Two years into its existence, the “Iowa Wave” is already regarded as the best tradition in college football.
At the end of the first quarter of every home game at Kinnick Stadium, players, coaches, fans and everyone else in the stadium turns toward the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and waves to all the patients overlooking the stadium. The tradition started in 2017 and has been featured on a College GameDay segment and earned the Disney Spirit Award.
It’s quickly become known as the best tradition in the sport. And now, the tradition has been extended past the football stadium and is reaching the baseball diamond.
The Birmingham Barons, the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, have also started a similar tradition for their home games. The Children’s of Alabama Hospital overlooks Regions Field, the home stadium for the Barons. So, during the seventh inning stretch, players and fans wave at center field in the direction of the hospital.
An insurance agent named Nathan Marcus said he came up with the idea after seeing the Iowa tradition on College GameDay. He and his wife started putting together a plan to get the “Wave” up and running at Barons games.
“We looked at each other and said, ‘We need to get this in Birmingham,’ Marcus told Al.com. “Home plate faces Children’s Hospital.”
Below is a video of fans and players waving to children during a Baron’s game. It’s really cool that Iowa’s tradition isn’t only regarded as the best in sports, but that it has inspired other teams to kickstart similar ideas.
The @BhamBarons started a new tradition during the 7th inning stretch where they wave to patients and sick children at @ChildrensAL ! Tonight is the Baron's 3rd home game vs. Tennessee and the small gesture is already impacting so many lives. @WBRCnews pic.twitter.com/i2ZLAmudvx
— ChristinaWBRC (@ChristinaWBRC) April 12, 2019