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  • Traveling in the Midwest League: South Bend

    We just finished up a three game set in South Bend, IN. Although the series didn't end the way we wanted (we lost two of three), I wanted to share some of the trip.

    Thursday-Hecklers

    We arrived in South Bend around noon for a 7 ET game. I wasn't sure what to expect of the stadium and was pleasantly surprised to see turf covering everything except the mound and the bases. Playing a number of games at the Metrodome in my career I felt right at home. A large jumbotron covered the scoreboard in right-center field and the stands stretched around the complex.

    I was in the lineup as the left fielder, which led to my first heckling experience as an outfielder. I watched a week ago as JD Williams was yelled at an entire game by a group of guys celebrating a bachelor party in Clinton, Iowa. I was lucky enough to have four guys calling me names throughout the night. I enjoyed the heckling, but was slightly disappointed the crew didn't come better prepared. During a break in the game one guy blurted out, "Hey number one, you'll never make it to the big leagues..." I waited for his reasoning, "...Cuz you suck!" Man, was I bummed, I suck? I was hoping he had more to throw at me.

    We got down big early in the game, made a big comeback to take the lead, but ended up losing 12-10.

    Friday-Food Management

    My roommate (Adam Bryant) and I woke up around 10 and the search for breakfast began. Just as time management was important in college, food management is vital in professional baseball. Getting healthy food at the right time helps one perform at their peak on the field. Our search took us to a small cafe, where we found Tim Shibuya. He recommended a sausage breakfast sandwich, so I went for it.

    Later in the day we had to figure out what we would be eating for lunch and dinner. We had a difficult time eating the night before (almost all the restaurants in town were closed), so we decided on Subway. Adam and I both ordered two subs, one for now and one for later. Food management success.

    It was a big win for us on this night. Behind four hits and three doubles by Miguel Sano, we took game two. He is off to quite a start.

    Saturday-Stories

    Saturday morning Tommy Watkins offered to take Adam and I to breakfast. We checked out LePeep, a small cafe in downtown South Bend. The food was fantastic, but Tommy's stories were better. His recollection of playing third base while Johan Santana struck out 17 batters was awesome. Being a Twins fan my whole life made it hit home for me. It must have been amazing to be a part of that experience.

    The amazing pitching performance topic continued as we were preparing to take the field for our game. We were able to watch the finishing moments of Phil Humber's perfect game. I always wonder how it must feel for someone to go through such an experience. What a moment it must have been for him and his family. Moments like this are why I love baseball. A man can go from being on the fringe to being in the history books in a few short hours. Wow.

    The game didn't go our way again tonight and we lost the series, but the experiences I had remain. All we can do is look forward and do our best to win our next one.

    Tweet me! @apettersen1
    This article was originally published in blog: Traveling in the Midwest League: South Bend started by AJPettersen
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. perkins7's Avatar
      perkins7 -
      Awesome stories man! Thanks for giving us insight into minor league life! I'm in college now so I definitely can relate to the time management tidbit. Good luck with your next couple of games!
    1. maxisagod's Avatar
      maxisagod -
      I was at the Saturday game and I caught the game in West Michigan today too. I it was a cold, but fun games to watch. Eddie Rosario's bat is starting to heat up again. I was bummed I didn't get to see you play, your teams has so many middle infielders it must be hard to give everyone playing time.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Tommy Watkins had such an interesting career... he's one of the best reasons that fans should follow minor league baseball. Late-round draft pick, spent pretty much two years at every levels. Fans and teammates absolutely love him. Gets to AAA and thanks to some injuries, he got that cup of coffee... and forever, he can be called "Big Leaguer." He also hit like .357 in his 9 or so games, and would have kept starting at 3B likely if not for his own injury. Great stories!
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Great stories--I like the intimacy of minor league parks--so I can relate to the fans heckling...but I would never do that !!!???!!!
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Ooops . . . well the next time you go to South Bend, there is a cafe called Chicory Cafe about a block from LaPeep (a block south toward the stadium) that is very good. It's French Quarter style . . .
    1. TwinsGuy55422's Avatar
      TwinsGuy55422 -
      Interesting post. I like hearing about the daily life of minor leaguers. They certainly don't cater to you guys like they do the big leaguers. Good luck on the rest of your season!
    1. jtrinaldi's Avatar
      jtrinaldi -
      Did you encounter the infamous "Clinton Whore" during your Clinton trip?
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      I hate to tell you this, AJ, but some of those same morons heckling you...some of them actually vote, in elections. How's that for a horrible thought?
    1. TwinsGuy55422's Avatar
      TwinsGuy55422 -
      I think if you are going to heckle you should at least have some intelligent material prepared ahead time. The whole "you suck" thing just makes you look like a moron.
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