On August 26th the Saints began their last home series ever at Midway Stadium. On the field the visiting Winnipeg Goldeyes proved why they won the North Division this year beating the Saints two games to one in the three game set. Off the field the final three days of Saints games were filled with memories of years past and excitement for the future at the newly named CHS Field in Lowertown. We had our Midway bucket list at the ready going into the final home stand and once again had the opportunity to check off a couple really fun ones, along with adding a couple on the fly. From Zombies to tailgating to sitting behind Bill Murray during the last fireworks super show ever, It was a awesome sendoff and some major fun at old Midway Stadium.
My First Pitch
In game one of the series both teams decided Midway needed one more marathon extra inning game before the gates closed. After the Saints tied the game 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth it took to the twelfth inning to decide a winner, four hours and twenty one minutes into the game. Unfortunately for the home crowd it was Winnipeg who won the game 10-6, scoring five times in the top of the twelfth and holding off one last Saints rally in the bottom of the inning. The promotion for the game was, We actually thought this was just a fad. The 5th Annual Zombie Baseball Crawl presented by Savers. Before the game even started I checked off one of the top items on my Midway Bucket list. I was able to throw out a first pitch during the pregame ceremonies. I of course did it in true Saintstrain "fun is good" fashion by accidentally tossing it in there before P.A. announcer Lee Adams told me to. I know what your thinking, accidentally? In my defense, Lee paused a couple times and I was so crazy nervous/excited that I thought it was time for me to throw. Number one moment at Midway all time. No contest. A couple highlights during the game were the brain eating contest where zombies raced to see who could eat their contestants brains (jello in a bowl on top of their head) first, and zombie musical chairs. My MVP for the game is, Mitch Elliot (2-4, R, RBI, BB, SB).
Final Gulag Sunset
Even though the theme of the series finale is "Out with a Bang" the Saints provided their last big bang on offense at Midway in the middle game against the Goldeyes. The local nine tallied fourteen runs on twenty hits including home runs by Willie Cabrera and Jake Taylor, winning the high scoring game game 14-7. The promotion for the game was, The only thing worse than moving is helping someone else move. See how mascots handle it with Mudonna’s Moving van. Plus Andy Nelson’s 1993 Mural Lithograph Giveaway. For the giveaway the first 1500 fans through the gates receives a really nice lithograph of the mural painted on Midway's front wall by artist Andy Nelson back in 1993. We're framing one of ours to hang on the wall. Very cool giveaway. Tonight marked another first for me at a Saints game at Midway. I did not sit in my seat once during the entire game, and we were inside the stadium shortly after the first pitch. Where were you, you ask? Well, first we made our final trip to the Gulag for one last sunset and to say "man, this is a cool view of the game" one more time. We then moved to the SS Porkchop to see some friends we met at a game last year with the party spilling into the Lodge box seats in left field as well. After that Steph made it to her seat for the final two innings of the game, I chose to sit in a non occupied Walser seat behind Lee and Halsey and enjoy the end of the game in comfort. My MVP for the game is, Jake Taylor (3-5, 3R, 2RBI, 2B, HR).
Smoke from the fire departments mid game fireworks
The last game at Midway was played Thursday, August 28th. The Saints jumped ahead early and were holding a 3-1 lead until Winnipeg put up three runs in the seventh inning to take the lead 4-3. The Saints put up a valiant effort to rally in the their last couple at bats but fell just short, losing the game 4-3. The promotion for the game was, This really is The Last Train to Midway. Go Out With A Bang! featuring Fireworks Super Show and Monster Food Truck Rally presented by Saint Paul Port Authority. The evening started with us arriving to the park just after the main lot was closed because it was full (darn 8-5's getting in the way of the baseball season again). Thankfully we have great tailgating friends...check that, great friends...who pulled a couple strings and were able to save us a spot even though the lot was full. Thanks Michelle and Pat!!! Before and during the game the Saints did a great job of recognizing and remembering players and personalities from the past. Including having Dave Stevens (born with no legs, played second base for the Saints in 1996) coach first base for the game. More fun from the night included the Fire Training Center beyond the right field wall hanging a large sign saying "Disco Still Sucks" from their building, and then later on having an impromptu fireworks show from the top of the same building that delayed the game 10 minutes for the smoke to clear the field. After the game was over food trucks and fans flooded the field for a bite to eat and grabbing a prime spot for fireworks. We choose to pass on the food trucks and decided we would watch fireworks from by our seats one last time. That decision allowed us to check off our bucket list what has now become my number two moment at Midway alltime. We (with a little help, thanks Lee!) noticed Bill Murray sitting in the bleachers when the lights went out for fireworks and seats behind him open. We sat behind Bill Murray (who really got into the show and music) for the final fireworks at Midway. That is just so freaking cool. My MVP for the game is, Willie Cabrera (2-4, R, 2RBI, HR).
And so wraps up the 2014 Saints and final baseball season at Midway Stadium. The year was filled with great memories of Midway, so many fun moments, awesome friends, and even a road trip. Words don't seem to be enough to say thank you to everyone for being a part of our "Fun is Good" story this year, but Thank You! We can not wait to start a new chapter of Saints baseball next year in a awesome new home, with all our awesome friends!