Before Thursday afternoon, the Chicago Cubs and the Corn Palace didn't have much in common.
Thanks to a wayward conversation in the television broadcast booth and a Kris Bryant home run, that's no longer the case.
The Cubs' broadcast crew talked about Mitchell's beloved landmark during the Cubs' 7-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, coming to a crescendo when the Chicago's star third baseman blasted a home run to left-center field, hitting the ballpark's new videoboard, causing play-by-play man Len Kasper to joke about the home run landing in Mitchell and color commentator Jim Deshaies adding that Bryant "knocked the cob out of it."
It's hard to believe unless you watch and listen to the video clip.
The conversation started in the bottom of the fifth inning on Comcast Sportsnet Chicago, with the Cubs already ahead 4-1. Deshaies read a promo for the Cubs' upcoming schedule — a three-game home series against Arizona before three games in Philadelphia — which was sponsored by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Below is a partial transcript of what was said on television.
(Deshaies reads promo and tries to make small talk about Wisconsin)
Deshaies: Try the cheese, I've heard it's really good.
Kasper: Yeah it is. Have you ever been to the Mars Cheese Castle (located in Kenosha, Wisconsin)?
Deshaies: No I have not.
Kasper: We'll have to stop there sometime on the way to Milwaukee.
(Kasper describes the game situation starting the bottom of the fifth inning)
Deshaies: How could you not go to a place called the Cheese Castle? That would be like bypassing the Gravy Mansion.
Kasper: Isn't there a Corn Palace or something in South Dakota?
Deshaies: A good place to go get corn, like prepared corn?
Kasper: Yeah, I seem to remember going there about 20 years ago on a trip out to South Dakota.
Deshaies: A Griswold-side trip to the House of Corn?
Kasper: Bounced foul. And it's three-and-two.
(The Cubs' Dexter Fowler grounds out and the announcers describe the play. Jason Heyward then comes to the plate and takes a pitch)
Kasper: Fastball strike on Heyward. ... Mitchell, South Dakota. Corn Palace. It's been around since 1921.
Deshaies: I don't venture into those parts very often, but if I ever do ...
Kasper: Multi-purpose arena, so sporting events and concerts.
(Picture of Corn Palace from a few years ago pops on screen)
Deshaies: Oh wow. I gotta go now.
Kasper: The world's only!
(pitch is thrown to Heyward)
Kasper: Heyward ... right field ... gone! A lined-shot rocket! Five to one!
(Deshaies describes home run, analyzes replay as Bryant comes to the plate)
Kasper: First homer in this ballpark as a Chicago Cub, as you see the Ford Home Run replay ... Kris! Bryant! A towering blast! How far will it go? Off the board. Wow!
Deshaies: "Anything you can do, I can do better."
Deshaies: Corn Palace Power!
Kasper: (laughs) He almost hit it to Mitchell.
Deshaies: (laughs) He knocked the cob out of it.
The announcers then described the home run and for the most part, put away the Palace puns. After the commercial break and at the top of the next inning, Kasper came back and said "We're often accused of corny puns but today it has literally been the case."
Bryant's home run, for the record, was measured at 436 feet and gave them a 6-1 lead. The Cubs, who also won Friday 6-0 over Arizona, have the best record in baseball at 38-15.
They might have made a few more fans in Mitchell on Thursday in the process.