The Cardinals Midwest League team, the Quad Cities River Bandits, is living up to the “river” portion of their name right now. The Bandits stadium, Modern Woodmen Park, is on the banks of the Mississippi River and is truly a picturesque place to watch a ball game with the river and the Centennial Bridge connecting Illinois and Iowa just beyond the outfield.
With that beauty, however, comes the threat each spring of flooding. Modern Woodmen Park itself was completely renovated several years ago to add flood protetction and keep the stadium dry. This is what the ballpark, then named John O’Donnell Stadium, used to look like when the Mighty Mississippi went over its banks.
Now, however, despite the fact the river is currently four feet above flood stage and won’t crest until Friday, the River Bandits are still playing inside Modern Woodmen Park — even with the floodwaters surrounding the stadium. Fans attending the games have to use a walkway built from the non-flooded area over the water to get to the stadium. Check out this video for a look at the walkway and the water as of yesterday.
Unfortunately, the weather itself has not cooperated — it’s been unseasonably cold and rainy in the Quad Cities — so not many fans are attending the games for this unique experience. But the Bandits are playing on, and even broke their 28-inning scoreless streak last night to beat the Cubs farm team, the Peoria Chiefs, 4-2.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball and a Quad Cities resident living far from the banks of the Mississippi River. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.