Rent One Park, home of the Southern Illinois Miners, is QUICKLY becoming one of those parks that I want to visit AT LEAST once a season. I love the team, the area, and the park.
I stopped by late last season to see MY Florence Freedom in the Frontier League Championship and I really liked the vibe here. Even though the Freedom ended up losing the Championship in an exciting series, I still felt joy for the Miners and for the town of Marion.
We drove from the Owensboro area early to enjoy some of the cool things going on in the lower part of the state- this is a great area for road trippers!
We were able to fit in some hiking around Cave-In-Rock, some exploring of the historic and mysterious area of Herrin, and we visited Marion!
As we walked in to the park, we started chatting with the usher in our section. I am not sure how we started talking with him, but we ended up talking for probably half an hour.
The usher was super cool. He was retired, and just enjoyed being at the park. He was previously a season ticket holder for the Miners, and he just decided to go ahead and work for them! I think living in an area like Marion, AND working at a great park like Rent One Park sounds like a fantasy life!
You know I love mascots, and the Miners have several floating around. I am still not sure that a canary is an appropriate mascot for this team but thats a topic for another day.
I REALLY love the fact that the Miners started the Saturday game I attended a little early (at 4) because we had to make the drive back to Owensboro that evening.
I am guessing that you have never made the drive between Marion and Owensboro.
Well, the drive is beautiful and it is a GREAT, VERY SCENIC trip to make. Hitting the road early in the morning on this journey and driving slowly is a real treat.
HOWEVER, it can be a tough drive after dark.
The curvy roads and the dark rural areas don't make for the easiest driving after the sun goes down. So getting to the game a little early and hitting the road while there is still daylight in the evening is nice.
Actually, the Miners were having a Christian Rock concert after the game. I think that is a very cool idea, though I am not a fan of that genre.
Still, if I didn't have a 2 hour drive in front of me, I would have hung out for the show. The band Citizen Way's lead singer Ben was warming up with the Miners before the game. The guy has an arm on him, and I thought maybe he was a new guy on the team out of uniform or something. He has obviously played at some point.
Anyway, he also did the singing before the game and he nailed it. He sounded great as he avoided adding all of the extra notes that some do these days. I am going to have to check Citizen Way out sometime in the near future!
Concessions were reasonably priced, though the team shop is on the higher side. They do have a nice selection though.
I am really looking forward to getting back to this park. I hope they do some more games next year on Saturdays with an earlier start time and I wouldn't mind if more teams picked up on this!