Gary SouthShore RailCats


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Mascot: "Rusty the RailCat" (2003-)

Rusty of the RailCat card

According to his '03 card

Date of Birth:
May 11, 2002
6' 5"
275 lbs.

Rusty is the most entertaining RailCat. He was introduced to RailCats fans in May of 2002 and plans on keeping everyone entertained for years to come. In his spare time he likes to practice his famous dance moves. Rusty also enjoys coming up with wacky tricks to play on his fans during games whether it's a water balloon fight or a dance contest. He also continues to work hard, keeping a strict diet of hot dogs, cracker jacks, and soda pop hope to turn the corner on his losing streak in the mascot race at RailCats home games.

US Steel Yard

Nighttime photo of field, scoreboard and signs
Classic view of outfield with scoreboard, Steel Yard/Bennigan's and RailCats signs

Big City Baseball

If anything describes the Steel Yard, it's the "big city" feel. The view in the outfield during the night or day is always busy. In the distance you can see the U.S. Steel plant (which gives the ballpark its name). But what stands out is the busy traffic rolling by on the tollway, the rail line below it, and the busy street in front of that.

If that wasn't enough the Steel Yard has one of the largest scoreboards in the league and two tall electric signs for the ballpark, the RailCats and Bennigan's. They are set high to be seen by the traffic on the tollway but are hard to miss while watching a game --especially at night when they stand out.

Photo of center field play area
Center Field play area with signs overhead

Train Horns

Though the actual "South Shore Line" is relatively quiet, the ballpark provides its own train horns. Be prepared!! These are really, really loud. They are used, at the very least, to signal the start of the game. If you're sitting anywhere near them you will be profoundly aware of their presence. If the game goes badly for the visiting and there are home runs, you'll hear them again (and again).

Photo of train horms
Beware the Train Horns!

Surprisingly these are the first of their kind in the Northern League. It's likely that other teams will figure out their own loud horn appropriate for their stadiums.


Photo of Kids parade
Kids Parade before afternoon game

For the Kids

If there's a disappointment in Gary it's the fairly light crowds that turned out for the inaugural home season. After a sell out opening day, attendance dropped off considerably. This may change as people realize what a gem this ballpark is and how much fun they can have at RailCats game. The future is likely to favor the team as the "secret" gets.

Photo of inflatible mascot

One of the ways the RailCats have been trying to get the story out is by inviting schools and day care centers to come to afternoon games. Lots of "yellow buses" can be found during the week dropping lots of children to see a game. In fact, they get to "parade" around the field before the game so everyone can see them and they get to see the whole field.

About Crime...

No discussion of going to Gary would be complete without addressing the unwarranted fear of crime. Yes, Gary can be a dangerous place. But there are many people who act as if going to a game in Gary is going into a war zone.

You won't experience that at a RailCats game.

There are several reasons for this. First, the City of Gary provides a strong police presence around the ballpark and parking lots. There are shuttles to take you to and from the parking lots if you don't want to walk. The ballpark location is generally busy but restricted, thanks to the rail lines and tollway. Much of the area has been cleared, or is being cleared, to make it more safe. And, it's a very quick drive to the tollway or freeway so its easy avoid possibly questionable areas.

Bottom Line: There's no good reason for NOT going to a RailCats game.