Principal Park: Memorable Moments, Games and Traditions at the Iconic Venue

Principal Park

Principal Park, home of the Iowa Cubs, has been a beloved fixture in Des Moines, Iowa, since 1992. With its aesthetically-pleasing views of the downtown skyline and the Raccoon River, this iconic venue has hosted countless unforgettable games, resulting in many memorable moments. The park’s rich history is filled with exciting contests, remarkable achievements, and beloved customs, making it a treasured destination for baseball fans. Let’s drill them down one-by-one.

Unforgettable Games and Moments

Principal Park has been the stage for numerous thrilling games and moments that have left an indelible mark on the memories of fans and players alike. This historic venue has witnessed everything from heart-stopping finishes to record-breaking performances. Let’s relive some of the most noteworthy games and moments in Principal Park’s history:

1.      Inaugural Game (1992)

The Iowa Cubs’ home stadium, Principal Park, opened on April 16, 1992. The inaugural game was played against the Oklahoma City 89ers, with a crowd of 10,057 in attendance. The Iowa Cubs won the game 3-2, with pitcher Steve Sisco earning the first-ever win at the stadium.

Fun Fact: The park was known as Sec Taylor Stadium at the time, named after a longtime Des Moines sports editor. It was later renamed Principal Park in 2004 after Principal Financial Group acquired the naming rights.

2.      The 2019 Playoff Run

The Iowa Cubs’ 2019 playoff run was an electrifying ride that ultimately ended in the Pacific Coast League Semifinals. Although they fell short of the championship, the team’s performance was thrilling, and they pushed the series to a decisive Game 5 against the Round Rock Express. In a memorable moment, Iowa won Game 4 with a walk-off victory, forcing a final showdown.

Not-So-Fun Fact: Unfortunately, Iowa Cubs were defeated in Game 5 by a score of 10-5, ending their playoff run.

3.      The 1984 No-Hitter

On August 21, 1984, right-hander Reggie Patterson threw the first no-hitter by an Iowa pitcher in six years at Sec Taylor Stadium. In the I-Cubs’ 2-0 victory over Omaha, Patterson nearly recorded a perfect game, walking Omaha’s Rondin Johnson with two out in the ninth inning after getting ahead in the count, no balls, two strikes. He threw 114 pitches in all.

Principal Park

From the crack of the bat to the roar of the crowd, Principal Park comes alive with energy and excitement

Traditions and Customs

Principal Park is more than just a stadium – it’s a beloved gathering place where traditions and atmosphere come together to create a phenomenal experience for fans of all ages. From the moment you step through the gates, you can feel the energy and excitement of the crowd, all united in their love of the game. Let’s explore some of the customs and traditions that make Principal Park so special:

1.      Cubbie Bear

Cubbie Bear is the lovable mascot of the Iowa Cubs, entertaining fans of all ages at Principal Park. Whether dancing on the dugout, tossing t-shirts to the crowd, or posing for photos, Cubbie Bear’s infectious energy adds to the electric atmosphere of Principal Park.

2.      The Pre-Game Festivities

Before every game, fans are treated to a variety of pre-game festivities, including live music, giveaways, and autograph sessions with the players. These activities add to the excitement and anticipation of the game, making every visit to Principal Park a special event.

3.      Principal Park’s Culinary Delights

Principal Park offers a delicious range of food options to enhance your ballpark experience. You’ll find typical ballpark fare like hot dogs, burgers, pizza, nachos, pretzels, and brats, as well as more substantial options. Additionally, there are specialty stands like Chik-Fil-A and a street taco stand, offering even more variety.

Ending Note

As we celebrate the rich history and unforgettable moments at Principal Park, it’s highly recommended to explore the fascinating story of professional baseball in Des Moines. The book “‘Pug,’ ‘Fireball,’ and Company: 116 Years of Professional Baseball in Des Moines, Iowa” delves into the captivating tales of the city’s baseball heritage from the early days to the present. Order your copy today and explore the intriguing history behind the iconic stadium and the teams that call it home!


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