A Totally Irrelevant Post Not Involving a Photo of Ashton Kutcher

[Gee…I think I kinda lost track of this blog again.]

For those who are lost as to the meaning of the title of the post, see this post at ENDABlog.

For those who are curious as to what these photos are, the top one is Geoff Klein of the Quad Cities River Bandits approaching second base after hitting a home run off of Brandon Berl of the Lansing Lugnuts in game three of the Midwest League Champoinship Series at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, Iowa on Saturday night (I leave it to the readers – even those who may never have heard of baseball – to discern which person in that photo has just hit a home run and which one has just served one up.)

The following three preceded that photo:


Final score: Bandits 6 – Lugnuts 3 (Quad Cities wins the series 3 games to none, for the team’s first championship since 1990).

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Filed under John O'Donnell Stadium, Lansing Lugnuts, Quad Cities River Bandits

Making It

There’s no way around it: Its damn nice to see Tom Wilhelmsen to go from this in Sept. 2010:

…to this, three days into the 2011 Major League season:

I’m just a kid who grew up in the unfashionable cookie-cutter suburbs of Houston – the ones fairly close to where the Astros played at the time – who never envisioned setting foot in either Oakland’s Alameda County Coliseum (which I saw quite a lot of on TV as a kid; the pre-Yankees heyday of Reggie Jackson) or Clinton, Iowa’s Riverview Stadium (which I never heard of until I found myelf living in Iowa in 2003.)  I’ve now been to a couple of games at Oakland (one when the stadium looked like it did in the early 70s; once after the Raiders’ ‘improvements’) and a bunch in Clinton.

When I go to games at Clinton (and Davenport and Beloit and Cedar Rapids….) I know that most of the players aren’t ever going to make it to the big leagues – but, of course, I know that a few will.  Still, I didn’t think that anyone I saw playing in the Midwest League last year (well, with the exception of Aramis Ramirez via his rehab weekend in Peoria) would have made it to the majors by the beginning of 2011.

Here’s hoping that things go well for Tom Wilhelmsen.

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Filed under Alliant Energy Field in Clinton, Clinton Lumberkings, Oakland A's, Peoria Chiefs, Seattle Mariners

Out of Order (But Higher Up): Durham Bulls 7 – Indianapolis Indians 6, at Indy, June 23

This was an afternoon game I caught part of on my drive back to Moline from the Midwest League All-Star Game that had been played in Fort Wayne the previous night.  Victory Field is a nice stadium, but parking is a bit of a pain (I had to park at the Zoo and walk; I guess it would have been worse had it been raining, but in the heat it was no bargain either.)

It was rather hot that afternoon.

But, I can put up with such things when I snag foul balls.  This was only my second AAA game, but, thanks to even the seats behind home plate being rather empty, I magaged to get a foul before I had to scoot.

One other note: I’ll be adding photos from my digital cameras later, but these first seven (including the one above) were taken with my Canon AE-1 – meaning that they were shot on…

wait for it…

Film!  (Other camera info: Fuji 400 Film; I think all of these shots were with a Canon 100-300mm Zoom lens)


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Filed under Durham Bulls, Indianapolis Indians, Victory Field

Out of Order: South Bend Silver Hawks 5 – Lake County Captains 2, at South Bend, Aug. 8

Well, the photos of this game were on my computer, so I though I’d go ahead and put these up.

This was my one journey to The Cove in 2010, and due to scheduling problems (mine), I didn’t get to stay flr all of the game.  But, here are the higlights of my pix:


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Filed under Coveleski Stadium, Lake County Captains, South Bend Silver Hawks

Game 3 of the 2010 MWL West Championship Series: Clinton 4 – Kane County 1

First, though…

No, its not the star of one of the Super Bowl commercials from yesterday.  Its just my buddy Louise – and I snapped this shot of her a few hours before I drove up to Clinton on Sept. 13 to see the deciding Game 3 of the Mid West League Western Division Championship Series between the Lumberkings and the Kane County Cougars.  (Louise declined to come with me when I explained that it is Lumberkings, not Lumberpugs.)

This game was interesting in that it was the first time I’d ever been to a deciding game of a series where the team I was pulling for won.  Kane County got there by beating Quad Cities three days earlier (not that I was a homer and rooting for the River Bandits – even though I live across from them in Moline – but I had been hoping for a Clinton-Quad Cities series so I could see all of the games; I just wasn’t up for a drive to the Chicago suburbs), and my only other instances of seeing final games were Game 3 of the 1997 Division Series between the Braves and the Astros (sweep – and not by the Astros) and the final of the 2010 Women’s Big 10 Basketball Tournament which the Iowa Hawkeyes lost in the final seconds.

The highlight of this game was, of course, Mickey Wiswall’s home run (the swing and the score are represented amongst the pix below; at the Game 2 of the series with Lake County I presented him with prints of the entire sequence and he was really appreciative).  Sadly, the lighting wasn’t quite as good as it was for my pix of Rashun Dixon’s shot against the River Bandits that helped the Cougars get to Clinton (pix which, of course, will be forthcoming.)

For the time being, though:

Now, the series of pix of the Wiswall shot:

And now for the remainder of the game – concluding with a celebration on the mound after the final out.


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Filed under Alliant Energy Field in Clinton, Clinton Lumberkings, Kane County Cougars, Midwest League Playoffs

After a Hiatus….

Well, I kinda got busy and stopped posting.

That doesn’t mean that I stopped going to games.  I made it to the Midwest League All-Star Game in Fort Wayne and to a few of the cities in the Eastern Division of the MWL.  Along the way I managed to hit a couple of AAA games and even another big league game before winding things up with game two of the MWL Championship Series between the Clinton Lumberkings and the Lake County Captains at Clinton.  I had committed beforehand to heading home after 6 innings or so; little could I have imagined that 6 innings would end up only being one third of the game.  (Sadly, thereafter, Clinton went out to the Cleveland suburbs and lost the series in five games to the Captains.)

My goal is to work backwards to where I unceremoniously left off in June by the time the 2011 season gets started – but meanwhile, here are a few shots from my last baseball game 0f 2010:


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Filed under Alliant Energy Field in Clinton, Clinton Lumberkings, Lake County Captains, Midwest League Playoffs

East Meeting West: Cedar Rapids Kernels 6 – West Michigan Whitecaps 2

Intermittent sprinkles caused me to give up after five innings – but all the scoring had taken place by then.

Casey Haerther scoring the first of the Kernels’ runs.

And, here are a few more shots (though more will follow):

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Filed under Cedar Rapids Kernels, Cedar Rapids Veterans Memorial Stadium, West Michigan Whitecaps

Rain Delay on Memorial Day: Kane County 7 – Clinton 4

Since I’ve been doing the rounds in the Midwest League, I’ve experienced numerous things that, having grown up in a major league town – and one with a domed stadium at that – I’d never experienced. 

Most involve the weather.

Believe it or not, I never got sunburned at the Astrodome (Astroworld?  Yes – but that’s a different story; many stories in fact.)  And, though there was at least one rainout at the Astrodome that I recall, (1) I didn’t have a ticket for that night (I think it was in 1975), and (2) it wasn’t truly a rainout (even though the roof leaked a bit, the game actually was cancelled because of flash flooding that prevented people from getting to the Dome.)

Thus far in 2010, I’ve been at a few games where the rain made things yucky (particularly for a gal with a digital camera) but not unplayable.  Once, I got to John O’Donnell while it was raining but with hopes that it would stop – and it didn’t.  Another time, I got to Clinton with the rain long gone – but with the aftermath still making the field enplayable.

And then there was Memorial Day and a quick jaunt east on I-88 to Geneva, and Elfstrom Stadium, for the Kane County Cougars hosting Clinton.  I saw rain on the radar – and I drove through a good band of it on the tollway.  However, at gametime, no rain.   There was even an on-field autograph session immediately beforehand.

And, the game got started.  Kane County eventually won 7-4, but it took a bit longer than expected.

No, there were no extra innings.

And no, it had nothing to do with the the fact that the combination of the largely-white special Memorial Day Kane County uniform and the ankle shield made this guy look like what one would expect a player on the U.S. national cricket team to look like id cricket was an Olympic sport.


The rain came – and then went away. 

It was the first time I’d been to a game that was only temporarily interfered with by rain.  Only an hour or so – but, believe it or not, that was enough time for the PA system to blare every song one can think of relating to rain…and then the rain going away.  (Memo to whoever makes the playlist at Elfstrom: The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” was a nice touch, but the original version of REO Speedwagon’s “Ridin’ the Storm Out” is  much better than the overplayed live version.)

More photos will follow, but here are two more to tide everyone over:

Now that the semester is over, I’m hoping to do some updating (as well as journeying to the stadiums in the Eastern Division), including some nice shots I’ve managed to snag on film with the old Canon AE-1 (the pix are finally starting to come back from the processor; and most are looking nice!)

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Filed under Clinton Lumberkings, Elfstrom Stadium, Kane County Cougars

Second Half of a Double-Double: Clinton 6, 1 – Burlington 5, 2

Thanks to multiple instances of weather, the Lumberkings and the Bees did doubleheaders on consecutive days last week.  I made it up for the second one, which they split: Clinton came back late to take the first, 6-5, but lost the second 2-1.

Luckily, it wasn’t as hot as it had been on Monday; still, I bugged out about halfway through the second game (not winning the 50/50 draw is always a bummer.)

More pix will follow, but in the meantime:

That’s Burlington Game 1 starter, Bryan Paukovits (yes, and an umpire, but why quibble.)  Thanks to a stray pre-game warm-up throw from him, warm-up tosses have gone back out in front of foul balls among the game souvenirs I’ve managed to snag this season (3 warm-up tosses to 2 fouls; is Vegas giving odds yet on the season outcome?)

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Filed under Alliant Energy Field in Clinton, Burlington Bees, Clinton Lumberkings

8 Gazinta 6 (Or: I’m Back Following a Road Trip During Which I Generally Refrained From Buying Internet Access From Motel 6)

The semester is over and grades have been posted, so the time came to hit the road.  At the moment I’m still sorting thru image files and game paraphernalia, so all of that will follow.  However, here’s what the Kat managed to do over the last week or so:

Lat year I managed to do two major league games in two different cities in the same day (the Royals and Indians at Kansas City in the afternoon and, after an often-over-the-speed-limit jaunt eastward on I-70, the Cubs and the Cardinals in St. Louis in the evening.)  I haven’t figured out a way to duplicate that this year, so, for the time being, two Midwest League games in two different cities twice will have to suffice.

I thought that rain might be a problem throughout, though as it turned out the only one of the games where that was a problem at all was the Thursday night game at Beloit – and that was just drizzle that didn’t impede the game (though it did impede me; bats and balls can handle some rain, but digital SLRs not so much.)  By Sunday (back at Beloit), heat became the issue – so much so that on Monday, even though for the first time I didn’t have to leave one of the River Bandits’ 11 am games early to head to Iowa City I nevertheless had to surrender after 8  just to go home and cool off prior to driving up to Clinton.

I did have good timing, though.  I stayed just long enough for all of the kids to leave – leaving me practically alone behind the Bandits’ dugout and in a position for Edgar Lara to toss me a ball that Ryde Rodriguez fouled off.)


And that wasn’t the first foul ball I managed to get during the journey.

More on that later 🙂

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Filed under Alliant Energy Field in Clinton, Beloit Snappers, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Cedar Rapids Veterans Memorial Stadium, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Clinton Lumberkings, Fox Cities Stadium, John O'Donnell Stadium, Kane County Cougars, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Peoria Chiefs, Pohlman Field, Quad Cities River Bandits, St. Louis Cardinals, Target Field, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers