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.
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