Iowa’s 7 Summertime Baseball Teams And How To Watch In 2023

At left: the Burlington Bees home opener of 2022. At right: AJ Henckle is congratulated by his teammates after a walk-off grand slam. Courtesy Burlington Bees

By Amie Rivers

April 10, 2023

There’s nothing better than catching a baseball game in the summertime.

But if you’re only catching the minor league Iowa teams, you’re missing out on some great talent: The smaller teams, many of them summer collegiate leagues, have also seen lots of former players go on to the Majors—so it’s quite possible you’ll be seeing future stars!

Score affordable tickets for the whole family (with probably a shorter drive) at one of these great summer teams:

Burlington Bees

At left: the Burlington Bees home opener of 2022. At right: AJ Henckle is congratulated by his teammates after a walk-off grand slam. Courtesy Burlington Bees

League: Prospect League

Home Opener: Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Stadium: Community Field, 2712 Mt. Pleasant St., Burlington

Tickets: $6-$10

The oldest team on this list got started way back in 1889 as the Burlington Babies, going through several name changes before finally settling on the Bees in 1954. They’ve been affiliated with 14 different MLB teams and sent plenty on up to Major League Baseball, including Hall of Famers Paul Molitor, Billy Williams, Amos Rusie and Larry Walker.

Stream games on ProspectLeague.TV.

Find their full schedule here.

Carroll Merchants

League: MINK League

Home Opener: Monday, May 29, 2023

Stadium: Merchants Park, 801 Vine Street, Carroll

The Carroll Merchants began in 1932 as the Firemen and moved into their current stadium in 1949. The team has had several names over the years, including the Ramblers, the Warriors, the Indians, the Classics and the Vikings.

The team has also played in various semi-pro and amateur leagues over the decades, and was just added to the MINK League last year.

Stream games on MINK League TV.

Find their full schedule here.

Clarinda A’s

League: MINK League

Home Opener: Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Stadium: Municipal Stadium, S Fourth St. and E Grant, Clarinda

The Clarinda A’s got started as the Merchants in 1955, and have sent several players on to the major leagues since that time. Von Hays played for Clarinda from 1978-79, then went on to play Major League ball for Cleveland, Philadelphia and Los Angeles from 1981-1991.

Hall of Famer and 13-time Gold Glover Ozzie Smith played with the A’s from 1975-1976, then for San Diego and St. Louis, but hasn’t forgotten his roots—Smith regularly returns to Clarinda for special events.

Stream games on MINK League TV.

Find their full schedule here.

Clinton LumberKings

The Clinton LumberKings. Courtesy of the team.

League: Prospect League

Home Opener: Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Stadium: NelsonCorp Field, 537 Ballpark Drive, Clinton

Tickets: $7-$11

The LumberKings are the second-oldest team on this list, dating back to 1937. In years past, they have been affiliated with 16 different MLB teams, sending more than 280 players to the big leagues over that time.

Stream games on ProspectLeague.TV.

Find their full schedule here.

Des Moines Peak Prospects (Indianola)

League: MINK League

Home Opener: Monday, June 5, 2023

Stadium: McBride Field, 701 North C Street, Indianola

This team is by far the newest, only getting started in 2020. The team is backed by Peak Performance in Urbandale, which also backs the Iowa Gold Prospects 18U girls’ fast-pitch teams.

Stream games on MINK League TV.

Find their full schedule here.

Sioux City Explorers

League: American Association of Professional Baseball

Opening Day: Friday, May 12, 2023

Stadium: Lewis and Clark Park, 3400 Line Drive, Sioux City

Tickets: $8-$16

The Explorers have had 25 players make it to the Major Leagues since 2006, including Chris Grossman and John Nogowski of the St. Louis Cardinals, Ryan Kalish of the Chicago Cubs, and Tayler Scott of the Milwaukee Brewers.

You can stream games on the American Association Baseball TV app for $14.99 per month, which includes playoff games.

Find their full schedule here.

Waterloo Bucks

An aerial view of Riverfront Stadium in Waterloo, home of the Waterloo Bucks. Courtesy of the team.

League: Northwoods League

Opening Day: Monday, May 29, 2023

Stadium: Riverfront Stadium, 850 Park Road, Waterloo

Tickets: $10-$15

The Bucks have sent 22 (and counting) players to the MLB after starting their careers there, including Wes Obermueller and Eric Stout of the Kansas City Royals, Jimmy Journell of the St. Louis Cardinals, and Dane Dunning of the Chicago White Sox.

Stream games on the Northwoods League app for free, with some games (and the entire playoffs) streamed on ESPN+.

Find their full schedule here.

 

by Amie Rivers
4/10/23

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  • Amie Rivers

    Amie Rivers is Starting Line's community editor, labor reporter and newsletter snarker-in-chief. Previously, she was an award-winning journalist at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier; now, she very much enjoys making TikToks and memes. Send all story tips and pet photos to [email protected] and sign up for our newsletter here.

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