Cedar Rapids is only an hour away from where my parents live, and I finally got out on the open road to watch the Beloit Snappers play the Cedar Rapids Kernels. The following notes and pictures will not provide any interesting baseball knowledge, but they might inspire others in the Twin Cities to make the trip to Cedar Rapids to see the visiting Snappers play.
All pictures are my own, which is more of a confession of guilt than an attempt at bragging.
1) If you're driving on 35, it's worth sidetracking to see the Surf Ballroom, where Buddy Holly and company played their last show, as well as the cornfield where the plane crashed. The ballroom is well-preserved. The crash site is a less polished and takes a half mile of walking to reach. Seeing both is mandatory experience for true rock and rollers. More info here.
At the crash site, people leave items as a memorial. One of these items made me wonder it the Minnesota Twins really are cursed.
2) Veterans Memorial Stadium is a pretty nice place to visit. Ticket prices are more than fair, and autographs aren't too hard to come by (if you are so inclined).
3) The Kernels mascot is a corn-based Frankenstein named Mr. Shucks (top picture). I think this name is so funny I have already alienated two family members giggling about him. I bought a hat solely so I could say "Mr. Shucks" more often.
4) Seeing Miguel Sano, and getting his autograph, felt like meeting Elvis right before he got on Ed Sullivan.
5) Sano's signature confuses me, but some quick Googling shows this seems to be pretty normal. I actually watched him sign it, so that helps confirm it for me.
6) If you're hungry and have time on your trip north, out of Cedar Rapids, get a tenderloin at Joensy's in Center Point. The sandwiches are delicious, reasonably priced, and majestic in size. If you're going to be in Iowa, and you don't eat a tenderloin, your life will be poorer. My brother-in-law recommended it, so I am currently in his debt.
7) The whole trip would have been less enjoyable without meeting up with @jimcrikket, who made me feel like a visiting dignitary with his kindness. Thanks, Jim! Also, thanks again to Seth Stohs for his prospect handbook. I consulted it before and after my trip -- can't wait to buy my 2013 copy!
8) Finally, here is an encore presentation of my best "Mr. Shucks" related Tweets. Follow @mrhorrorpants on Twitter for more things that are almost, but not quite, funny.
- "He is a husky guy with big ears, and the chicks can't leaf him alone!"
- "You know, #MrShucks of the Cedar Rapids #Kernels would be the ideal mascot to STALK!"
- #MrShucks needs a mascot partner named #MrJives
- The #Kernels should have a Hip-Hop Night culminating in a rousing performance by their mascot, Mr. Shucks D.
- Every #Kernels game should have their mascot pulling a fan on the dugout roof and singing "Shuck E.'s In Love" to them.
(Thanks to @mntwinkie and @gaultcommasarah for joining in on the Mr. Shucks madness).