Under different circumstances, the residents of Springfield, Missouri would be heading to Hammons Field to see the Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals play baseball. Instead, Hammons Field remains closed and while the possibility of a 2020 MiLB season seems to grow more and more unlikely, the Springfield Cardinals are giving back to their community and showing fans support in these uncertain times.
If everything would have went to plan this season, Dugout Dish would have spent many nights at Hammons Field – taking in the sights and sounds, the ballpark food and the spirit of how important the Cardinals are to Springfield.
I had the opportunity to speak with Matt Turer who works within the Springfield Cardinals’ organization with digital and social media as well as public relations. “It has been challenging but fun in a weird way that you wouldn’t expect.”
Opening Day at Hammons Field looked a bit different this year. “With the Opening Day schedule being changed, we put together an at-home opening day simulation game on MLB the Show.”
A surprise video from John Goodman was also a treat for the fans of the Double-A team. “Before the sim game, we showed a personalized video for the fans from John Goodman. He went to Missouri State University and comes to one or two games a year. Always comes by himself with a hat on and buys a regular ticket. The fans really enjoyed seeing the video.”
Turning the lemons given into lemonade, the organization has not only shown support for beloved fans but also has focused on the community that surrounds them year after year with love. “One thing we have really focused on during this time is keeping what a minor league team is supposed to be about — even without baseball being played, which is community and ultimately the fans.”
Turer continued, “And that’s why if you look at our social media platform, we have turned into a community-based platform, a much needed service-based platform.”
We're proud to launch our new #FlyTogether t-shirt package to support frontline workers and locally owned restaurants in the COVID-19 pandemic.— Springfield Cardinals at 🏠 (@Sgf_Cardinals) April 21, 2020
Net proceeds will be utilized to purchase food from locally-owned restaurants for frontline workers!
➡️ https://t.co/yTsQWQWRqw pic.twitter.com/bVj5eNt3yM
“We came up with the #FlyTogether hashtag to kind of tie everything together for Springfield. We launched our t-shirt package to support frontline workers.” With the net proceeds being utilized to purchase food from locally-owned restaurants, the organization has been able to provide lunch and dinner to grocery workers and environmental service employees at Mercy Hospital.
Turer wants essential employees to know they are important to the Cardinals. “Their jobs are different and often unique. The environmental service employees are the ones cleaning health facilities at night — making sure everything is sanitized and well taken care of within the hospital. It doesn’t go unnoticed by us.”
(Photo Credit: Springfield Cardinals)