Thursday, November 17, 2011

Go Greater Prairie Chickens!

Our village's quarterly publication, The Cracker Barrel, arrived today. From it I learn a number of things of local import, including the fact that the name of the new local minor league baseball team will be the Schaumburg Boomers. That puzzled me for a moment -- wouldn't that be better for an Oklahoma team? -- but the article helpfully explains that the team is named after the "male greater prairie chicken."

Those birds sound like this. Isn't the Internet great?

The new team will be in the Frontier League, which also includes the Beach Bums, the CornBelters, the Crushers, the Freedom, the Grizzlies, the Miners, the Otters, the Rascals, the Rippers, the RiverHawks, the Slammers, the ThunderBolts and the Wild Things, so I guess Boomers will fit right in. The old team, the Schaumburg Flyers, went kaput after the end of the 2010 season, and so no ball was played this summer at Alexian Field (often called Flyers Stadium, but no more). We attended a few enjoyable games there back in the '00s. Games featuring the new team will begin on May 25, 2012.

The water tower closest to the stadium is painted to look like a baseball. Until recently, it still had the Flyers logo on it, too. I knew the logo was going away, and toyed with the idea of taking a picture to document it, but one thing or another (sloth, for instance) kept me from doing so.

In late October, I was driving by with Lilly in the front seat with her camera, and I pulled into the median and told her to take a picture of the thing. It's not a high-traffic area, but I still didn't want to dawdle in the median, so I didn't change the car's position even when she said, "A telephone pole is in the way." I told her to take the shot anyway.

Of course, other people have taken better shots. But I'm still glad I bothered. Last week I noticed that the logo -- but not the seams of the baseball -- had been painted over, presumably pending a new logo featuring a greater prairie chicken.

It isn't the only sports-themed water tower I've seen. About 10 years ago we drove through the small town of Hebron, Illinois, up in McHenry County very near the Wisconsin border. You can't help but notice its water tower.

It commemorates the fact that Alden-Hebron High School won the state basketball championship in 1952, despite the fact that fewer than 100 students attended the school. Wiki asserts that it's the smallest Illinois school ever to win the title, and I believe it. There's a feel-good sports movie in there somewhere.

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