Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Impact Field
Take Me Out to the Ball Game is a CubsDNA series where our staff visits other ball parks . Today, Pronk takes you to Impact Field in Rosemont, IL.
This past May, I went to the opening night of the Chicago Dogs season. The Dogs play at Impact Field in Rosemont. They are an independent baseball team, much like the Schaumburg Boomers. The Chicago Dogs play for American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
The Dogs made the news by signing Carlos Zambrano for the 2019 season. Big Z was attempting a comeback, and essentially needed a place to showcase that he could still throw heat. As a former Chicago Cubs fan favorite, it made sense for both sides. I figured he'd be starting opening day, so I picked up tickets for the wife and I for their first game.
The Chicago Dogs also got me in on a gimmick. They were attempting to set a world record. " American Association baseball team, The Chicago Dogs, along with 6,300 baseball and hot dog fans will set their sights on achieving a world record for the “world’s largest gathering of wieners in one location” during the Chicago Dogs’ May 17 home opener. Every fan in attendance on opening day will receive a commemorative hot dog costume courtesy of The Chicago Dogs and Vienna Beef. " A free hot dog costume? Sign me up!
So the big day came. 7:05 game on a Friday night. Driving in from Aurora, getting to the park was a breeze. It's right off of I-294, by O'Hare. They've got good parking, and the process of walking over to the stadium was easy enough. We got into the park and promptly suited up in our wiener costumes. As it would turn out, Zambrano was not starting, as apparently he was a relief pitcher now. Darn.
The food is on par with other ballparks. I got a Chicago Style hot dog, because of course. They also had hot dog fries, which were sliced up hot dogs battered and fried. Tasty. Mrs. Pronk got a burger and enjoyed it. Food prices were reasonable. Not super cheap.
The game got going, and the Dogs got out to an early lead. They added on in a few subsequent innings, and the game became a blowout. Halfway through, a patchy thunderstorm hit, causing a 30 minute delay and scattering the crowd. The wind picked up and made the temperature drop into the low 50s, making it feel much colder than that.
The costumes apparently were not color-fast, so the rain made them smear a little bit. When camped out under shelter, one woman exclaimed "my wiener is bleeding!" and I lost it.
We stuck around, hoping to see big Z pitch. The park really emptied out and was quiet, an interesting experience. I've not been able to hear my yells echo across a baseball diamond since little league. I embarrassed Mrs. Pronk by yelling "PITCHER'S GOT A BIG BUTT."
The Chicago Dogs won big, I got good food and a weenie costume. All in all, a good day. The experience was on par as other minor league games I've gone to. It's certainly not Wrigley field, but an easy to get to cheaper baseball experience can scratch the itch for watching baseball. I won't become a season ticket holder, but my experience was nothing but positive (outside of the rain). Check it out if you get the chance!