Baseball returns to Principal Park in Des Moines June 15 after nearly 40 weeks away. The Iowa Soybean Association is a presenting sponsor of the high school baseball team series consisting of 16 games. (Photo Credit: Joseph L. Murphy)

Iowa soybean farmers team up with Iowa Cubs for return of baseball at Principal Park

June 15, 2020

Baseball returns to Principal Park June 15 — almost 40 weeks after the final 2019 Iowa Cubs home game – with the support of Iowa’s soybean farmers.

Two teams from rural Iowa – Tri-County (Thornburg) and Colfax-Mingo – are the first to take the field as the state resumes high school athletics. The game will be followed by Ankeny Centennial versus Des Moines Roosevelt.

The Iowa High School Summer Series at Principal Park, presented by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), coincides with opening day for Iowa high school baseball teams.

Sixteen games are scheduled during a 17-day stretch at Principal Park, site of the state tournament for the 16th consecutive year in late July.

Today’s matchups are among the first high school contests in the nation since COVID-19 shut down all live sporting events starting in March.

“Baseball, like soy, links rural and urban communities and plays such an important part in our summer activities,” says Aaron Putze, APR, ISA’s Sr. Dir. of Information and Education. “Iowa soybean farmers are pleased to help resume our nation’s pastime while providing so many essential items enjoyed every day at the ballpark.”

Putze says the ballpark features an impressive line-up of all-star soy products. They include:

  • High-oleic soybean oil is used for frying fan-favorites in game-day concessions, including pork tenderloins, french fries, chicken tenders, corn dogs and funnel cakes.
  • Patrons enjoy a panoramic view of the action thanks to seating constructed with soy-based plastics and adhesives.
  • The outfield wall is constructed using soy-based laminated plywood, thanks to an investment by soybean farmers in partnership with Columbia Forest Products. An estimated 100 million panels of the sustainable and decorative plywood paneling is now used in a variety of venues including some of your favorite ballparks.
  • The padding behind home plate and on the outfield wall contains soy-based materials.
  • Much of the paint used throughout the ballpark – from the foul poles to the markings along the top of the wall – is oil-based with a soy component. Many paint manufacturers, including Sherwin-Williams and Rust-Oleum, are using soy oil to replace hazardous petroleum products that can be found in conventional paint.

“From the ball field to the farm field, soybeans are making life better and more enjoyable,” Putze added. “Now, let’s play ball!” 

Admission to the high school games is $8. Children 3-under are admitted free. Tickets will go on sale one hour before game time. There is no charge to park in Principal Park lots. Concession stands will be open. All purchases — tickets, merchandise, concessions — will be cashless transactions. For the complete schedule of game times and participating teams, go to