Ballparks of America

I think I’ve mentioned before that we are a baseball family.  We like all sports, but baseball is at the top of the list.  Tom, my husband, helps coach Callahan, my youngest, travel baseball team.  This is the third year he has played for Southern Illinois Team Dinger.  Each year they play in some really neat tournaments, but I have to say that playing at the Ballparks of America in Branson has been his favorite so far.

If your child plays travel baseball you need to put this facility on your list.  What I’m about to tell you will not make sense in your brain…..but here it goes.  These are Major League Baseball replica fields amidst an old outlet mall.  I know it sounds crazy, but it works!

Apparently the Tanger Outlet Mall decided to move to a different location and someone bought it and repurposed it.  All of the “outlet mall” structure is still there.  As a matter of fact, the website says there are facilities for teams to stay overnight.  Our team didn’t do that.  There is a gift shop, café, concession stand and a few offices that seem to be in places where stores were.  There is even an indoor batting cage for teams to use.

Ballparks of America consists of 5 fields. Brooklyn Field, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Detroit Stadium and Bush Stadium, which was the biggest field.  The details that each of these fields has is amazing.

Bush Stadium has an arch mowed into the turf and a really nice seating area.

Fenway has a “green monster” for the left field fence.

Wrigley Field even has “ivy” on the outfield fence.

Brooklyn Field was pretty basic but still very nice.

Different baseball organizations put tournaments on at Ballparks of America.  We played in a Game 7 tournament.  It was the Best of the Midwest Showdown.  There were 16 teams from Missouri, Illinois and Kansas.  We were able to play on all of the fields except Detroit.  It was a long weekend but we came out on top.  SI Team Dinger won the 10-U Championship.  Here is my #22 pitching at “Busch Stadium and the Championship rings they won!

It was a hot weekend of baseball but definitely worth it in the end.  If you are in the travel baseball world, you definitely should try to play at Ballparks of America!

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