On Friday we watched a game in Bowling Green and on Saturday we were on our way to Peoria for a game that evening between the Peoria Chiefs and the Beloit Snappers. Our GPS led us on an interesting route. There were a few times where we were questioning it. But there was a car ahead of us doing the exact things we were doing, including slowing down at some of the more obscure turns.
We stopped for gas at one point and Gunnar went to use the ATM. There was a person there using it, so Gunnar left and then came back. When he went to use the machine there was twenty-dollar bill in it. Gunnar took it and found the person who had been there before him. He returned the bill to its rightful owner.
We arrived in Peoria in the afternoon and the temperatures were in the mid-nineties. Our hotel was located near the baseball stadium. We walked over the to the stadium and were surprised that we could see the whole field while standing at the fence and looking in. We kept walking and found a restaurant where we ate dinner. Then it was on to the taproom for Bearded Owl Brewing. I tried two beers. One was called Sister of the Moon Pale Ale. It was brewed from Illinois grown hops, Illinois grown grains and Illinois sourced yeast. We chuckled about the yeast’s tenuous Illinois connection. But in reality, as the yeast converts the sugars into alcohol it multiplies. So, most of the yeast had been created in Illinois. I liked this enough to buy a mini-growler of it later that night. The second beer was made with Idaho seven hops. I’ve brewed a pale ale with these hops before and like them. The beer was very light; it was too close to water for me.
We went back to the stadium. As we were standing in line waiting to buy tickets a man came up to us and asked if we needed tickets. When we said yes, he gave us his two tickets that he wasn’t going to be using. They were great seats, right behind home plate. Gunnar attributed getting free tickets to his good karma from returning the twenty-dollar bill he had found earlier in the day. Just to be difficult I attributed it to my wearing a red shirt as Peoria is a farm team of the Cardinals. Gunnar was nice enough not to point out that his karma could have caused me to pick that shirt.
The game was a loss for Peoria. I made a comment about seeing Clint Eastwood fielding at the end of the post about Bowling Green. We saw The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The good was that in the first five innings Peoria ended each inning with a double play. The Bad was that Peoria had more errors than hits in the game, 7 errors and 6 hits. The Ugly was the Peoria third baseman’s four errors including two in the ninth inning. As you would expect from hearing that Peoria lost the game.
After the game we wandered around and heard some music. Following the sound, we came to an outdoor concert at Kelleher’s Irish Pub. We had a beer and listened to the band. They were playing some older rock and roll songs. I am musically challenged, so the only songs I remember for sure were The Last Train to Clarksville and Wipeout. Gunnar could probably recite most of the playlist
The next day brought us to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for our final game on Sunday afternoon. The Cedar Rapids Kernels were playing the Kane County Cougars. Cedar Rapids is a Twins minor league farm team. The game was enjoyable; the Kernels won ten to four. At this point we were happy because the bottom of the ninth inning didn’t need to be played and we could leave sooner to get home that evening.
It was a good trip. We had fun watching baseball, trying out beer and traveling. I had dreamed of making this trip for quite a while; it was great to have it turn out so well. Of course, any trip where you don’t have to shoot your travelling partner is a good trip.
I have to apologize. I missed my schedule for posting yesterday. Between having a meeting of the Governing Board at church, Andrew coming home from college for Thanksgiving and doing the dishes writing a post slipped my mind.
I will post on Tuesday next week to make up for the missing post. I will then go back to my schedule, so I will post two weeks in a row.
I hope those of my readers celebrating Thanksgiving this week have a joyous time. As I look at the blessings in my life I realize that one of them is my readers. I am thankful for you all.
Our next leg of the tour took us from Tennessee to Bowling Green, Kentucky. The drive was short and because we didn’t spend the morning going through a baseball museum as we had the day before we arrived in the early afternoon.
This left us sitting in our hotel room after we checked in wondering, “what is there to do in Bowling Green?” Of course, the joke before we left was that we should look for the memorial for the school shooting. This being a reference to Kellyanne Conway’s defending Trump’s ban on Muslim travelers by talking about the Iraqi’s behind the “Bowling Green Massacre.” There was no such massacre. And, so there was no memorial for us to visit.
We found two things that might have been interesting. There was a cave and there was a Corvette museum. We decided to take a walk downtown and see what there was to do there. My Beer Guru app showed that there was a homebrew supply store and a taproom on the way. The store ended up being close to our hotel. I might have been interested in seeing the store, but I didn’t think Gunnar would be interested. The taproom was White Squirrel Brewery. We stopped in for a beer. I ordered a flight and was not impressed with any of the selections.
Reaching downtown we realized that there was nothing to do there. We decided to go to the Corvette museum. We took an uber out to the museum which is located near the plant where they build Corvettes. My AAA card got us a discount on admission to the museum. The museum ended up being interesting. It was fun to see the progression of Corvette styles through the years.
There were some special models there. One was the only 1983 Corvette in existence. There were some big design changes that year. When they didn’t get everything ready in time, they waited a year. There were 43 of the 1983 models produced for testing, and this is the only one left.
Another one we saw was the 1,000,000th Corvette produced. This one had been restored. It was heavily damaged while in the museum. In the early morning of February 12, 2014, a sinkhole opened up beneath part of the museum and eight Corvettes fell in. You can see the security camera video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smhOL8I4T_o. In the picture of me above, you can see yellow and red lines on the floor. The red line marks the section that fell in. The yellow line marks the extent of the cave that is below the museum.
After the museum, we went back downtown. We had time for dinner before the game and ate at restaurant named 643 near the stadium. I wasn’t thinking about the name too much, but during dinner I realized what it stood for. When people use a scorebook and keep track of the game the notation that is used for a shortstop to second baseman to first baseman double play is 6-4-3, those being the position numbers of the players.
We bought seats at the stadium in a cheaper section and ended up being in the front row on the aisle. down the left field line. The stadium was a big upgrade from our last stadium, which was to be expected with the change to a higher level of the minor leagues.
While we waited for the game to start a pretty blonde woman came down the aisle and stood next to us at the edge of the field. One of the players came over and they talked. As they talked a small boy came down the aisle and was standing next to me looking at the ball player. He had a ball and a pen in one hand. The player, understandably, didn’t notice him. The boy reached out a hand. He had one finger extended. Slowly, the hand approached the arm of the player until contact. Then it jumped back. The player looked down and saw the boy. He asked him if he wanted something and the boy asked for an autograph.
Suddenly, three or four more boys showed up. The player signed autographs for them all. I thought it was classy. I looked up the player in the program, his name was Simon Rosenblum-Larson and he was from Wisconsin.
The game was fun. The Bowling Green Hot Rods first batter doubled and scored for the game’s first run. They scored two more runs in the fifth. Their opponents the Lake County Captains hit a two-run home run in the sixth to keep the game close. In the ninth inning Bowling Green put in a new pitcher. It was the autographer, Simon Rosenblum-Larson. He closed the game out to get a save and Bowling Green won the game.
We walked back to the hotel from the game. On the way we passed the home brew supply store again. Now they had a canopy out front with a bunch of people sitting at tables and we could see a lot of people inside. Deciding that there must be some sort of event going on we decided to check it out. Walking in we realized that this was more than a store, it was also a tap room. There was a few hundred square feet of brewing supplies for sale. Maybe there’s a quirk in their tax laws or licensing that being a store and a taproom gives them an advantage. They were selling their own beers along with others. I bought one of their beers, an IPA, I think. It wasn’t bad, just not memorable.
That ended our day from there it was on to Peoria where we found good karma, good music and Clint Eastwood fielding.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.