We’ve moved one important step closer to having baseball in Cedar Rapids… the players have arrived!
The 2013 Kernels roster arrived at Eastern Iowa Airport shortly before noon Tuesday. It’s pretty safe to say the weather was just a bit cooler than it was when they took off from Fort Myers.
Manager Jake Mauer said the trip went well, though he did mention that there was a long line at the security check in Fort Myers and a couple of the players got to the departure gate without a lot of extra time to spare. All things considered, though, when you’re trying to get a couple dozen guys shepherded on to an airplane, a couple of close calls isn’t the worst thing that could happen.
The team was being taken to dinner in the Amana Colonies, near Cedar Rapids, Tuesday evening and fans will have their first opportunity to meet the new Kernels Wednesday evening at the club’s “Meet the Kernels” event. Weather permitting, the team will get in a public workout on the field afterward.
Thursday night, the official Opening Day game will see the Kernels hosting the Beloit Snappers at 6:35. For a number of the Kernels, who wore Beloit uniforms last season when the Snappers were the Twins’ Midwest League affiliate, it’s likely to feel just a little peculiar wearing a Kernels uniform and facing a squad of Oakland Athletics prospects in Beloit uniforms.
I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the Kernels’ arrival, as well as a peek “behind the scenes” at the players’ new home for the summer, Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids.