There’s a buzz at Community Field in Burlington, Iowa. They’re warming up for baseball with the Bees, now affiliated with the Anaheim Angels.
That’s where manager Chuck Brockett is busy. He’s completing a hands-on assignment Thursday morning for the community-owned ballclub and just in time for Opening Day.
“It’s that one first big game,” he said. “You get to see the talent that comes into town.”
The Bees take on Clinton starting at 6:30 Thursday evening at Community Field.
T.J. Brewer is making the rounds on the field. It’s a familiar ritual for the head groundskeeper. Entering his eighth season, there’s a beautiful field and new lighting for the 2013 season.
“All of a sudden, it becomes business as usual,” he said. “You hear the crack of the bat, and the pop of the glove.”
That tradition is a big part of Opening Day in Burlington. Future major league stars like Paul Molitor, Billy Williams and Vida Blue once played here.
It’s the start of a new season filled with hopes, dreams and possibilities. Ten players on the Kansas City Royals 2013 roster also spent time in Burlington.
As preparations continue on Thursday afternoon, Bindi the dog supervises from a shady spot on the field.
“She’s been terribly busy,” said Brewer, as she rode shotgun in his cart.
Burlington might be the smallest city in the Midwest League, but it cares about baseball in a big way. It’s really all about the fans.
“They come in and get to see some green grass,” said Brewer. “A lot of lawns around town aren’t green yet.”
All these chores will pay off tonight. For this seasoned franchise, it’s quite an accomplishment.
“The field is looking great,” Brockett concluded. “The stadium is ready to go, and we’re looking for a great Opening Night.”
From seats to the stadium, something to buzz about in Burlington.