Burlington Bees: An Evening at the Ballpark

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.

Burlington Bees gate

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.

Concession Stand

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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.

Buzz the BeeThe shop was filled with the usual T-shirts, caps and Number 1 foam fingers.

Number 1 foam fingersThe foam claw mitt was interesting, especially since the last I knew, bees don’t have claws.

Burlington Bees souvenirsThen I found mini bats, available in three colors, including girly pink.

Souvenir baseball batsOh, 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.

Baseball beads

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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7 thoughts on “Burlington Bees: An Evening at the Ballpark

  • June 21, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    interesting factoid: I read today the Wayne Gretzky’s son plays for the Bees. Hockey meets baseball, can’t beat it

    • June 22, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      I didn’t know that! Cool!

  • June 23, 2015 at 4:57 am

    I’ve never been to a baseball game (it’s not a thing at all here in the UK) but would love to next time I’m in the US, it’s one of those things I’ve seen on so many TV series and films I’ve got to try it out for myself!

    • June 23, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Many people complain that baseball is too slow (much slower than most sports), but sitting out at a ballgame, especially in an open-air field, enjoying a beer and a hotdog, is a relaxing way to enjoy an afternoon or evening.

  • June 23, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Not being from the US I don’t know much about baseball, but I have always wanted to see a live game ever since my brothers and I obsessively watched Major League back in the 80ies.

    • June 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      I have four brothers and got hooked on baseball early in life when they all played in Little League and my dad was a coach. I pretty much grew up on the ball field and then played girls softball (a larger ball is used in softball and is popular for recreational games) for a few years too. I’d rather watch than play, though.

  • June 23, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Sorry to hear the game was cancelled, but at least you got to see baseball shaped beads! 😉 I have to say the Bee is cute. Better mascot than sox. (Don’t tell anyone I said that.)


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