Macht spass!! Mark and I spent the day at my parents' house, and primed ourselves for 'Wacky Wednesday' at O'Brien Field with a beer and some chips n salsa. Mom and Pop came with us to the game. As we rolled into the main gate, we had some happy snaps near the statue of Pete Vonachen (Peoria's "Mr Baseball").
Mark and I were approached by a young girl with a clipboard with the buy-in opening statement: "You guys look like fun people..."
Yup, you guessed it...Mark and I were hand-picked to play a game on the field between innings. Fortune favors the bold, we were picked for the "sack race." Hey, how could we refuse?
We loaded up on some hot dogs and peanuts ("Wacky Wednesday" means they are FREE, limit 2 dogs and 2 cups of peanuts per person per transaction), then found our seats. Pop said "great job" on the seats, they were very nice. Rain threatened earlier, but it wasn't that sunny, cooled off only slightly and the weather stayed great throughout the game.
O'Brien field was nice, but showing some 'frayed edges' over the years. Especially the poor Jumbotron...the pixels on the display screen shifted erratically, several lights were out and mixed on the scoreboard, and the colors were way off. If you're looking for a good cause, maybe you should start a 'save the Jumbotron' campaign for the Chiefs.
At O'Brien field you can 'party on' in the Sandberg Suite...
Save the JUMBOTRON!!
The game got started (the Quad Cities River Bandits are a St. Louis Cardinals low-A affilliate) and our sack race was scheduled between halves in the first inning. Pop covered for me scoring while Mark and I prepared for our 30 seconds of fame.
Mark and I competed against each other; we went out to the first base line as they set down burlap sacks and a cone. When the whistle blows, you pick up your bag, jump in, head for the cone, go around it, and come back to the finish line. Mark and I were pretty much neck-and-neck until the turn at the cone; I went around too wide, Mark got the jump on me, and then 6 pounds of chips, salsa, hot dogs, and peanuts started to take their toll on me. Mark got the "W" and I got the sack!! A great, 'special' event to add to our BIL Tour list...an on-field game!!
We didn't get any photos of the race, but (lucky me) my mother is getting us a video-tape. Oh boy!!
The lineup sheet had several promising names; we could have seen Brett Jackson (1st round draft pick) or Michael Brenly (son of Bob) play, but didn't. D.J. LeMahieu (2nd round draft pick this year) did start at second base; Chis Archer started for the Chiefs. One of the 'pep crew' at the field told us that Archer has great stuff, when he's on...but when he's not on he's not on, kinda like another Cubs pitcher I know.
RIVER BANDITS 3 6 2
CHIEFS 7 11 1
The game was exciting, the River Bandits opened up with a big 1st with 2 hits, 2 walks and a run scored. The Chiefs came up with their own brutal inning in the 2nd, with a sweet 3-run homer by Drew Rundle. The Chiefs had a great night offensively, with Rundle (2-3), Ryan Flaherty (1-4), Rebel Ridling (1-4), LeMahieu (1-3), and Nelson Perez (2-4) all driving in runs. Archer's start wasn't necessarily 'quality'...he struck out 5 and walked 5 during his 4 innings of work, allowing only 3 runs (all earned) and beaning a batter. His latter innings were much better than his initial outing, but reliever Alberto Cabrera earned the W, allowing only 2 hits, 3 BB and 3 K.
DJ LeMahieu at bat!
Drew Rundle prepares to blast off...
The River Bandits' pitching duo of Jorge Rondon and Jonathan Gonzalez were fun to watch; especially Rondon with his very aggressive delivery style. The offense was led by D'Marcus Ingram (1-2, SAC bunt, 2BB, 2R) and Frederick Parejo (2-4); runs were driven in by Jarred Bogany (2 RBI, 1-3) and Xavier Scruggs (1-5).
With plenty of baserunning highs and lows, and Rundle's storybook homer (his 3rd of the season) you couldn't ask for better baseball action - along with free hot dogs and peanuts!! The scorecard was FREE at this game, but the pencil cost a buck. So much fun having my parents along for this one...for the record, I haven't been to a baseball game with my folks since we saw Thurman Munson's last game at Comiskey Park on 8/1/79.
Official Scorecard (it was FREE, but the pencil cost $1)...I included the back as well, for the remarkable 'scoring the game' details...I found out later this graphic was designed by Patrick McGovern himself, he of The Baseball Scorecard fame.
Gameday lineup and info