Alliant Energy Field, Clinton, IOWA
Number of states: 22
States to go: 28
Number of games: 1
First game: April 5, 2007 (Clinton LumberKings 8, Swing of the Quad Cities 4)
(The ballpark has been renamed NelsonCorp Field, perhaps after Springfield Bully Nelson Muntz.)
(Click on any image to see a larger version.)
Michelle and I did a Midwest swing to start the 2007 season–the fourth year in a row I’d done some
Were it not for minor league baseball, I would not have ever heard of
I want to cut the good people of Clinton a little bit of slack, since it was such a cold night. But it was opening night, and I therefore was quite disappointed in the turnout…almost nobody made the trip out. When one considers that the opposing team was the Swing of the Quad Cities, just about a half hour down the road, there should have been
Of course, the folks at Alliant Energy Field weren’t doing too much to draw the people in. Outside of the mascot, Louie the LumberKing running about, there was very little excitement in the ballpark–and on a night like this with baseball as poor as we were watching (nine errors…these were not only less-talented ballplayers, they were rusty less-talented ballplayers), a little something more to get us cooking would have been nice, even if it were merely some ushers talking to us a little bit.
Alliant Energy Field has an interesting history–it’s just that spectators have to look for it. A plaque
The line of the night goes, as usual, to my wife. She wasn’t a fan of Louie the Lumberking, Clinton’s mascot. Instead of a Lumberjack, she felt Louie looked like “the Burger King king’s porn star brother.” Good assessment? I leave that up to the reader.
Looking back, this might be the second-coldest night on which I’ve ever seen a game. Wichita being a lot worse.) But my wife and I got through it all right, simply because we were prepared. I might have been the only person in America who bought long underwear in preparation for my Spring Break. The only problem I have with the cold night is how to score. Michelle (who started her own scorebook on this trip…cool!) wore driving gloves. I didn’t want to spend money on driving gloves…I wasn’t confident they’d keep me warm, and I was scared that my handwriting wouldn’t be up to snuff. I brought ski gloves, and spent the game looking like a snow bunny version of one-gloved-wonder Michael Jackson.
So, on the whole, I can’t tell if it was actually the ballpark or a convergence of events that came together (subpar baseball on a really cold night), but I can’t say I was terribly impressed with Alliant Energy Field. I do hope to head back to Iowa, however…as the Swing of the Quad Cities’ ballpark in Davenport looked absolutely gorgeous as we drove by.
Regional feel: 7/10
Not bad here–hard by the river and within viewing distance of a local landmark.
I bet an old ballpark like this could be presented better, but I got very little out of Alliant Energy Field in this department.
At this low level of ball, they could have stepped it up just a touch.
Team mascot/name: 3/5
Louie and me. In the picture, the photographer is shaking from the cold and I am in the process of telling Louie that we think he looks like a porn star. Is there a huge Iowa lumber industry that I’m unaware of? I’ll assume yes, and think that the name is good. But Louie? I’m unimpressed
Not too special, but I liked being able to see boats go by.
Pavilion area: 3/5
A bit of a nice area wrapped around the left-field foul pole, but otherwise, nothing special.
Yes, it was cold, but for opening night, this was simply a sad turnout–both small and surly.
Not a banner night. Just didn’t click with me.
BASEBALL STUFF I’VE SEEN HERE:
Mauro Gomez’s first-inning three-run home run gives the LumberKings a lead they never give up.
Grant Gerrard gathers three hits.
John Whittleman walks four times…but I’ll always remember him for dropping a pop to third that–and I don’t say this lightly or often–I likely would have been able to catch. (Of course, I never would have made the team, but that’s another issue.) It’s one of two errors for Whittleman, four for Clinton, and nine…nine…in the game.(Written April 2007.)