Here I sit in the Champion’s Club at Hammons Field, the home of St. Louis’ AA affiliate, surrounded by Cardinals Front Office personnel such as Jeff Levering, the voice of and Media Relations head of the team, as well as Springfield GM Matt Gifford. Also around the room are well-known sports personalities from the town; Ned Reynolds and Dan Lucy, and many from surrounding news outlets.
I walked through the Front Offices to the field where I first caught a glimpse of the field itself from ground level, peering through the right field gate. The field is perfectly green, lush from the recent rains and ensuing sunny Spring days, and in the process of a crafty and masterful grooming by the Hammons Field landscape professionals. The Sun beaming across the near-8,000 empty seats and the lightly watered infield has the room in the throes of Spring Training discussion interspersed between their own stories dating the numerous old friendships that knit the room together.
I sit at a small bar table peering out through this window, as I have peered through so many since the close of post-season season play, waiting for professional baseball to once again grace this shrine to which it was erected. Many ballparks deserve the title of “shrine” but few so deservedly as this particlar home to our perfect game. The question was asked to Mr. Ned Reynolds, quite easily the most notable figure of Springfield sports, how Hammons Field ranks amongst its fellow Texas League ballparks. Mr. Reynolds responds that Wichita boasted a fine park yet without a doubt, the best home to baseball in this Texas League is this; Hammons Field.
A perfect shrine, suited for the perfect game.