Tractors delay start of IMS baseball, softball games

By Doug Brenneman, JOURNAL Sports


KALONA -- It has happened to everyone and anyone who has driven on an Iowa highway -- getting stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle.

Whether it be a horse and buggy, a tractor or some thing being hauled, it is a fairly common occurrence on rural highways.

Usually it slows one down until there is an opportunity to pass. Usually.

Usually it is just one vehicle. Usually.

Usually there is an opportunity to pass. Usually.

Wednesday it happened to the Cardinal High School baseball and softball teams, except there was nothing usual about it.

Cardinal was on its way to Kalona for a pair of 1 p.m. games against Iowa Mennonite School. The teams had left Eldon at 10:15 a.m. A team wants to get to its destination well ahead of the game?s starting time. Players need time to stretch, take infield, and plot game strategy.

?We knew we were going to be in for a contest as soon as we got here,? Cardinal baseball coach Rick Scott said. ?Granted it took us a while to get here.?

The 70-mile drive from one school to the other may take an hour and a half. Usually.

Usually there are not multiple tractors on the highway being escorted by the Iowa State Patrol.

The total travel time was closer to three hours.

The Cardinal teams did not arrive until a little after 1 p.m., so the games got a late start, then the baseball game went into extra innings, so it made for a long day.

The junior varsity baseball game, which is played after the varsity, was shortened and no infield was taken beforehand.

?I have never seen so many tractors,? Scott said. ?Not in all my life have I seen so many tractors. Once we got to Brighton, there were like 50 tractors lined up and the Highway Patrol would not let us through. So we ended up going 5 miles an hour all the way to get here.?

Anyone who has traveled with young children in the car knows that they can get a bit restless when things are not going according to plan.

?My players were like a bunch a little kids asking, ?Are we there yet? Are we there yet??? Scott said. ?Those tractors were going so slow. I understand they were going somewhere, but we had somewhere to be too. We needed to get here, we really did.?

It all turned out well for the Comets.

The baseball team won 13-5 in 10 innings. The softball team won 15-5 in five innings.