Another Major League Baseball Multi-Trip Is in the Books

Another Major League Baseball season is history, or at least those multi-trips involving the Uniglobe Baseball Club have ended for the season.

The final multi-trip of the year, which included 2,100 miles on a motorcoach, was over a six-day period which began in Columbus and ended in Indianapolis. In between there were visits to Cincinnati, St. Louis, Kansas City, Dyersville, Iowa and Chicago.

In addition to the four Major League games, there was a minor league contest in Indianapolis, a tour of Huntington Park, the home of the Columbus Clippers, a visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City and a stop at the Field of Dreams site in Dyersville.

We saw a total of seven Major League teams as the Cubs were both at home and away (at Cincinnati), with the three other visiting teams being the Pirates, Tigers and Braves.

The minor league game was between Columbus, the Triple A affiliate of Cleveland, and the homestanding Indianapolis Indians, the Pirates’ top farm team.

It was the 42nd multi-trip, which brought to 116 the number of major league games since the ”club” started 12 years ago.

This was our second visit to Kansas City, and I did make inquiry about the possibility of George Brett visiting our ”team,” however, I was informed that since he gets requests for meet and greets almost daily, and to accommodate these requests would be hard, therefore he doesn’t do them.

I suppose we would fall into the meet-and-greet category to some extent, but since he was born in Glen Dale, I thought maybe he would meet with us. Brett is currently a vice president in the Royals organization, a team he has been associated with for some 40-plus years.

I’m sure that Bob Montgomery would have cherished the opportunity to meet Brett, a Hall of Famer, as would others on the tour. The locals know Montgomery for being a high school baseball coach for 46 years, with 40 years as a head coach during which his teams have played 1,200 games with a 70-percent winning percentage. But he has also been an umpire for 53 years.

Probably the best way to describe our group is that we all have a passion for the sport of baseball, and would you believe that after every game we critique the singing of the national anthem. ”The group” represents some 250 individuals who have been part of these tours over the past dozen years.

I would describe the makeup of our group as being either families or friends who enjoy getting together. Everyone seems to enjoy the different attractions which Bill Bryson has arranged over the years, others in the past having been Cooperstown, West Point, Ground Zero, a boat ride on the Hudson River in New York, the Presidents and Veterans Monuments in Washington, D.C., tours of Major League Baseball facilities, the opportunity to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the chance to see downtown Hollywood, Calif., visit Pebble Beach, Calif., and tour several baseball museums, including the Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh.

Among those on this trip were in Columbus where Joe Santry, the Clippers historian, had numerous stories about baseball in that city. Baseball has been a part of the city for more than 100 years. If you happen to have a group of 25 who would like to tour Huntington Park you can arrange a tour and learn about how Columbus has helped shape baseball history as you tour this award-winning, nationally recognized ballpark which opened in downtown Columbus in 2009.

At the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City you will learn that is not a Hall of Fame, or does it operate as such. You will learn that 29 inductees into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown played only in the Negro Leagues, while nine others played in both the Negro Leagues and the Major Leagues, with Jackie Robinson being in the latter group. In 1962, he was the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in Cooperstown.

Since we last visited the Field of Dreams movie site, we received an update on plans for that attraction which has been sold to an investment group, and according to our tour guide, Ann Cannon, the assistant director of the Dyersville Chamber of Commerce, long-range plans are to convert the land, not including the current field, into a ”Cooperstown of the Midwest” where there would be youth tournaments throughout the summer, along with clinics, etc. The plan is to have 24 baseball/softball fields, along with housing for the participants on the grounds. By the way, it a proposed $70 million endeavor.

At our stop at the Field of Dreams, Marv Maiers, a former high school and college baseball coach, was present to explain the filming of the “Field of Dreams” movie. He was one of the ghosts in the movie. He told of a 25th reunion a few weeks ago to which several of the cast members, including Kevin Costner, were involved. It just so happened on Thursday evening when switching through the television channels there was a one-hour program in progress in which Bob Costa was interviewing Costner and others at that reunion.

By the way, a number of our group ”took to the field” in Dyersville to hit and field.

Before I use up all my space, I’d better remind the readers of some upcoming events in Marshall County.

The first is the Marshall County Fair which will be held this week, with the official opening at 5:15 p.m. Monday, with a ribbon cutting ceremony, to be followed by four Queen Pageants.

There will be activities taking place today with the gates opening at noon. Among the events will be a pet show at 2 p.m., a talent show at 6 p.m., open to contestants of all ages, and a Exhibitors’ Olympics at 8 p.m.

There will be daily attractions during the morning and evening hours, with special events each night. Among the latter activities are: karaoke at 9 p.m. Monday; musical entertainment at 9 p.m. Tuesday by Jamie Lynn Spears; musical entertainment by Frankie Ballard at 9 p.m. Wednesday; Truck Pulls will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday; the annual Marshall County 4-H & FFA Livestock Auction will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, and tractor and truck pulls at 7 p.m., along with Kachunga and the Alligator performance at 7:30 p.m. and musical entertainment by John Anderson at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Senior Citizens and Veterans Day will be from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday, while Children’s Day will be on Wednesday with free admission for kids 12 and under from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. that day.

Because of the Fair, the Marshall County Farmers’ Market will be closed this Saturday, reopening on Aug. 2. This is the 23rd year for the market. The market hours are 8-11 a.m.

Also, Saturday, the Greater Cameron Landmarks Commission will hold its third annual Cameron Pottery Day, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the B&O Freight Depot. All proceeds from Pottery Day and other events benefit the ongoing B&O Depot restoration project.

The Marshall County Chamber of Commerce will hold a second Business After Hours event this month, it will be from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Sleep Inn and Suites in Moundsville, sponsored by the hotel. Alexander’s on 7th will be catered.

The Slim Lehart Band will be performing from 5-7 p.m. Friday at Riverfront Park, Moundsville. The performance is part of the Chamber of Commerce Summer Concert series.