When I was asked to write a piece about my favourite place in Winnipeg, one of the places that came immediately to mind was Shaw Park.
Opened in 1999 as CanWest Global Park, the Goldeyes' new baseball diamond was a significant upgrade from Winnipeg Stadium.
Shaw Park possesses many amenities that make visiting the ballpark a tremendous baseball experience. While watching one of the finest organizations in independent baseball, fans are treated to some of Winnipeg's most picturesque views. Over the right-field fence, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Provencher Bridge and The Forks set the scene. The left-field side is highlighted by the Canadian National Railway trains that pass by, adding to the baseball atmosphere.
A major attraction at Shaw Park is the wide range of food available. Even before arriving at a game, I have to carefully plan my attack on the concession stands. On one hand, there are the traditional baseball food items: hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, sunflower seeds and cotton candy. But on the other hand, a whole new world of Subway sandwiches, pizza, fried chicken and Asian bistro can be had.
It doesn't hurt Shaw Park to have a tenant that consistently competes for a league championship. The left-field wall shows off the success with pennants and retired numbers. Looking at it always reminds me of the great Goldeyes teams of the past. Carmine Cappuccio, Brent Sachs, Wes Chamberlain and Harry Berrios were some of my favourite players.
Shaw Park was also host of the 1999 Pan American Games baseball tournament. It was during this tournament that I saw the most exciting game of baseball of my life. It was a round-robin game between Canada and the United States. In more than 30-degree heat, Stubby Clapp hit the single that gave Canada the win in extra innings.
While Shaw Park has many terrific qualities, there is one thing that it is missing: an American Association league championship. Fans are still itching for Winnipeg's first championship since the Goldeyes — who joined the American Association in 2011 — won the Northern League title back in 1994. With the way the Fish have been playing this season, it is quite possible a championship banner could be added to the grounds in September.
Michael Remis (above), who can be found on twitter @mremis, is a contributor to the Illegal Curve Hockey Show on TSN Radio 1290 and the IllegalCurve.com website. Listen to the Illegal Curve Hockey Show on Saturdays at a special summer time of 9 a.m.-11 a.m. For the latest Winnipeg Jets news, follow @IllegalCurve on Twitter or visit IllegalCurve.com .