Tag Archives: Cedar Rapids

Craziness in CR

 

Like the shirt?

Like the shirt?

— Matt Nelson

The lesson of the story is, you never know what you’ll see when you buy a ticket at the ballpark.

Having a Monday off from work, noticing that the Kernels had a Nooner, and noticing that they were playing Beloit (MWL affiliate of my beloved Minnesota Twins), I decided to premiere my new “Ballparks of the Midwest” t-shirt at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids.

I was really here for the visitors

I was really here for the visitors

The highlight of the day was this bizarre happening in the Bottom of the 7th inning with Alexi Amarista at bat for Cedar Rapids. I can’t do it justice, check out Gazette sportswriter Jeff Johnson’s account here. My scorecard read “?” after that play. Now I’ll know for the next time.

It was enjoyable to check out some of the Twins prospects. Beloit is not a very good team this year. They are currently last in the MWL West Division Overall Standings at 45-69. However they do have outfielder Angel Morales (Baseball America ranked Morales the Twins 10th best prospect prior to 2009). Bobby Lanigan was the starter and Baseball America says he has the best slider of any prospect in the Twins organization.
Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington

Also, it was interesting to see Eastern Iowa native Michael Harrington as well as Jon Waltenbury,both of whom I saw play at Rookie League Elizabethton in 2008.

The strikeout, withoutthe actual strikeout, is definetely the most memorable experience of this trip to the ballpark. Gotta love umpires.

Programming Note:The last segment of “Ballparks of the Midwest” airs this Wednesday, August 12 at 6:00 on KCRG-TV9. Check out my visit to Comstock Park, Michigan and the West Michigan Whitecaps. The 5,000 calorie Fifth Third Burger will not disappoint, I promise!

Jon Waltenbury

Jon Waltenbury

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Veterans Memorial Stadium – Cedar Rapids, Iowa

CR1— Matt Nelson

(Be sure to watch the video reports from Veterans Memorial Stadium by clicking here!)

Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is the hometown park for KCRG-TV and is home to the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

Cedar Rapids has been in the Midwest League since the 1960’s and played in Veterans Stadium I through 2001. In 2002 the team moved across the parking lot to the east from the old one and into Veterans Memorial Stadium II .

In 2008 the ballpark name was changed to Dale and Thomas Popcorn Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. That sponsorship didn’t last long and to start 2009 the name was changed to Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Perfect Game USA is a baseball related business located across the street from the ballpark.

100_8308On the outside of the park you’ll find a small tribute to local and national veterans. The rest of the stadium exterior doesn’t really stand out too much. It’s a lot of gray and white. While there is parking outside of the ballpark on the 1st Base side, the main entrance is on the 3rd Base side. The exterior of the 1st Base side kind of gets forgotten in the scheme of things.

100_8348Once inside the ballpark there is an open concourse that traces much of the ballpark, although it does not go all of the way around the ballpark. Group seating areas are available down the left field line and on the second level down the 1st Base line. Suites and a grass berm are other seating options at the ballpark in addition to the standard seats.

One thing that is easy to miss but is worth a stop at, is the Cedar Rapids Pro Baseball Hall of Fame. It is located in the souvenir store on the concourse.

CR3The one thing that right now makes Cedar Rapids stand out in the Midwest League is not so much the ballpark, but the fact that the team has the longest running current affiliation int he MWL. Since 1993 the Kernels have been an affiliate of the Angels.

Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium is a very nice place to watch a ballgame, but it doesn’t have some of the ammentities that even newer parks have, and it is not as architecturally impressive as other ballparks built in recent years.

Be sure to check out our video stories profiling Veterans Memorial Stadium and the relationship between the Kernels and the Angels!

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Filed under Midwest League Ballparks