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Minor leagues, major fun with the Springfield Cardinals

May 16, 2019


There was a time when summers in Springfield were, sadly, without baseball. But in 2005 the Cardinals landed at Hammons Field, bringing Texas League baseball and 70 games filled with family fun to Downtown Springfield.

The 2019 season opened in early April, but there are still plenty of home games left this summer — plenty of chances to enjoy some major-league fun. In honor of our National Pastime’s nine innings, here are nine things to know before you assemble your crew and head out to Hammons Field.

1. Red Access is the future.

General Manager Dan Reiter and his team have put together an innovative idea. They’ve done away with traditional season tickets and launched RED Access Memberships. Every RED Access Member can get into all 70 home games for as low as $19 per month. Incredible, right? Members get reserved seats for a certain number of games per month, based on their membership level. But they can come to any game and sit in general admission seating. RED Access Memberships are available in all reserved seating sections, including all-inclusive areas like the Expedia Redbird Roost.

2. Sundays are for the kids.

It’s called Ice Cream Sunday for a very good reason. Hiland Dairy has a sweet deal for all kids at Sunday home games: a free ice cream sandwich before first pitch! If your young ones are still sugared up when the game ends, the Cardinals crew has a solution. Kids can run the bases following the game.

3. Theme tickets get your extra bang for your buck.

The Cardinals offer several special Theme Tickets throughout the season. Some of them get you exclusive Busch Stadium giveaways, like a St. Louis Cardinals Crossbody Bag or a Cardinals/St. Louis Blues jersey. Other nights honor special people like teachers, graduates and county employees with special T-shirts. There’s also the Family 4-Pack: four tickets, four hot dogs, four caps and four Coca-Colas for just $44.

4. Tuesdays and Thursdays are great nights to eat at the ballpark.

Do you know what makes those ballpark dogs taste even better? When they’re just a buck each. Tuesdays are Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Days. Thursdays are Klement’s $1 Bratwurst Night. Just be careful not to overdo it.

5. It actually is delivery.

Hot dogs not your thing? How about pizza? Domino’s Pizza has a stand located behind section N on the third-base side. If you don’t want to miss a single pitch, you can order your food and have it delivered to your seat. Talk about convenience!

6. You might see some big-leaguers.

Springfield’s affiliation with the St. Louis Cardinals means rehabbing major leaguers will sometimes play at Hammons Field. That was the case May 15, when two-time National League All-Star Carlos Martinez made a relief appearance. Last season both pitcher Adam Wainwright and catcher Yadier Molina suited up for Springfield in 2018. Those rehab assignments are announced in advance by the team and reported by the local media.

7. You’ll definitely see some future big-leaguers.

Pitcher Ryan Helsley made his St. Louis debut this season, making him the 100th Springfield Cardinal to make it to the big leagues. That’s an impressive number, considering the franchise played its first game in 2005. Included in that 100 are current Redbirds like Harrison Bader, Matt Carpenter, Paul DeJong, Michael Wacha and Kolten Wong.

(SEVENTH-INNING STRETCH)

8. Promotional nights include cool giveaways.

The best thing you can do when planning which night to take yourself out to the ballgame is look at the Cardinals’ promotional calendar. Giveaways include jerseys, T-shirts, tumblers, bobbleheads and more. Just make sure you arrive early. Most promotional items are limited and the line to get in forms well before the gates open.

9. Baby, there are fireworks.

Friday night means fireworks at Hammons Field, and AM Pyrotechnics always puts on a big show. Each Friday Night Fireworks has a special music theme, and some nights fans can go onto the field to enjoy the show. The calendar also includes Freedom Week Fireworks July 1-3 and special fireworks June 1, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.