Invading Sign Guy Country: The Weekend in Springfield

Over the weekend I packed up the BertFlex Cruiser (boom!) and made a little road trip to Springfield, the Missuruh version. This was my big summer vacation, so I had to make the most of it by including some Minor League action. No, not the IV Play Cabaret on Glenstone Ave, I'm talking about the Cardinals AA team, the Springfield Cardinals (really creative nickname, huh).

Friday night's game featured a matchup of decent pitching prospects, the Cardinals' Jess Todd and the NW Arkansas Naturals' (Royals affiliate) Daniel Cortes. I didn't see Sign Guy around anywhere, but I will expect a "Big JESS TODD & the Monsters" sign in a couple years at Busch. Cortes got rocked, so he'll fit right in the Kansas City rotation. Or it's back to rock 'n jock, one of the two.

In the fifth inning, Cardinals SS Tyler Greene (who I really like after seeing him in two games) hit a home run to get everyone $1 custards at Andy's Frozen Custard. Thanks Tyler, appreciate it!

I usually enjoy Minor League parks, and this was no exception. Hammons Field was pretty nice; they had decent sized crowds, but we could sit behind home plate both nights with cheap general admission tickets. And if you wanted, Domino's would deliver pizzas right to your seat. The Cardinals ended up winning this game 6-0. That brought my season record vs. the Royals organization to a perfect 3-0.

Saturday included a couple tourist stops, the first being Fantastic Caverns. I wasn't going to mention it until I saw this sign walking out the door:

Any place with Hood Rich architects is worth the price of admission. The Lil' Jon section of the cave was breathtaking.

Then it was over to Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, to learn some knowledge about the Civil War battle fought there (Confederate victory; Robert E. Lee was dealing that day). It was nice and all until I found this: a deck of "Generals of the Confederate Army" poker cards. If not for the steep price tag, I would have bought them and donated them to Hack, because of his obvious ties to the Confederate Army, and his love for poker.

On to Saturday night - game two of the Cardinals/Naturals series, this time with another Topps future star on the hill: Adam Ottavino. Like Todd the night before, it didn't seem like Ottavino was pitching that well, but he got out of every jam, and the Cardinals ended up wrecking the young Royals 13-2. Also, that's a clean 4-0 sweep of HMW vs. the Royals org this year. As a side note, Chris Carpenter made his first rehab start since Tommy John surgery, and threw four scoreless innings (box here). If it wouldn't have been a Sunday night game (was ESPN9 showing this?), I would have been there to give you guys the full report. See you in a few weeks, Carp.

After a quick sausage, biscuits, and french toast breakfast at the Drury on Sunday morning (yup, the BertFlex budget has been obliterated for the 08/09 fiscal year), the mad dash back to St. Louis got me home in about three hours. This was a pretty fun trip, especially since it's been about 10 years since I last saw some Cardinal Minor League baseball. There are rumblings about a Quad Cities trip in the near future, so you'll have to stay tuned.

Oh, and just to make the Mad Librarian cringe, here is Louie, Springfield's mascot. He's in front of the Pop Warner fan club, which is gross.


The Good Face said...

You visit Springfield and don't even stop by the Eric Ferguson Memorial Kwik Pantry? Way to waste a trip, HMW.

Anonymous said...

I was in Kansas this weekend. You shoulda called. I would have been game.

Hack said...

Hey! Just because I'm from Kentucky doesn't mean I'm pro Confederate! I'm anti-Union, but that has a lot more to do with Vintage Base Ball.