The Northwoods League, an elite collegiate summer league, had their All-Star Week festivities down in Kenosha, WI where the Kenosha Kingfish play. The week started off with a home run derby, but this was no ordinary derby. The players were launching balls off a pier into Lake Michigan over a fence constructed of buoys! The hosting Kenosha Kingfish had their man, Marty Bechina (who plays for Michigan State), win the derby after blasting 6 dingers into Lake Michigan. I was lucky enough to attend both the home run derby and All-Star Game, and man it was an exciting two days. The Kenosha Kingfish hit it out of the park (and into the lake) while hosting the All-Star events.
After the derby on Monday, the All-Star Game was Tuesday at Historic Simmons Field in Kenosha, WI between the North and South Divison. The game got out to a rocky start after the North Division put on 7 runs in the first inning which included many errors (9 total in the game). After a rough first inning, it was very good baseball from there on out. The North Divison won 9-5 and both teams racked up 14 hits a piece.
It may not be Major League baseball, but this event was a lot of fun! Get out there and support your local baseball teams!
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Sorry I haven’t posted for a while. Eighth grade was coming to an end and I had tons of projects to complete! Graduation was great fun and brag alert….. I even got an Academic Excellence Award from the Milwaukee Brewers! Holler! Now it’s summer and I can write, play ball, write, play ball, and ….. you get the general idea.
Two things I love came together Tuesday night, baseball and writing.
I found out that a team called the Kenosha Kingfish, a collegiate summer baseball team in the Northwoods League, plays at historic Simmons Field, less than a half hour away from where I live. This field was opened in 1920 by the Simmons Bedding company and later used for a women’s professional baseball team, the Kenosha Comets. So, I convinced my mom to take me to a game with my friend Hank! As we were walking in the park and before even reaching our seats, we got flagged down by a staff member. We were asked to play a game in the bottom of the 8th inning and I can’t turn down an invitation to be on a field. We had to catch water balloons with a metal garbage can lid. Sounds easy enough, right? Results: two soaking guys with a little dent in our fielding pride!
You think you’ve seen a cool first pitch delivery? You haven’t seen anything! This leaves MLB first pitch deliveries in the dust! You need to see Elvis, the “King,” zip line it to home plate, and no, not Elvis Presley— It’s Elvis the Kingfish mascot!
This was an incredibly fun and fan friendly game experience! The announcer was hilarious and there was nonstop on-field entertainment. This included live wiener dog races, ice cream eating contests, human bowling, and toilet bowl racing — welcome to Wisconsin. There were many fan giveaways including free pizzas and custard! Also, non-stop jams were being played all night, including a little vintage “Elvis!” The team was composed of mostly college players on summer break and despite the Kingfish loss, we saw some pretty good baseball. It was up close and personal with plenty of opportunities to share sunflower seeds and talk with the players.
The best part of the night was meeting actor, Dwier Brown. Dwier played the father of Kevin Costner’s character in one of my favorite movies, Field of Dreams (see previous review here). Dwier was a great stand up guy and generous with his time! I bought his new book, If You Build It... and he signed it for me! Meeting Dwier was a great experience. I look forward to reading his memoir about America’s love of baseball and dads — and hopefully he is reading my blog right now! Hope to see you sometime again!
So, in closing, if you are anywhere near a semi-pro, collegiate, or minor league team – I encourage you to go and check it out. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.