you didn't pay for while looking down upon all the poor folk in the lower bowl. It was a like a little slice of heaven.

Then I realized, I missed my friends.  I scooped up the other tickets and made haste for the poor folk section.

On the way out I was able to get the nice elevator lady, the one who apparently had known me for years, to snap a picture of me and the I-Cubs mascot.


I returned to my friends and told a great tale about nachos and how the other half live.  I passed them the tickets from the suite and encouraged them to go take a look for themselves.   Unfortunately, from what I gathered, the employee who was detained when I arrived was not as busy this time around, and sent my friends back out to the cheap seats. 

I felt bad that my friends didn't get to have the same experience I did, but I was proud of myself for taking the plunge and being a little more mischievous than I normally am.

Overall, it was a good 36 hour mini vacation.  Great company, decent baseball, good food, and a couple of fun memories to boot.

Thanks for stopping by today!


  1. Slowly, I am wearing you down.... you will join the Crazy Man club! Feel the power of the Crazy!!!!!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Tom,
      You were in Des Moines and you didn't let me know? Bummer. We thought about going to that game, but my wife didn't want to sit through a doubleheader. If we known you were in town, I could have talked her into it, and at the very least, taken you and your friends out to eat at Zombie Burger! I also take it you won't need this year's I-Cub program, either.

      I was up in the Press Box the last game, I have a friend who's the I-Cubs beat writer for the Iowa Cubs, Iowa State Football, and Iowa Wild hockey team. I get to hang with him once in a while up there. Talk about fun seats.

    2. I'll let you know next summer when I'm heading through Iowa on my way out to Colorado. This time I was with a bunch of friends and we were on a tight schedule. As always, waiting 'til next year!