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Traveling in the Midwest League: Kane County

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It seems like yesterday I was playing for a 12 year old in house championship. Baseball has taken me from the grass backyards of Minnetonka to either coast and a number of places in between. There are moments I will never forget, there are others I would rather forget. Each day baseball teaches me more and more about myself.

The game recently took me to Kane County for a 4 game series against the Kansas City affiliate. Here is my recap:

Memorial day weekend is an important event for minor league affiliates. On Saturday night, there were 7,000 in the crowd. The Zooperstars put on quite a show. They are big blowup mascots with a number of characters from Barack Ollama to Mia Hamster. They did dance shows and skits. The fans went crazy. While the Zooperstars were entertaining, my favorite in between innings promotion was the water balloon launch. A three man crew shot balloons into the stands and the fans were cheering for them. I couldn't hold my laughter. It seemed the fans would go nuts for anything coming from the field. We ended up losing the game, but felt ready for the next one.

On Sunday night we knew we would be playing for a large crowd. The attendance came in a bit higher than the previous night at 8,300. I remember the days when my parents would be some of the only ones in the stands. They were still cheering me on in KC, but now it was hard to find them in the crowd.

Birdzerk was the promotion tonight, doing skits and getting the crowd excited. The best bit was when he started dancing with Miguel Sano at 3B. This led to Birdzerk 'confusing' Sano and taking and throwing his glove over the fence (not his real glove). The fans loved it. We got the best of them tonight winning and evening the series at one game apiece.

Memorial day meant an early game after the night game. We had a quick turn around after arriving home around midnight the previous night. The most important factor in this game was the wind. It was howling from the first pitch to the last. This made for a number of hits in the 12 inning affair.

We ended up scoring 6 runs on one of Kane County's first basemen (who came in to pitch) in the top of the 12th. Another victory gave us the 2-1 edge in the series. We put ourselves in position to take the 4 game series with a win tomorrow morning.

The final game of the series was another successful one. We won to take 3 of 4 from the Cougars and we had the pleasure to see one of the most unique in between innings promotions yet. Before the top of the 5th inning there was a bobblehead contest. Two young boys put on headband devices and shook, nodded and bobbled for a minute. I thought it was hilarious.

A few late homeruns sent the game to extra innings. John Goncalves blooped a ball down the right field line and ended up scoring on a throwing error in the 11th.

Tomorrow we head to Quad Cities to take on the River Bandits. The third game of that series will be attended by the Territory Train. I am looking forward to seeing all the diehard fans!

Follow me on Twitter! @apettersen1

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Updated 05-29-2012 at 03:30 PM by Seth Stohs (added photo)

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