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O'BRIEN FIELD

outsdie O'Brien

TEAM ::: PEORIA CHIEFS
LOCATION ::: PEORIA, ILLINOIS
MY FIRST VISIT ::: JULY 3, 2005
OPPONENT ::: BURLINGTON BEES
LEVEL ::: MIDWEST LEAGUE (A)

The Mascot

RATINGS

BALLFIELD ::: A
SCOREBOARD ::: C
FOOD ::: B
FACILITIES ::: A
MASCOT ::: B

From outfield

MY TAKE ON THE PARK

I HAVE ALWAYS FOUND THE PARKS I ENJOY THE MOST ARE THE ONES WITH A GREAT ATMOSPHERE. IT IS WHY A PARK LIKE READING WHICH FROM THE OUTSIDE IS OLD AND OUTDATED ALWAYS GETS A HIGH RATING FROM ME. PEORIA HAS A PARK THAT FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKS ALMOST LIKE LAKEWOOD, WHICH IS A VERY GOOD THING. HOWEVER,  ONCE IT IS TIME TO TAKE A SEAT AND ENJOY THE GAME, THINGS KIND OF TURN. 

FROM CENTER FIELD

THERE ARE TWO ENTRANCE OPTIONS INTO O'BRIEN FIELD, BOTH OFFERING A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE ON WHAT IS A GRERAT FIRST IMPRESSION FOR MY FIRST MIDWEST LEAGUE GAME.
THE ENTRANCE BEHIND HOME PLATE STARTS WHILE STANDING ON LINE WAITING TO WALK THROUGH THE TURNSTILE. MOVING TOWARDS THE STADIUM THE CITY BACKDROP IS IN FULL VIEW AS IS 1/4 OF THE OUTFIELD GRASS. ONCE INSIDE, THE REST OF THE FIELD COMES INTO VIEW AS YOU WALK ALONG THE VERY CLEAN CORRIDOR ONTO THE MAIN CONCOURSE. THE EMERALD GREEN FIELD SURROUNDED BY THE DARK GREEN SEATING BOWL QUICKLY REMINDED ME OF LAKEWOOD.
THE SECOND ENTRANCE IS LOCATED IN LEFT FIELD WHERE THE FIELD IS IN FULL VIEW AS YOU WALK IN, HOWEVER, YOU MAY NOT BE LOOKING AT THE FIELD DUE TO THE PALM TREES IN LEFT. AN IDEA THAT GIVES THE IMPRESSION A FUN EXPERIENCE AWAITS IN PEORIA.

PEORIA FROM BEHIND HOM E PLATE

WALKING ALONG THE CONCOURSE VIEWING THE FIELD FROM EVERY ANGLE, THE LAYOUT IS ALMOST IDENTICAL TO LAKEWOOD, N.J. IN PEORIA HOWEVER, THE CONCOURSE STOPS IN LEFT CENTER AND RIGHT CENTER SO YOU CANNOT TAKE THE FULL WALK AROUND THE PARK. ALONG THE WALLS AND THE BACK OF THE SEATING AREA ARE VARIOUS CONCESSIONS, NONE OF WHICH ARE CHEAP. ACTUALLY, O'BRIEN FIELD'S PRICES ARE UP THERE AT THE LOW END OF THE MAJOR LEAGUE LEVEL. FROM TICKETS TO PARKING DOWN TO CONCESSIONS, BRING EXTRA CASH TO A CHIEFS GAME.
 
I DIDN'T GET A CHANCE TO SAMPLE THE CLUB SEATS HERE, WHICH RUN $10 (in 2005) BUT THE $9 BOX SEATS  HAD NO LEG ROOM AND SEEMED TO HAVE LESS ROOM THAN AN AIRLINE SEAT. I LOOKED DOWN THE THIRD BASE LINE TO SEE THE LAWN AREA AND WONDERED WHY THE STANDS WEREN'T EXTENDED ANOTHER 10 FEET TO GIVE THE SEATS MORE ROOM. IF YOU GET A TICKET IN THE CENTER OF THE ROW, YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO OVERSPEND ON CONCESSIONS BECAUSE YOU WON'T GET OUT.

FROM RIGHT FIELD

IT SEEMS THAT FIRST IMPRESSIONS AREN'T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM. IS IT A COINCIDENCE THAT THE "O'BRIEN" IN O'BRIEN FIELD IS FOR A CAR DEALER?? (THEY SELL USED CARS THERE TOO)
 
FIREWORKS NIGHT IS NEVER A GOOD NIGHT TO TAKE IN A GAME, THE ONLY ADVANTAGE IS IF YOU LEAVE THE FIERWORKS SHOW YOU CAN GET OUT OF THE STADIUM VERY QUICKLY. ON A NIGHT WHERE FEWER PEOPLE ARE IN ATTENDANCE THIS COULD BE A BETTER PLACE.  AFTER SITTING THROUGH THE FIRST 5 INNINGS, YOU REALIZE THAT THIS IS A GOOD LOOKING FACILITY WITH REALLY NO CHARACTER. 
THE ONLY SCOREBOARD WATCHES OVER THE FIELD IN RIGHT AND OFFERS THE LINE SCORE AND A VIDEO BOARD WITH STILL PHOTOS OF THE CURRENT BATTER. I THINK AN OCCASIONAL REPLAY MADE IT UP THERE AS WELL. 
THE GAME IS HANDLED PRETTY WELL, THE BETWEEN INNING ACTIVITIES ARE FEW BUT WHEN THEY HAVE THEM THEY TEND TO BE ON THE ANNOYING SIDE. SOMETIMES TEAMS NEED TO BE REMINDED THAT EVENTS ARE SPONSORED FOR FUN AND INCOME,  NOT TO GIVE AN ANNOUNCER A SEASON'S WORTH OF FAME.
A SURPRISE WAS THE NAME "CHIEFS" WAS STILL USED. UNTIL I MET THE MASCOT AND REALIZED THAT THE CHIEF IN PEORIA IS A FIRE CHIEF, I LIKED THAT. THE MASCOT WAS A DALMATION, WHO WAS TAKING A BREAK MORE THAN HE WAS ENTERTAINING AND THERE WAS A REAL DALMATION WALKING AROUND THE FIELD BEFORE THE GAME.
ANOTHER SURPRISE WERE THE PALM TREES, A GOOD IDEA BUT ONE I THINK FAILS. MAYBE IF THEY HAD A BEACH PARTY IN THE PICNIC AREA BUT WITHOUT THAT ALL THE PALM TREES DO IS SHOW US WHY PALM TREES BELONG IN WARMER CLIMATES.  IS IT THE GOAL OF THE CHIEFS TO WATCH PALM TREES SUFFER THROUGHOUT THE SEASON?
A FIRST FOR ME WAS THE SPECIAL CONCESSION ITEM OFFERED HERE, THE GRILLED CORN. INSTEAD OF BOILING, THIS CORN IS THROWN ON THE GRILL IN THE HUSK AND SOLD FOR $2.50 .. IT IS PRETTY GOOD. SLIGHT PROBLEM, THE HUSKS BURN AND IN ABOUT THE 6TH INNING THE SMELL OF BURNING CORN WAS THROUGHOUT THE STADIUM.

MURIAL

TICKETS CAN BE ORDERED ONLINE THROUGH THE CHIEF'S WEB SITE, HOWEVER WHEN I TRIED TO ORDER THE CREDIT CARD SYSTEM WAS DOWN AND I HAD TO CALL DIRECTLY, IF IT WORKS YOU CAN PICK YOUR SEATS RIGHT ONLINE, I LIKE THAT.
AMPLE PARKING IS OFFERED ALL AROUND THE STADIUM FOR $5. GET TO THE PARK EARLY AND WALK DOWN TO THE LEFT FIELD SIDE, THERE IS A MURIAL ON THE SIDE OF THE BUILDING THAT CAUGHT MY INTEREST. I DON'T KNOW IF IT WAS ART, BUT I LIKED IT.
 
AFTER THE GAME, THE STANDARD CHAIN RESTAURANTS ARE LOCATED ACROSS THE BRIDGE, LESS THAN 5 MINUTES FROM THE PARK. (STEAK AND SHAKE & CULVERS ARE AMONGST THE CHOICES)
ALSO, AS OF LATE 2005 THE I-74 CONSTRUCTION PROJECT WAS STILL GOING ON, CHECK THE CHIEFS WEB SITE (LINKED BELOW) FOR DIRECTIONS IF YOUR NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE AREA, BECAUSE I'VE NEVER TAKEN I-74, I FOUND THE DETOUR EASY TO NAVIGATE.

The Managers

LINE UPS
 
BURLINGTON BEES MANAGER :::
 45 JIM GABELLA

PEORIA CHIEFS MANAGER :::
37 JULIO GARCIA

BURLINGTON BEES

12 Irving Falu  ss
29 Mario Lisson  3b
2 Geraldo Valentin dh
7 Damaso Espino  c
11 Brian McFall  rf
39 Rusty Brown 1b
3 Eddie Solis 2b
27 Darwinson Salazar lf
18 Cody Cure cf
41 Patrick Green p / LP

Dalmation

PEORIA CHIEFS

5 Sam Fuld cf
4 Eric Patterson 2b
25 Ryan Harvey rf
9 Aaron Sisk dh
27 Bo Flowers lf
33 Drew Larsen 1b
20 Oscar Bernard c
3 Aaron Smith 3b
2 Joe Simokaitis  ss
30 Matt Weber p / WP
34 Drew Dickson S

scoreboard

BEES        010   000   200    3   11   3  
CHIEFS    001   140   61x    12   14   1

TIME ::: 2:43
ATTENDANCE ::: 4,369
WEATHER ::: 87 CLOUDY, WARM

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