Here’s my Scouting report on the Iowa Cubs: They’re looking pretty good this season.
The Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs has unveiled the special Scouting-themed jersey the team will wear on Scout Day this season. All proceeds from jersey sales will benefit local Scouting.
The khaki-colored button-ups look just like the Scout uniform, and the designs were approved by the Boy Scouts of America. The players will don them during Scout Day, scheduled for the team’s April 28 game against the Nashville Sounds.
If you ask me, the Iowa Cubs really hit this one out of the park.
The design includes a Mid-Iowa Council shoulder patch on the left sleeve, green loops on each shoulder and a realistic-looking Eagle Scout medal on the left pocket. The addition of shadows makes everything look 3D, but the design is totally flat. Good thing, because dangling medals and swinging neckerchief slides might make it tough to turn that 6-4-3 double play.
During the game, the team will auction off all 30 jerseys. Proceeds benefit the Mid-Iowa Council’s efforts to serve more families through Scouting. Winning bidders can meet the player who wore the jersey and get him to sign it after the game.
It’s all part of Scout Day at the Iowa Cubs.
In addition to seeing the players’ special uniforms, Scouts get discounted tickets, a commemorative patch and a chance to participate in the pregame parade on the field.
How it happened
I talked to Ben Chiochon, development director of the Mid-Iowa Council, to learn how the idea came about.
He said it started with a meeting he had with Mid-Iowa Council Scout Executive Matt Hill and Iowa Cubs Vice President Randy Wehofer. Chiochon and Hill wanted to establish a day that really showcased Scouting, with Scouts throwing out the first pitch, singing the national anthem and participating in a pregame parade.
But what about the players? How could they become part of the celebration of Scouting, too?
“Being a fan of the Iowa Cubs myself, I had been to games where the players were wearing pink jerseys and others for charity,” Chiochon said. “So I asked if they could come up with a jersey that looked just like an Eagle Scout uniform. After getting approval from BSA, Wilson and Minor League baseball, we were good to go.”
The team and its players loved the idea, Chiochon said. They understand that the Des Moines-based council serves 20,000 families — many of whom are fans of the local baseball team.
It was a win-win.
With the approvals in place, Chiochon worked with Wilson to help come up with the design.
“Basically, I helped make sure the patches were in the correct placement,” he said.
Interested in trying something like this with your local team? Chiochon says to start with the team. Now that the template has been made, he’s happy to share the design.
A closer look at the jerseys
Check out two more photos above.
One interesting note: Unwittingly or not, the Iowa Cubs seem to have dug in their cleats on a certain friendly debate within Scouting. The uniforms feature an Eagle Scout neckerchief, and it’s shown under the collar — not over.
Oh, and the American flag patch on the right sleeve? Yes, it’s facing the correct direction.