And to July we go with the Saints opening up the month against the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks for a three game series. This was the last regular season trip to St. Paul for the Redhawks this year, sadly the Saints could only give them one loss as a sendoff from Midway Stadium. The fun for the midweek games included a Santa sighting, no lights, Forestdonna, bright and loud bangs, and lots of fun.
The series opener was played Tuesday, July 1st, but the game was actually finished on Wednesday, July 2nd because the power went out in the lights behind home plate in the bottom of the ninth. Even with the delay, and the home team knocking sixteen hits, the Redhawks beat the Saints 10-5 with the help of two big innings (3 in the 1st, 5 in the 4th). The promotion for the game was, A very special Christmas in July, featuring Games of Christmas Past. Some of the best entertainment for the game was Santa himself singing the Nation Anthem, and then also walking around the stadium taking pictures. "Reindeer" dragging the field while being urged to go faster by Santa and his elf with a whip walking behind them. And the Rasmussen "punch the clock" game, where the contestants wore snowman heads while also wearing the normal blow up suits. The Ushertainers even got into the Christmas spirit. Chef Sharte had a bow on his chef's hat, and Gert the Flirt was carrying around mistletoe getting, and making people give each other kisses. My MVP for the game is, Evan Bigley (2-4, 2RBI, BB, 2B).
In the second game the Saints took advantage of two Redhawks errors in the third inning to score all four of their runs. They won the game 4-2 behind a great pitching performance from Jeff Shields (two hits, one run allowed), even though they only had three hits themselves. The promotion for the game was, Mom always said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you always celebrate The 20th Anniversary of Forrest Gump". It was a beautiful night at the ballpark so we ended up in the Gulag for part of the game. Partially for the view of the sunset, but also for the view of the game, and fun conversations with Bob, Clyde, Pete and the gang that normally hang out there. My MVP for the game is, Jeff Shields (8IP, 2H, 1ER, 5K).
The rubber match between the Redhawks and Saints was a Thursday night game that saw the Saints down three runs (3-0) after the sixth inning. The home team tried to scratch and claw their way back in the remaining innings but fell just short, losing 5-4. The promotion for the game was, Independence Day Celebration with post-game Fireworks Super Show presented by Snapple. It was a great night of patriotism throughout the ballpark as the Saints honored the military (The Saints and Defending the Baseline teamed up to donate 1,500 tickets to military members and their families), along with celebrating our countries birthday. The Saints players and coaches also got in on the action wearing special Independence day jerseys that were auctioned off during the game. We, once again, decided to bid on one of the jerseys and this time won Henry Wrigley's signed jersey. This game every year is always one of the biggest of the season but tonight turned out to be the biggest of all-time, setting a Saints attendance record of 9,331. This large crowd gave me the opportunity to cross another wish off my Midway bucket list, sitting on the warning track for part of the game. When the Saints have a overflow crowd they put up a snow fence along the warning track in the outfield and sell tickets for folding chairs set up in the dirt. It was a amazing view being at field level behind the outfielders. The game was then followed by one of the best firework super shows of the year. What a fun night and game to be part of! My MVP for the game is, Angelo Songco (1-4, R, 2RBI, HR).
Another 2014 home series is in the books. The Saints next Midway stand begins Tuesday, July 8th with three games against the Amarillo Sox, immediately followed by three against the Kansas City T-Bones. Time is starting to run out if you haven't caught the last train at Midway yet (we're half way through the home season already). So get to the ballpark, stop by and say hi, and have some fun!