Saturday, February 7, 2015

Clinton's Ashford Field and Bonus Baseball

Ashford University Field in Clinton, Iowa, in August 2014. (Greatest 21 Days)
Driving in northern Illinois, I searched for a new radio station.

This was last August and I was on my way to Iowa by way of some old Midwest League ballparks. I'd already hit Kenosha, Beloit and Rockford earlier in the day and I was on my way to Clinton.

This leg of my trip was actually completely last-minute. I'd interviewed Donnie Scott the night before in Kalamazoo. With no interviews planned for the next day, and seemingly some extra time I sought out some ballparks.

The plan, such as it was, was to basically snap some exterior ballpark pictures and head on my way. I hadn't even checked schedules. While I had some time, I didn't have that much time.

After turning off Interstate 88 en route to Clinton, though, I started searching for something new to listen to. I prefer country, but anything interesting will do. Well I found one. To my surprise, the station was the home of the Clinton Lumberkings.
Inside Ashford University Field. (Greatest 21 Days)
And the Lumberkings' pregame show was about to begin.

I arrived in Clinton just in time to take in a few bonus innings of baseball.

I was reminded recently of this - and that I hadn't posted about it - while researching the 1990 Clinton Giants. I figured better late than never. This was also a highlight of a trip that quickly turned into something vastly different.

The 1990 Clinton Giants: 29 Features

After listening to the first couple innings on the radio on my way into town, I arrived at what is now called Ashford University Field. From 1937 to 2001, it was called Riverview Stadium.

It was as Riverview Stadium that it hosted the 1990 Clinton Giants. It was also Riverview Stadium that my dad and I saw a game at back in 1995. I still have a ticket stub.

At this game, the Burlington Bees were in town playing the Lumberkings. I could only stay a few innings. I hate to arrive late and leave early, but this was an exception. It was just a bonus to see a little bit of the game.

Pictures from my brief visit are below. The first one is of a picture I found in the Lumberkings souvenir shop. It's of the very 1990 Clinton Giants featured here.
Pictured - (Links go to features)
Front Row: Batboys Mike Perryman and Mark Duff
Second Row: Brian Costello (Trainer), Frank Carey, Greg Brummett, Rafael Novoa, Kevin Kasper, Brian Brady, Randy Johnson, Chris Hancock, Joey James and Jeff Bonner
Third Row: Ron Wotus (Coach), Jack Mull (Manager), Jason McFarlin, Jon Pattin, Ron Crowe, Steve Rolen, Roger Miller, Rob Taylor, Steve Callahan, Steve Cline (Pitching Coach).
Back Row: Kelly Ahrens, Gus Vollmer, Ed Gustafson, Pat Rapp, Clay Bellinger, Carl Hanselman, Marino Hernandez, Maximo Aleys, Vince Palyan and Stewart Hillman.
Not Pictured: Jim Foley

Outside Ashford University Field, home of the Clinton Lumberkings. (Greatest 21 Days)
Louie the Lumberking through the fence at the third base end of the grandstand. (Greatest 21 Days)
Burlington Bee Victor Alcantara delivers to the plate. (Greatest 21 Days)
The Lumber Lounge in right field. (Greatest 21 Days)
Clinton Lumberking Marcus Littlewood takes a swing. (Greatest 21 Days)
A wider shot of the Ashford University Field grandstand. (Greatest 21 Days)
Burlington Bee Erick Salcedo at bat. Note the bat boy behind a small protective fence. (Greatest 21 Days)
Burlington Bee Kody Eaves at the dugout. Note the batboy behind the fence. (Greatest 21 Days)
Behind the net at Ashford University Field. Joseph DeCarlo is at the plate, Justin Seager is on deck. (Greatest 21 Days)
The Ashford University Field grandstand. On deck is Aaron Barbosa. (Greatest 21 Days)
Behind home plate at Ashford University Field. (Greatest 21 Days)
From the first base side. (Greatest 21 Days)
Clinton Lumberking Blake Holovach delivers in front of the Picnic Garden. (Greatest 21 Days)
The Clinton dugout. (Greatest 21 Days)
Ashford University Field. (Greatest 21 Days)
Leaving Clinton. (Greatest 21 Days)
Other park photos from my August trip:
Old NYPL: Geneva's McDonough Park
Old NYPL: Photos from Welland, St. Catharines and Hamilton
Old Eastern League: Labatt Park and the Osprey Nest
Northwoods League: Kalamazoo Growlers and the Chest-Bumping Bear
Midwest League: Marinelli Field, Home of the 1990 Rockford Expos

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