The Iowa Cubs play at a beautiful stadium. Built in 1947 as Pioneer Park. In 1959 changed to Sec Taylor Stadium after a Des Moines Register and Tribune sports editor. Taylor isn’t the only baseball editorial prodigy by the way. According to a book I’ve read by Des Moines native, Bill Bryson, his father was once proclaimed as “possibly the greatest baseball writer there ever was.” I couldn’t find the excerpt Bryson Jr. refers to, but I highly suggest picking up a copy of The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.
Anywhoo, the old stadium was demolished 72 days after my birthday on September 10th (no relationship to my birthday, just thought you should know it’s coming up). Today the field is named after the Principal Financial Group, as is 90% of everything else in Des Moines. The website boasts the field features the same grass as Wrigley Field in Chicago, which makes it one of the best playing fields in the minor leagues.
The ICubs are the triple-A affiliate team of the Chicago Cubs. Triple-A teams are often also called “farm teams.” And really, where better a place for a farm-team than Iowa?
The inaugural season of professional baseball in Des Moines saw teams from the Northwestern League with horribly culturally and geographically accurate names like Minneapolis Millers and the Duluth Freezers. The Iowa Hawkeyes had their own hilariously factual name: The Colts and Prohibitionists of the Western Association (rolls off the tongue, right?). Curious if there are more great triple-A affiliate team names? I was. I researched some comically spot-on names, and my favorite: The Montgomery Biscuits (because nothing is more intimidating than a delicious brunch item, especially when a single serving has major heart-attack potential). They’re a Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.
While I may be un-American when it comes to watching full games of baseball, I do have to say the fireworks at the end of every Friday night cubs game are a treat.