The Iowa Cubs may be headed for an attendance record. Through 38-games the I-Cubs have averaged just more than six-thousand-500 fans and assistant general manager Jim Nahas says the Sec Taylor Stadium record of 509, 324 may be in jeopardy. He says it wouldn’t surprise him if they get to 550,000 this year.Nahas says there are several factors at work. A scheduling conflict in Edmonton has moved four additional games to Des Moines. Good weather has meant just two rainouts. The I-Cubs lead the Central division race. Most of all though may be the popularity of the parent Chicago Cubs which has soared since last year’s playoff run. He says if they were the Iowa Expos, he doesn’t think they’d have the attendance they have. He says the Cubs have a nationwide following and probably the only other major league club that would draw interest in Iowa is the Cardinals. He says they would be a distant second.Right now the I-Cubs are fifth in attendance in the 16-team Pacific Coast League. He says they’re fortunate because they’re the smallest market in triple-A baseball. The Cubs return home on July fourth.
Two former Chicago Cubs hope players and owners can hammer out a new labor agreement to avoid another Major League Baseball player’s strike. Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins says issues like a luxury tax and drug testing put added pressure on the players. He says they have a tough way to go to get what they want, and he says they have to bend at some point to prevent a work stoppage or strike. Jenkins says they’re are difficult issues to settle but says they need to be addressed. He says whatever is done, they have to sign a long-term contract to keep playing.Jenkins says the owners are digging in over the issue of competitive balance. He says the weaker teams won’t ever win without parity.The players’ union on Monday decided against setting a strike date. Former Cubs’ catcher Jody Davis says reaching an agreement is imperative.While escalating salaries receive the most attention, Davis says there are dozens of issues that get hammered out during negotiations. He says the players are concerned about the game, he says the things that go on behind closed doors are never really heard. He says you have to hope that they settle it.Davis says from a players’ perspective the most difficult aspect is trusting ownership. He says there was a strike when he broke in 1981 and he says the owners were claiming back then that they were going broke.Both Jenkins and Davis will be in Des Moines on Sunday to take part in a mini Cubs’ reunion prior to the Iowa Cubs game.
The State of Iowa is taking some kids to an Iowa Cubs baseball game tonight in Des Moines as part of a program to recognize parents. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says they’re recognizing parents who don’t have custody of their kids — but still help support them.Miller says the adults that come to the ballgame and buy a ticket will get free tickets for the kids. Miller says it’s a way of thanking the “non-custodial” parents for living up to their responsibility to provide monetary, and emotional support to their kids.Miller says the parents who try to dodge their obligation usually get the attention, as the parents that don’t pay are the ones that make the news. Miller says his office and the Iowa Department of Human Services Child Support Bureau have organized this program for several years.He says other minor league baseball clubs around the state are hosting similar nights. Miller will throw out the first pitch at the I-Cubs game tonight and then make remarks about the importance of parents “staying connected” with their kids.
The Iowa Cubs are back on the diamond again after a break for the Triple-A All-Star game. Spokesman Dave Raymond says the end of the first half of the season was a whirlwind as manager Bruce Kimm was called up to manage the parent Chicago Cubs. Pitching coach Pat Listach replaced Kimm as I-Cubs manager, which Raymond says may lead to more changes in the team. He expects them to run more than they did under Kimm. Raymond says the roster of the team will likely change too, as the change to Kimm as manager is a signal the parent Cubs are trying to make some moves. Raymond says the Iowa club got a lot of publicity out of the managerial change. He says that doesn’t usually happen when players are sent up or down to the parent club.He expects the publicity to help what’s already been a good year for attendance.The I-Cubs won their first home game under Listach last night 8-5 over Salt Lake.
The top Iowa Cub got the call to the big leagues today. The Chicago Cubs have fired manager Don Baylor and have calledBruce Kimm, the manager of their triple-A affiliates in Des Moines, to head east as interim manager. The parent Cubs have been a disappointment at 34-49 this season, in fifth place in the National League Central, 12 1/2 games behind the first-place Cardinals. The 51-year-old Kimm is a Norway, Iowa native who is in his second season as skipper at Iowa and seventh as a minor league manager. He led Iowa to a 44-45 mark this season, after winning a division title last season. Kim a minor league managerial mark of 480-449. Kimm is expected to take over the Cubs managerial duties in Atlanta Saturday.
The Iowa Cubs head into the All-Star break on the heels of a 5-4 loss Sunday to Colorado Springs. Despite the loss, I-Cubs Media Relations Director Scott Sailor says the first half of the season has been a good one.They’re seven games above 500, and in second place in the Pacific Coast League with a 49-42 record. Attendance has picked up after a soggy cold start.Sailor says the break is a chance for I-Cub players to get away from the diamond for awhile. Pitcher Rueben Quevedo is the only exceptions, as he’ll play in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday in Indianapolis. Sailor says the I-Cubs front office has several promotions planned for the second half of the season to keep the fans coming in.
The Iowa Cubs are ranked third in the Pacific Coast League in attendance with an average of just under six thousand fans per game. Assistant General Manager Jim Nahas says they are happy with the turnstile count to this point especially considering the foul weather during the first month-and-a-half of the season that rained out three games and rain on portions of others.Des Moines is the smallest of the 16 markets in the Pacific Coast League and Nahas says it takes a coordinated effort between ticket sales and promotions to help draw fans.Nahas says the team also has tried to market the team outside of the Des Moines area. He says they need to stretch out 100 miles or more to keep the attendance up.
After a wet and cold spring, officials with the Iowa Cubs say they are playing catch-up in terms of attendance at Sec Taylor stadium. General Manager Sam Bernabe says foul weather in April and May not only forced some postponements, but it kept fans from moving through the turnstiles when there was a game. The team began its 12-game home stand about 13,000 behind in attendance. With the weather getting better, Bernabe says attendance is picking up.
The Iowa Cubs gave new meaning to the phrase “farm club” this morning as the Pacific Coast League franchise teamed up with Garst Seed to plant corn outside of Sec Taylor Stadium. I-Cubs assistant general manager Jim Nahas says it was the idea of club owner Michael Gartner. Nahas says the “Field of Dreams” in Dyersville has corn, so Sec Taylor should too.The corn is behind the main entrance to the stadium near the Raccoon River and Nahas says with the wet spring the corn won’t need watered.Steve Klein is the director of sales and marketing for Garst Seed which also provided the tractor for the planting. He says they’re planting four rows of “85-50-BT” that’ll be very visible as it grows.Klein says fans will be able to monitor the progress for the remainder of the season.
Senate Republicans have pressed forward with Fans of legendary home run hitter Babe Ruth will get a chance to see rare artifacts, historic video and photographs of the “Bambino” when a traveling exhibit visits Sec Taylor Stadium in Des Moines May 25th through the 28th. Spokeswoman Laurie Ward says it’s part of the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum located in Baltimore. Ward says the original museum is located in the house Babe Ruth was born in. Ward says this is the fourth year for the traveling exhibit which draws large crowds across the country. Ward says among the artifacts on display, Ruth’s schoolboy catcher’s mitt which he wore on his right hand, even though it supposed to be worn on the left hand.Ward says there are a number of other memorable artifacts on display for the public. Ward says there is plenty of history surrounding Ruth in his hometown of Baltimore. Ward says Ruth’s father owned a number of saloons in town. She says when Camden Yard was being built, the spot where one of his father’s saloons existed was found, and it is now short centerfield.Ward says one of the most forgotten aspects of Ruth’s career is he began as a pitcher and had a career record of 94-wins and 46-losses. He is credited with ushering in the Yankees dynasty but is also credited with the so-called “curse” on the Boston Red Sox after they sold him to New York.