A stormtrooper was boogieing to the pre-game music when Emily and I first arrived at Schaumburg’s Boomer Stadium. It was Star Wars Night and local members of the 501st Legion, a Star Wars costume club and charitable organization, were out in force in their superb replica uniforms of stormtroopers, clone troopers, TIE fighter pilots, imperial officers, and sand people. The stormtrooper I talked to even had a voice amplifier built into his helmet! Much to my delight everyone, young or old, could have a free photo op.
I couldn’t resist.
From our seats on the bleachers I counted a few Jedi, several Princess Leias and Luke Skywalkers, and at least one Yoda in the audience. On the grass beyond the foul line where families can bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets, dozens of kids ran around having an endless lightsaber battle with their glow sticks.
Star Wars melodies and soundbites played throughout the evening’s ballgame between the Boomers and the Joliet Slammers. Emily and I each had a cold beer and watched the Slammers trounce the home team. It wasn’t easy to see who was who because both teams had orange jerseys. Between innings were zany giveaways and chances for kids in costume to show off their knowledge of Star Wars lore. A fireworks show capped off the evening.
Like any minor league game, going to watch the Boomers makes for a more casual baseball experience. The parking’s free and accessible, tickets are cheap, everyone can run the bases after a game, and there are promotional nights and frequent special events. Last time I checked there was a scheduled “Schaumburg Zombies and the Field of Screams,” “Harry Potter Night,” and an after-game marshmallow fight. Sure you don’t get Wrigley field’s well-known players and regional rivalry, but you get most of the usual food, ambiance and competitive baseball. And sometimes, a few stormtroopers too.
1999 S Springinsguth Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60193
tickets range from $7 to $11