Park # 128
What I Remember
One of the things that I loved about the minor league baseball landscape of 1991 was that you might see the minor league affiliates of regional rivals, like the Twins and Tigers, play far away from those major league cities, in the hills of the Appalachian League, for instance. It was also cool, however, to see the affiliates play in the major league backyards. On successive nights we went from Peoria, a longtime Cubs bastion, to Springfield where the local team played in what was more decidedly Cardinals territory and was affiliated with St. Louis. It was a distance of over 70 miles but felt as if we had crossed a border, even within the state of Illinois.
Lanphier Park continues to exist but has been renamed for hall of famer and native son Robin Roberts. Minor League baseball left after 1995 and has not returned. We liked the park, it had a picket fence outfield wall and, because it was owned by the city recreation department, was largely unadorned of fence signs.
The fact that the calendar had turned to August was not lost on us, only 50 parks remained after seeing the game in Springfield that evening.
Cedar Rapids Reds 9 Springfield Cardinals 3
A Note about this Site
This site is intended to be a companion to the upcoming book In League with America. Although some games were particularly notable and will appear in the book, most of the results of the 199 games we saw over the course of the 1991 season will not. Our journey was never really intended to be at the games themselves, it was about the places we saw and the people we met along the way.
However, there is now an historic nature to the results from this season. All of the players we saw then, even in the minors, have long since retired. Some of the players we saw at Class A are now members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. These pages, then, will function as kind of a digital appendix with a brief recollection of each day, the result of the game(s) we saw that day and a map of our daily drive.