My first night in Southern Illinois

 Just back from Rent One Park in Marion.  Southern Illinois should be proud.  What a wonderful venue to watch a game.  The seats are right on top of the action.  The picnic area has lots of great views of the field.  I love the bullpen set up behind the right field wall.  The kids’ play area is the best of any of the stadiums I have been to this year.  And I was reflecting back, this is the tenth stadium I have visited so far this year.  The playing surface is very interesting.  It is the Field Turf that is somewhat popular as football playing surface.  But what is very different, is that the Field Turf covers the whole field. The basepaths, pitchers’ mound, and homeplate area are all made of the same material, it is just that it is colored brown.  The kids’ play area also has the Field Turf, and after walking around on it, I can’t imagine sliding on it.  Also, whenever a pitcher would bounce a pitch in front of the plate, it would spring high into the air.  The concessions were reasonably priced but very basic.  Just your typical hotdogs, nachos, beer, and soda.  I found a stand with hamburgers and after eating it, I really wish I wouldn’t have.  The souveniers were the highest priced of all the ballparks visited so far this season, excluding Busch Stadium.  The park has a really nice video board.  They did not show the live play on the field nor replays, but it showed the contests between innings and the action right after the play.  It was also used for shameless advertising.  If a player drove in a run, a video of the player would appear on the screen promoting his RBI and saying it was sponsored by a local business.  Tim Dorn, the DH for the Miners, it a mammoth HR, his picture comes on the screen and he says, “I’m Tim Dorn, and that run I just drove in was sponsored by…whomever.”  They also had the “Strikeout Player of the Game” and what that entails is a player is selected off the opposing team, last night it was the Grizzlies 2B Manny Padilla, and if he strikes out all the fans get a free 16 oz soda and shoe rental at SIU Bowl.  The Gateway Grizzlies scored 5 in the top of the ninth to top the Miners 8-5 in front of 4331 fans.

The Cardinals were off.

Memphis got thumped by Las Vegas (Dodgers) 14-7.  No one on the Redbirds’ pitching staff could get anyone out.

Springfield had the day off.

Palm Beach topped Clearwater (Phillies) 11-5.  Mark Hamilton erupted for 3 HRs and 6 RBIs. 

The Swing were rained out. 

Blake Dewitt went 1-5 with a solo shot.

Mizzou’s season ended with a whipping at the hands of Louisville.

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