Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Ballpark Review: Busch Stadium 7/6/17

Baseball Heaven.

That is what many call Busch Stadium. Especially all the loyal Cardinals fans out there including yours truly.

Like most years I made my annual pilgrimage to Busch Stadium on an extremely hot day.

It was so hot. It was unintentional to go on such a hot day as well.

Yet the heat did not get the best of me and my friends.

Let's get away from the weather and onto the stadium itself.

Arriving to Busch Stadium is quite easy. I-64 takes you practically straight up to the gates. Unfortunately you have to deal with parking.


Luckily for Andrew and I, we found $10 parking about 5 blocks from the stadium. Not bad at all, but some people were not as lucky, paying 20 if not 30 dollars for parking. Now that is just downright harsh.

Arriving to the gates of Baseball Heaven has become quite dismal in recent years. There is security everywhere. You cannot even take a bag into the ballpark anymore. It is a shame that it has come to this, but I understand why it has.

Once you finally get past all the security and into the ballpark you begin to understand why Busch Stadium is called Baseball Heaven.

It is gorgeous.

The field is in pristine shape and there is not a bad seat in the house.

This was the view from when we were hoping that a player would pop up to sign some autographs. Unfortunately, no one did.

And this the view from our seats. $10 got us 3rd row in the outfield. Pretty fantastic seats if you wanted to get a sunburn. Haha!

We ended up moving into the shade on the upper deck and even then the seats were not bad.

The game itself was quite a wild one. Luke Voit was a monster. He drove in three of the Cardinals 4 runs on the game. Oh, the Cardinals closer, left off two baserunners, but luckily struck out Martin Prado to finish the game.

Furthermore, if you do decide to make the trip out to Baseball Heaven take a lot of money with you because everything is overpriced.

I bought a soft pretzel for $10. I wanted to cry as I gave over my money for it.

Also do not plan on going to the team shop because you can easily find all the same gear on eBay for anywhere from $20-$50 cheaper than it is there.

To conclude I rate my trip to Busch Stadium


The stadium and atmosphere was absolutely breathtaking, but the amenities were just not up to par.

Thank you for making reading today and God Bless!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Autograph Recap: Peoria Chiefs vs Beloit Snappers 6/27/17

Now that the ballpark is all done with Dozer Park, we can now move onto the autographs that I received from the game. Andrew may add his in later. We will see.

Peoria is quite an easy place to graph. The left field railing and the right field railing are basically the only two places you need to hang out at. If you want autographs after the game, you better be right next to the dugout because there is a clubhouse that the players enjoy scurrying to before the autograph hounds can get to them.

Which honestly I don't blame them because some of these dudes just keep coming back for more and more. It is pretty crazy if you ask me because after while it is like what are you going to do with all this stuff? Unfortunately some people sell it.

Anyways, off my soapbox and on to the autographs.

Andrew and I showed up early and knocked out Beloit super quick. We only had two guys we needed to get from their team. JaVon Shelby and Trace Loehr. Luckily, both were willing to sign for us.

Trace was a pretty chill dude. He was not too thrilled about the game being so early. Lol.

Trace was drafted in the 6th Round in 2014. He has struggled for the most part trying to climb the ladder in the A's system.

This is his second year in the Midwest League and he is batting .246. Yikes! It also seemed to me while watching him play that he does not really have any tools that make him stand out. His defense is probably his best tool and that is about it.

Next, we have JaVon Shelby.

JaVon was drafted in the 5th Round of the 2016 draft.

This is his first year in the Midwest League and he is batting to a tune of .224, but he has hit 7 home runs.

When asked to sign, JaVon did not seemed too thrilled. He just came over and did not really say much, but he did sign so I am not complaining.

So that was it for Beloit for me. We then went over to the other side of the field to watch Peoria warm up and picked them off as they walked back to the dugout before the game started.

I like Dylan Carlson. He seemed a little high on himself. You could understand why because he was the Cardinals 1st Round Draft Pick in 2016. After watching him play though, I was quite impressed.

Dylan plays with incredible amounts of energy. He is very raw, but for his age he is doing quite well in a challenging Midwest League this year. Dylan has plenty of speed and a bit of power with 5 home runs. It may just take him awhile to develop.

He was an easy signer and seemed more than happy to sign for us.

Okay now Nick Plummer sucks to try to get an autograph from. It takes multiple times calling out his name, and he likes hiding. And for as much as he hates signing, he does not make up for it playing wise.

The Cardinals 2015 1st Round Pick has a .181 average to his name. Being a Cardinals fan, I was not impressed at all.

He also pressed down hard with the Sharpie, but I can't complain because I was actually able to get a hold of him.

The Cardinals 2014 2nd Round Pick, Ronnie Williams is a really cool guy. We asked him to sign before the game and he wanted to! He was making us give him our stuff to sign as quit as he could before the players ran out on the field. Really fun guy to get an autograph from.

Unfortunately, he has struggled on the field with a 7.91 ERA. Ronnie is inconsistent when he starts. Sometimes he absolutely lights out or hitters light him up.

I sure hope he can turn it around because Ronnie is a really cool guy.

We got Jordan Hicks after the game. Even after the success he has been having this year, he is pretty chill about signing. I should say he didn't hide like Nick Plummer.

That being said I got this 2015 Elite Extra Edition card signed by the 2017 Midwest League All-Star.

Lastly, we have the man the Cardinals traded Matt Adams for.

Juan Yepez was my favorite player I met that day. Not only is his autograph fantastic, but he was super nice to his fans. He was taking pictures, signing autographs, and actually holding conversations with people. A rarity among many players in today's game.

As for his play on the field, Juan has a very good eye for being such a young hitter. He also is quite solid defensively.

So here is hoping the best for Juan in the future. He has been tagged my favorite player of the game. I may make that a theme, I don't know. We will see as I do more of these.

Thanks for stopping by everybody and I hope you  had a fantastic and safe 4th of July!

God Bless!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ballpark Review: Dozer Park (Peoria Chiefs) 6/27/17

Peoria, Illinois is quite a hike from where I live. A three hour car drive in fact. Which is somewhat ironic since I live in Illinois.

During the drive, going from seeing corn fields to skyscrapers was quite interesting. That in itself though is one of the beauties of Illinois.

Alright, enough with my nostalgic feelings of Illinois (since there may not be an Illinois to cherish soon) and onto the review of the ballpark.

Upon arriving, Dozer Park is almost somewhat easy to miss. It is hidden in between a bunch of industrial and municipal buildings which did not make is any easier for first time visitors like Andrew and I.

Fun Fact: Dozer Park is named after Peoria's connection to Caterpillar, an construction vehicle company. Hence the name Dozer refers to Bulldozer. (Don't worry if it took you awhile to get the reference, it took me longer than what it should have)

As it is though we showed up an hour early to enter the main gates and see what this place is all about. And honestly it was pretty average when it comes to minor league ballparks. Nothing really sets it apart.

Getting Autographs

The concourse was quaint and nice. There was a statue of Mr. Peoria Baseball, Pete Vonachen, giving a baseball to a kiddo as you walk in the front gate.

On the 3rd base side of the concourse there was a display of Bradley University ballplayers that had made the MLB.

The team store was definitely one of the best I have been to in awhile! They had plenty to choose from. Team sets, hoodies, jerseys, baseballs, but the best part was the discounted apparel. I bought a 2015 Midwest League All-Star Game T-Shirt for $4! Four dollars! Quite a steal if you ask me.

The rest was food, and lots of it! There was everything from Hot Dogs to Veggie Burgers and Icees to Sno-Cones.

The prices were like any other minor league ballpark, higher than supermarket prices, but lower than that of a major league ballpark.

Andrew and I both got a Grilled Chicken Sandwich, while I saved some money by sneaking in some Cheez-Its. Shhhhhh don't tell the ushers.

Criminal Level: 500+

Those actually were not the seats we paid for, we only sat there because our seats were surrounded by little kids. I absolutely loathe Summer Camp and DayCare Day.

Speaking of places to sit, the tickets prices were a bit above average. We paid $10 for box seats I believe. Pretty cheap for a Midwest League Ballpark.

This was our view for most of the game. There really is not a bad seat in Dozer Park.

The game itself was a rollercoaster of a game. The Cardinals 9th Round pick this year Evan Krusynski made the start for Peoria, going 5 innings without letting off a hit until Danny Hudzina make a bone headed mistake at 3rd to screw it up for him.

It started going down hill from their. Both teams relievers were bad, real bad and had the game tied 6-6 going into the 8th. Beloit scored two runs in the top half of the inning to go up 8-6, but Dylan Carlson responded with a triple to lead off the bottom half of the inning and two runs later on scored for it to be knotted up 8-8 going into the 9th.

Beloit went quietly in the top half of the inning as the pressure began to mount for the Peoria Chiefs. The first batter walked and Ryan McCarvel stepped into the batters box. Under all sorts of pressure, the catcher for the Peoria Chiefs clubbed a dinger to deep center to win the game for the home team!

And that was that. We got a few more autographs and prepared ourselves for the drive home.


Overall I give Dozer Park a 3 out of 5 stars. Nothing spectacular, but still a solid ballpark overall.

Thanks for stopping by. I do realize it was a quite a lengthy post now that I look back at it, but thanks for reading to the end. God Bless!

Next Trip - Cardinals vs Marlins: Busch Stadium 7/6/17

Friday, June 30, 2017

A More In Depth and Personalized View of Ballparks Around the Country!

Welcome everybody, my name is Weston DeShon. Me and my pal Andrew are avid collectors of sports cards and love traveling to see the brightest and finest in terms of ballparks in America.

We live in the Midwest so most of our reviews will be about ballparks in the Midwest. Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, they are all covered! This blog will be a running log of every ballpark we have attended and all the great and not so great qualities about them.

Since we enjoy collecting sports cards as well, we will also feature some autograph reviews and some of the best and potentially best talent baseball has to offer.

So be on the lookout folks because we are on an adventure to uncover the hidden gems of baseball, not only in players but in ballparks as well!

God Bless!