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110. West Michigan Whitecap Baseball

April 20, 2011

Baseball… minor league… Hmmm…

Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

When ever my friends and I head to a Whitecaps game for some odd reason the Field of Dreams quotes start to flow. I think it might because the Fifth Third Ballpark has a very nostalgic even though it is very new and modern compared to other minor league parks. The Whitecaps are a class “A” affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, so from time to time you just may see Tiger front office personnel sitting in the stands behind home plate.

Fifth Third Ballpark has something for everybody in your family from between innings entertainment, play area or carnival games at times for the kids, bleacher seats, group deck areas, lawn seats, etc. The food is some of the best I have had at any ball park. The Today Show, ESPN Sports Center, and even The Travel Channel show Man vs. Food show did an episode on the Fifth Third Burger. The Burger start with an 8-inch sesame seed bun that requires 1 pound of dough and is made specially for the Whitecaps by Nantucket Baking Co. of Grand Rapids.  Spoon on nearly a cup of chili and place five one-third pound hamburger patties on top of that. (Get it, 5/3 pounds of beef for the Fifth Third Burger?) Add five slices of American cheese and liberal doses of salsa, nacho cheese and Fritos. Top it off with lettuce, tomato and sour cream, and you have a burger that can be sliced with a pizza cutter and feed four people for $20. Jalapenos are optional.

The best things is you get see a good game of baseball. The Whitecaps and the ballpark have so many games and specials its best to just check out their website for the latest details at  www.whitecapsbaseball.com.

Fifth Third Ballpark – 4500 West River Drive, Comstock Park, MI 49321

From the North (Traverse City):

Take 131 South toward Grand Rapids to Exit 91 (West River Dr.). Take a left at the light and the ballpark will be on your right.

From the East (Detroit):

Take 96 West toward Lansing & Grand Rapids until you get to 131. The intersection on 96 and 131 is about 5 miles north of Grand Rapids. Take 131 North and then the first exit you’ll come to is Exit 91 (West River Dr). The ballpark is straight through the light.

From the South (Kalamazoo):

Take 131 North through Grand Rapids until you get to Exit 91 (West River Drive). The ballpark is straight through the light.

From the West (Muskegon): Take 96 East to 131. The intersection on 1-96 and 131 is about 5 miles north of Grand Rapids. Take 131 North and then the first exit you’ll come to is Exit 91 (West River Dr). The ballpark is straight through the light.

From the West (Holland): Take 196 East toward Grand Rapids until you get to 131 in downtown Grand Rapids. Take 131 North for about 5 miles until you come to Exit 91 (West River Dr.). The ballpark is straight through the light. rom I-96 or I-196, take US-131 north to exit 91 (West River Drive). Cross at the light to enter Fifth Third Ballpark.

Or you may take East Beltline Ave. to Northland Drive, then turn west on West River Drive and proceed 5 miles. Fifth Third Ballpark entrance is on the left, just before the US-131 interchange.

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