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In Cedar Rapids, a Mother’s Day at the ballpark
CEDAR RAPIDS – Angie Chaplin of Marion spent Mother’s Day at Veterans Memorial Stadium with her two sons, taking in the Cedar Rapids Kernels’ doubleheader against Peoria.
Jake Chaplin is going to be a senior at the University of Northern Iowa in the fall. Jeremy Chaplin is finishing up his freshman year at Iowa.
“This is going to be a tradition for us. Guaranteed,” Angie Chaplin said. “It’s fabulous to be out here. I just moved to Marion last July, and then we had the derecho. Then, of course, we’re in the middle of COVID and all of that stuff. I moved partially to be closer to these guys. My youngest will be a sophomore at Iowa, and my oldest will be a senior at UNI. So I moved to be closer to them, and I’m right in the middle.”
The Kernels swept this twin-bill, 3-0 and 3-2 in eight innings.
“It’s just really nice to be outside and with people in general,” Jeremy Chaplin said. “I’ve spent a lot of time in my dorm room at college. Most of my classes have been online. So not only is it fun to be out here with my mom and spending Mother’s Day outside, but just being out here in public and watching a baseball game is awesome.”
The pandemic prevented a lot of moms from spending their special day with family last year. Society has opened up quite a bit with vaccines available.
That has allowed families to gather. No place better to gather on a sunny day than the old ballpark.
Honey Bedell of Davenport traveled to town with her husband, Daniel, and their son Connor. This was an extra special Mother’s Day for her.
Her other son, Ian, pitched in the opener for the Peoria Chiefs. A Central High School grad, Ian Bedell was a fourth-round draft pick of the parent St. Louis Cardinals in 2020 out of the University of Missouri and made his professional debut Tuesday night against the Kernels as a starter.
He was in relief here for his second pro outing. Mom gave him a thumb’s up from the stands as he walked off the field following a three-up, three-down sixth inning.
“We’re really, really proud of him,” Honey Bedell said. “He has worked really hard to get to where he is. We were so excited when he got drafted by the Cardinals, because that’s our team. That’s the team we grew up rooting for, and he did, too. So for him to get drafted at all is cool, but by your favorite team is pretty awesome.
“Then we just kept our fingers crossed that he would get assigned to Peoria, and he did. That way we could see some of the games. To be able to come over here on Mother’s Day to see him pitch is pretty special.”
Ian and Connor, who are identical twins, grew up playing baseball, so this wasn’t the first time mom has spent Mother’s Day at a field.
“They started playing when they were 5 or 6,” she said. “There seemed like there was always a tournament on Mother’s Day.”
Some players swung special pink bats Sunday in honor of mom. Matt Wallner of the Kernels wore pink batting gloves, as did C.R.’s Trey Cabbage.
Cabbage, whose mother and father were in attendance from Tennessee, also had pink wristbands and pink baseball socks under his jersey pants, worn high and visible. These games were especially for her.
Cedar Rapids finished this opening series (and first week of the High-Class A Central League) with a 5-1 record. It has generally done everything pretty well early.
Pitching especially was a strength Sunday. Matt Canterino, Jordan Gore and Kody Funderburk combined for a four-hit shutout in the opener.
Jon Olsen, Derek Molina and Owen Griffith were the pitchers in the nightcap. It was Olsen’s first professional outing, as he missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons with arm injuries.
“My parents have been there for me through it all,” Olsen said of his mom and dad, Tom and Debbie Olsen. “My family and support system, I couldn’t ask for more. I got to spend a lot of time with them with COVID. All the games as a kid, driving me around. They mean the world to me. I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Griffith stranded the free runner at second base to begin the eighth. Yeltsin Encarnacion opened the bottom of the inning with a lined single to left field to score Chris Williams from second to win it.
After Monday off, the Kernels hit the road for a six-game series at Quad Cities that begins Tuesday night.
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BOX SCORE - Peoria at Cedar... by Jeff Johnson