CHS Field-trip!

Well, I always like to let the hoopla die down a little bit before I jump in.

So, even though the St. Paul Saints opened their new downtown ball park last summer, I thought best to wait till late this summer (31 August – the last home game of the season) to see them play in their still relatively brand new park.

It’s a great place to see a game! The seats are comfortable, and there’s a concourse so that you can walk all around the ballpark and get some exercise and see the game at all angles. Plus there’s a nice view of St. Paul from out in left field. I wonder what their thinking was, in having the park face away from downtown, rather than towards it, so that you’d see the skyline of St. Paul over the outfield. Just curious.

The game was not so bad. The home town boys took it on the chin, dropping the game to the Winnipeg Goldeyes, (apparently some sort of fish,) 5-0, but it was an okay game. Perhaps because it was a perfect night for a ballgame.

The Saints play in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. They’ve played just about .500 ball this year, and it doesn’t look like they’ll make the playoffs. Unfortunate, as I had such a nice time I’d like to get back there soon.

Wait till next year, I guess.

Happy Birthday, Roy Campanella

Born on this date, 19 November 1921.

Roy Campanella - 1956 Topps One of only three players to win the NL MVP award three times, in 1951, ’53, and ’55. (Mike Schmidt, Stan Musial.) Roy came up one year after Jackie Robinson, in 1948, and played nine seasons before his career ended in an auto accident that left him paralyzed. Besides being a fearsome slugger, Campanella threw out 57% of the players who attempted to steal on him, the highest career mark in major league history. And he caught three no-hitters.

And he played for the St. Paul Saints. Campy came to the Saints in late May of 1948, and got called back to the Dodgers at the end of June. In 35 games he hit .325, with 13 home runs and 39 rbi. Saints fans were sorry to see him go.

Roy Campanella with StPaul Saints

Campy passed away in California, on 26 June, 1993.

Happy Birthday Campy! Good game.

if you build it…

lowertown pk a fr - mtpmcg0413 sm - 4444

They’ve released “updated design renderings” for the St. Paul Lowertown Ball Park, and naturally, the critics speak loudest and get the most attention.

Lowertown ballpark Broadway-Entrance-FINAL

I think the biggest complaint, and one I happen to agree with, is that the more modern design doesn’t really fit in with the old buildings of the old warehousey neighborhood. I agree, and I would have preferred to see something more traditional in appearance. (The scene above roughly corresponds in location to the photo at the top of the page.)

On the other hand, it’ll probably be okay. It’s certainly a big improvement from what’s there, and the open space and sky will be nice for the farmer’s market next door, I think. And again, it’s a huge improvement over where they play currently.

Lowertown ballpark Concourse-View-FINAL

On the third hand, I wish it wasn’t going to be in Lowertown, as I’ve always liked that neighborhood for what it was, and this reeks of gentrification and “progress.” I think they should have, instead, tore down the old Daytons/Marshall Fields/Macy’s in downtown St. Paul, and squeezed the ball park in there.

The-site-St.-Paul-arial-view 2

But nobody asked me.

Twins Become Increasingly Independent – Sign Boyer from St. Paul Saints

I noticed this in the Sunday Star Tribune, and today tracked it down on the Saints websiteBrad Boyer. The Twins have signed Saints second baseman Brad Boyer to a contract – he’s headed to AA ball at New Britain. While on the one hand, this is great for Boyer – he’s 29 and is having a great season with the Saints, and it’s nice to see him get this chance. (Shades of Colabello, Albers and all those other independent league hopefuls!) On the other hand, he’s 29. Which gives me pause. This is where I say that maybe the Twins should have instead looked for a younger guy with some promise, some guy that really might develop into a future everyday player with the club, but who needs some minor league experience and coaching. And, having said that, Boyer will now make an appearance in the big leagues this September, and knock the cover off the ball, and emerge as next season’s starting second baseman. Well, so be it. I love it that these guys are getting a chance. It’s great for them. But is it great for the club? Aw, what do I know? Go get ’em, Mr. Boyer. Give it your best shot

Saint’s new home in the red

Looks like there’s a little hole in the budget for the new downtown Saint Paul ballpark for the Saints. The ballpark site has had a number of industrial uses over the years, including turning coal into gas, and new soil tests indicate that they will have to haul away (to where?) about 20 feet of top soil, rather than the 5 feet that they had thought.

However, the story on MPR had a nice picture of how the ballpark will look when it’s all done and paid for, which is the real point of this post.

Saints new ballpark image

That’s a nice looking little ballpark. I’d see a game or two there.