Mehring Monday 8/10: Toasty

The press box at Pete Vonachen Stadium doubled as a sauna during the off season.

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | August 10, 2009 1:22 PM ET

New Page 1

At one point in Sunday's game at Peoria, the field temperature reached 101 degrees.  A little warm.  My example to explain the conditions yesterday was something along the lines of:  Pre-heat your oven to about 450 degrees; stick your head in there; and then have someone douse you with the garden hose.  Please, do NOT try this.  Just DON'T.

Anyway the temperature - or maybe it was the heatstroke - got me to thinking about the three warmest places from which I have called a baseball game.  Keep in mind that I realize that I have it pretty easy compared to the players on the field and the fans in the stands.  I also realize that these minor inconveniences do not take away from a really good job that allows me to watch and talk about baseball.  It's just that the column is called Mehring Monday for a reason.

PETE VONACHEN STADIUM: This was the old stadium in Peoria.  There was no air.  No, seriously.  We had to wear oxygen tanks and scuba gear to call games from here, which really helped with the humidity.  Plus, the fact that the only thing to drink was room temperature water out of this old time iced-tea dispensers made for a little dehydration.  I was ecstatic when they built the new O'Brien Field.

SIOUX FALLS STADIUM:  Oh, Northern League, sometimes I miss you.  This press box was made out of wood and had the feel of one of those clubhouses kids used to build.  You know; the ones that had the sign No Girlz Alowd with the backwards r.  There were two things about this press box.  The first was that this wood was the most heat absorbent wood ever.  I think that it may have been fire-resistant.  The second was that they would not open the doors or windows to the press box until around 3:30 in the afternoon.  The heat of the Sun is beating on this thing all day long.  You get to the place and your breath is taken away by the furnace blast when the door opened.  It wouldn't cool down until about the eighth inning.

POHLMAN FIELD: I don't want to pick on Beloit.  I really don't.  Gosh, they try.  But, the press box is a trailer that could have doubled for an office at a construction site of Jim Rockford's home.  No air flow and one fan way down at the other end of the trailer with all of the electrical equipment.  I guess they need it more.  There are some interesting little quirks here, too.  If you have to leave the door open to try to get a breeze, you risk a couple of things: A.) First-degree sunburn on the back of your neck because the setting sun hits you just right.  B.) Fans in the stands walking into the booth and asking you to announce that someone from Ireland is at Pohlman Field for their first ever baseball game.

Need More Mehring? Try the Rattler Radio Blog

Previous Mehring Mondays:

5/11: Bucket List

5/26: It's A Fantasy

6/1: Sweep

6/8: Painful

6/15: Walk Off

7/6: Ryan Franklin, All Star

7/27: Appleton's Other Hall of Famers

8/3: First Impressions

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More