Eastern Iowa's Corridor Classic began seven years ago as an opportunity for the two Division I baseball programs to play in one of the nicer minor league facilities. Cedar Rapids and Memorial Stadium seemed like a natural fit for the Northern Iowa Panthers to meet the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. Over the years the weather has been questionable, but fans turned out to see a good game showcasing the state's best talent.
But in 2010 the Corridor Classic would change with the elimination of Northern Iowa's baseball program. The Hawkeyes had to find a new opponent if they wanted to keep this annual game alive. The natural fit was Coe College of Cedar Rapids, but the Kohawks are a Division III team, attempting to play with the Division I Hawkeyes. However as the game progressed it was obvious to see the difference in talent between the two schools. The Kohawks took an early 3-0 lead after the top of the first, but the Hawkeyes had a solid response. In the bottom of the inning the Hawkeyes took a 6-3 lead and continued to add to it as the score became 14-3 after three innings--the moment we decided to return home.
This battle of teams had much the same look as Corridor Classics of the past. Cheerleaders represented each team (and what doesn't say baseball more than cheerleaders?) as well as a good representation of fans from each school. Former Hawkeye womens basketball player, and current Coe head coach, Randi Peterson joined Iowa Associate Head Women's Coach Jan Jensen to throw out the first pitch.
However on this night we found out what a "Kohawk" looked like...and it isn't pretty. Of course you want your mascot to look tough, formidible and powerful. But this Kohawk is downright scarry. He looks more like a cross between Benjamin Franklin and a bird. I can't imagine how bad the other attempts were made a coming up with a costume, but let's hope they didn't waste much money coming up with this one.
And the other Cedar Rapids school was represented in the ballpark Tuesday night. Mount Mercy had a prominent billboard on the left field fence, while Iowa's adorned the right-center fence. Coe's marketing seemed to be absent in Memorial Stadium. Perhaps they were all out of money after designing the mascot's costume.