There are rites of passage for anyone visiting the Midwest in the summer. A float trip or day at the lake. The hot-cold sensation of warm pie or cobbler topped with frozen custard or ice cream. A day at the ballpark.
Since 2005 the Springfield Cardinals, affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, have thrilled fans of all ages at Hammons Field. Like any good baseball experience, there’s as much to enjoy off the field as on it, and with well over 100 former Springfield players having reached the Major Leagues, that’s saying something.
Alex Mejia, now with the St. Louis Cardinals, gets a base hit at Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri. Photo by Mark Harrell.
Hammons Field, opened in 2004, is the largest-capacity stadium in the Texas League and has earned Minor League Field of the Year five times. It’s worth arriving early to take a lap around the stadium where traditional baseball charm mixes with modern conveniences. Before the game, Springfield Cardinals players can be found signing autographs at the entrances.
The food offerings are a mix of classic and extraordinary. Menus vary from stand-to-stand but if you’re looking for unusual, check out the Chetzel Dog at The Dog House, the specialty grill along the first base concourse. Nearby is the Hiland Dairy ice cream station, complete with hand-scooped ice cream in little Cardinals helmets. Walk around to the third base side for a cocktail or craft brew at The Q Bar.
Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri.
In lieu of bleachers, Hammons Field has a grass berm around the outfield perfect for pitching a blanket and loading up with concessions. You’re almost as likely to catch a homerun or foul ball while catching the sun’s rays on a gorgeous summer afternoon. The berm is open to all general admission ticket holders.
For a more premium stadium experience, there’s the Redbird Roost, the second-level deck along the third-base line, or Big Mac Land, down the right field line, where food is included with your ticket. Not only is it a great seat in foul ball heaven, your ticket includes unlimited concessions.
Feeling even fancier? Check out the Champions Club. This premium Cardinals experience includes an air-conditioned suite with 60-inch TVs, outside seating and drinks and food included in the ticket price. This is a great option for special occasions, group outings or wooing clients who bleed Cardinals red.
Springfield Cardinal mascot, Louie, revs up the crowd at Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri. Photo by Mark Harrell.
The action between innings is sometimes as fierce as the game itself, and always hilarious. Before the game, Cardinals staff look for competitors for the between-inning contests. You might find yourself guessing trivia, racing a tricycle or playing musical chairs and if you aren’t playing, you’ll be laughing with the ones who are.
Giveaways are a baseball tradition on all levels, and the Springfield Cardinals are no different. Some nights are huge attractions, drawing lines hours before game time. Other promotions include Friday night fireworks and $1 brat and hot dog nights. Visit springfieldcardinals.com for a complete list of promotions.