Two guys with Saints connections, Jack Morris (left) and the author, also share a love for pheasant hunting.


Baseball, Hot Dogs, and Pheasants
On Wednesday, the Sioux Falls Canaries of the independent American Association baseball league changed their name to the Sioux Falls Fighting Pheasants. Prior to joining Pheasants Forever’s national headquarters staff in January 2003, I’d spent seven seasons with the Saint Paul Saints Professional Baseball Club working my way up to Assistant General Manager. During my time with the Saints, we’d play the Sioux Falls Canaries regularly. The Canaries name never really made sense to me for a team in Sioux Falls. Of course I’m pretty jacked to hear of their new switch to a much more popular South Dakota bird and I can’t wait to get my hands on one of their new baseball lids. I hope to attend a game there this summer . . . maybe it’ll be “take your bird dog to the park night!”
Since this is a eulogy - so to speak - to the Canaries, I’d like to offer up a few of my memories about their franchise.
1)      I’ll never forget watching ex-Major Leaguer Pedro Guerrero smoking cigarettes on the bench during the game. No lie.
2)      I remember meeting a former Canaries intern one off-season. He’d taken a full-time job in the Twin Cities at an advertising agency. As his story goes . . . on the last game of the season, he had been assigned to wear the Canaries mascot costume. Well, a pitcher in the bullpen talked him into swapping uniforms for the last two innings of the game – player in the Canary costume and intern in the player’s uniform. During the last inning, a bench clearing brawl broke out on the field. Fearful that the intern with the player’s last name on the back of his jersey wouldn’t stand up for his teammates, the player in the Canary costume pushed the intern into the fight. Luckily, there was no blood spilled.
3)      Also a bit of trivia, Pheasants Forever’s Bill Fisher (Warehouse Supervisor) was the Sioux Falls Canaries Assistant General Manager during the 1999 season. Fisher also spent 10 seasons working in the Saint Paul Saints front office.
Friday Night Fish Fry
Tonight, I’m looking forward to kicking off Lent with a Friday night fish fry. My wife, Meredith, and I are in search of a new favorite fish fry restaurant. Something that serves perch or bluegills would be preferred, but walleye would suffice. I’m for sure going to avoid cod. Cod is not a favorite for this guy when I’m looking for fish & chips. If you have any Twin Cities fish fry recommendations, drop me a comment below. Heck, drop a comment for great fish fry restaurants anywhere in the country . . . I’ll get there eventually I’m sure.
National Pheasant Fest is a Week Away
A final thought for the week . . . Pheasants Forever’s National Pheasant Fest 2010 in Des Moines kicks off one week from today! Yee Haw! Hope to see you there!