By the time we got to Independence, the sun was beginning to set on our day. We made several stops in the hometown of my work mentor, Jill. We had planned to visit the Ralph Mitchell Zoo and several other interesting points in Riverside Park, but they were closed. Which will force us to come back through here when we have more time.
We stopped at the site of the first organized professional baseball game at night. There is a plaque and some signage at the former location of Schulthis Field (now a modern football stadium).
The first night game was played on April 28, 1930. That was a little over five years before the Reds beat the Phillies 2 to 1 on May 24, 1935 during the first MLB night game. After the Independence game, night baseball took off, by the end of 1934 there were 65 minor league teams with lights.
Interesting note: Schulthis is where Mickey Mantle hit his first professional home run in 1949.
Just a short drive away was the Independence “Strengthen the Arm of Liberty” statue. It was in nice shape featuring the rays on the crown which are missing from many of the statues across the country. It takes its place in front of the Memorial Hall and Civic Center for all to see.
From her perch you can see another sculpture or in this case sculptures. “Celebrate Independence and it’s Diversity” is a life size art piece capturing children of all types saluting the U.S. flag. I didn’t notice at first but some of the kids are physically challenged and they represent a number of different races. We were there as the sun was setting which made for some great pics. I took a lot of close up shots so you could see the details.
There was one statue separated from the other kids that caught my eye. He is saluting the flag and wearing adult army boots and carrying a helmet along with all the standard army gear. It’s titled, “Home of the Brave.”
We had dinner at El Pueblito Mexican Restaurant which is a local favorite and a suggestion of Jill’s. The place was packed, the server was not superfriendly, but the food was quick to arrive and tasted pretty good. We loved the murals painted on the walls.
The sun had set, we were tired, and we had a dog needing to go outside. We headed home after a fun day of adventure. The best part was that Jeremy said the travel made him hungry to take more trips. So let’s hope we can keep exploring Kansas and beyond.
We took a quick day trip to Independence in 2019 for the annual Neewallah Festival.