Not having been to a baseball game this season, I was looking forward to seeing the Minor League Burlington Bees, a Class A Los Angeles Angels Affiliate, take on the West Michigan Whitecaps. As a baseball fan, I enjoy visiting baseball fields as I travel. More often than not, they are minor league fields, which are far more plentiful and much more economical than attending a major league game.
Baseball has been in Burlington since 1889, and Community Field, where the Burlington Bees play, has been around since 1947. Though the park has gone through several renovations, it has retained much of its old-time ballpark atmosphere. There’s no Jumbotron here, just a regular digital scoreboard, and except for the first four rows, the seats are general admission metal bleachers, which allow fans to move about the park as they wish.
Our tickets were for assigned seats, some of the best in the ballpark (even the best seats are only $8), and one member of our travel group was to throw out the first pitch. But on the evening we went to the game, instead of evening sun, the sky was full of clouds—and rain.
Of interest to Chicago Cubs Fans: Hall of Famer Billy Williams played here in 1958. The Bees were a Cubs affiliate from 1955 to 1959.
We stood under cover in the concession area, added in 2005 during the latest park renovation, while we waited for the rain to stop. It was Dollar Monday, so I could have gotten a hot dog, pizza, popcorn or a can of pop for just a buck, but if the game was rained out, our plan was to go elsewhere for dinner. So what’s a girl to do while waiting for the game to start or to be cancelled? Shop, of course, in the team gift shop.
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The team mascot, Buzz, hovered overhead as I browsed. This was his birthday celebration evening. I asked the gal in the gift shop how they determined Buzz’s birthday. She said they just pick a random day in June each year. Hmm.
Oh, but something even more feminine caught my eye: beads that were in the shape of baseballs. I almost bought them, since they would be the perfect accessory for any baseball game, but my willpower won over.
The big seller that evening was, not surprisingly, the rain poncho.
Be sure to check out our new road trip blog, U.S. Long Cuts.
After hanging around for at least an hour, rain subsiding and then starting again, the game was cancelled. Seeing the Burlington Bees in action will have to wait until my next trip to southeast Iowa. But that evening was a record for me, the most time spent in a minor league baseball team gift shop.
Community Field is located at 2712 Mt. Pleasant Street in Burlington Iowa. The Burlington Bees play from early April to early September. Visit the web site for further details or to order tickets.
Disclosure: My visit to southeast Iowa was hosted by the Iowa Tourism Office and my game ticket was complimentary, but any opinions expressed in this post are my own.
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