Let’s Play Ball – 3,000 Times!
March 12, 2021 | Metro Sports Report
Steve James was counting the number of games that could be played at Prospect Meadows this year and arrived at an astounding number.
“I’d say upwards of 3,000 games,” said James, the general manager for Prospect Meadows and the guy who handles most of the scheduling. “I’m glad we’ve got turf. If we were trying to do that on grass, we’d have to re-sod every year.”
Prospect Meadows has artificial turf on the infields for all eight regulation baseball fields, with regular grass in the outfield. It’s a good combination that lets Prospect Meadows host games when other all-grass fields are not quite ready.
The 3,000 games would double the amount of action last year at Prospect Meadows, which hosted approximately 1,500 games in 2020. The 2020 campaign got off to a late start due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then play was interrupted for a few weeks in August due to damage caused by the derecho.
This season will run from March through October, tentatively starting this Tuesday (March 16) with the Coe College softball team facing Wisconsin-Platteville in a doubleheader at 2 p.m., weather permitting.
The Perfect Game Spring League is scheduled to begin March 20 and away we go. The Positive Sports Training night league games for youth baseball and softball begin in early April, with the possibility of more than 200 PST games at Prospect Meadows this season.
The popular Kiwanis Miracle League will be back again, with the spring season beginning in June. The League of Dreams will get started in late May for kids who don’t get many opportunities to play ball. The Marion Recreation League begins May 17 and the department is planning a pair of adult whiffleball tournaments on the Miracle Field in May and July.
Perfect Game, of course, is the primary tenant at Prospect Meadows, with major tournaments during the spring, summer and early fall with as many as 2,000 games. Game Day, a major baseball outfit that’s located in Illinois, also has a series of weekend tournaments on the books for possibly 480 more games.
All told, it’s an astounding number of games for one facility.
“It really is,” said James. “Having them all on site, it’s a pretty incredible number. We’re excited to provide those opportunities.”
James has been getting phone calls from Coe College, Kirkwood, the University of Dubuque, Clarke University and Upper Iowa University, all wondering if they can play some baseball and softball games at Prospect Meadows until their fields are ready. The answer is usually yes.
Prospect Meadows will be opening a second entrance to the complex in April so people can go straight from the parking lot to the TransAmerica quad without having to go through the front gate.
Prospect Meadows is always looking for more volunteers to help with a variety of jobs. Go to ProspectMeadows.com if you’d like to get involved.