Unfortunately, the celebratory activities that I and my family had intended to participate in were actually postponed due to the terrible weather conditions (a thunderstorm tormented the area this year). As a result, the Fourth of July celebrations we had planned to attend will now take place on...July 31st!!
I am glad, however, that A. and I were able to attend Rosenblatt's last Fourth of July fireworks show. Actually hosted on the 3rd, Rosenblatt's fireworks show is a classic in the Omaha region. Personally, I have watched it for years. I can remember when my mother would drive my brother and I six miles out of my hometown and park on a country road, on the biggest hill Highway 92 offered. Though we were quite a distance from the fireworks, we enjoyed watching the show--I seated atop the roof of the car in the then-non-politically-correct "Indian style". For the last few years, however, I have had the opportunity to watch Rosenblatt's fireworks from inside the stadium itself. Furthermore, I have had the spectacular pleasure to go down onto the field and watch the show from the grass itself.
I must also add that this is the last year that Rosenblatt will be in existence. Built in 1947, Rosenblatt hosted the single-A Omaha Cardinals for the 1948 season. In 1969, the Kansas City Royals moved their triple-A franchise to Rosenblatt, which is the largest minor league baseball stadium in the United States. Rosenblatt has also hosted the NCAA Men's College World Series since 1950. In June, Rosenblatt hosted its last CWS, which will move to the new TD Stadium in downtown Omaha next year. There has been many efforts in the last few years to save Rosenblatt, but the city instead decided to fund a new stadium. As of right now, Rosenblatt will be demolished as soon as the Omaha Royals have finished the current season. The land will then be sold to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, which plans to expand its parking into the area and create a tribute to Rosenblatt.
These photos pay my own special acknowledgment to the Rosenblatt; a stadium that 'Ben" at Yelp reviewed:
By all accounts, [Rosenblatt] is definitely an average stadium. That it happens to be home of the CWS gives it the allure that it has. The place is old, decrepit in parts, and past it's prime. Yet, for two weeks a year, it's the home of one of the best events in college sports. For that, it holds a special place in the hearts of many. People remember the 90 degree days, sitting out in the sun after having some beers at Pauli's and an ice cream cone at Zesto's. People remember the tailgaters from LSU, Texas, Cal State Fullerton and the other schools that regularly came to Omaha. People remember grilling out in the parking lots, tossing the ball with friends before making their way inside. That's why people love Rosenblatt. They don't want those memories to fade away.
We were blessed with a nearby parking lot and were able to walk over the Interstate to the stadium. As you can see, storm clouds hovered in the atmosphere. Luckily, we only received a few sprinkles during the evening.
"The Road to Omaha" statue was sculpted in 1999 by John Lajba (an Omaha artist) and donated to Rosenblatt.
The blue of the stadium greets visitors as the enter the gates.
Seats remained empty until the first few innings.
Seated along the first base line, A. and I had excellent seats right behind Box F.
Like any College World Series game, the July 3rd fireworks show is a sell-out.
Alex Frogriguez and Manatee Ramirez from ZOOperstars perform after the 5th inning.
My toes enjoy the fresh, crisp grass of center field.
If you are interested any additional information, or simply have time to waste looking at websites relating to Rosenblatt, Omaha, or the Men's College World Series, click here, here, here, or even here.