After watching the Burlington Bees beat the Kane County Cougars 6-3 on Tuesday, I checked in at the Howard Johnson hotel down the block from Community Field. The ballpark is within easy walking distance of the hotel; in fact, I took a midnight stroll to the park and back just to get some fresh air that night.
After checking out the next morning, I took the Great River Road from Burlington to Davenport, where I would take in that evening’s game between the Quad Cities River Bandits and the visiting Kane County Cougars. I meandered along the scenic route, stopping occasionally to shoot photos of places such as Wapello, Iowa, home of The Honey Hole Diner (I love that name); the All Veterans Memorial near Grandview, Iowa; and the Pine Creek Grist Mill at Wild Cat Den State Park.
After arriving in Davenport, I headed for Modern Woodmen Park to buy a ticket for that night’s game. It was two hours before the gates opened, yet there was already a sizable line of people waiting to make sure they got one of the 2,000 St. Louis Cardinals 2011 World Series replica rings the River Bandits were giving away. The temperature was well into the 90s, so there was no way I was going to hang out in that line for the next two hours, so I walked around for awhile and visited a bookstore before returning to the park and getting in the long line about 10 minutes before the gates opened. It was close, but I managed to get one of the giveaways without spending half the afternoon standing in front of the ballpark. Victory!
The home team also scored a victory that night, as Quad Cities beat Kane County, 6-2. Nick Longmire and Anthony Garcia homered for the River Bandits. Longmire also stole two bases.
River Bandits SP Dail Villanueva (10-6, 4.08 ERA) got the win after giving up two unearned runs on six hits and no walks in 7 IP. He struck out five batters and threw a wild pitch.
My next game will be Saturday at Kane County, when I’ll be using a pair of free tickets that I won on Bark in the Park Night earlier this month. There’s not much better than free baseball, right?