Fellow ballpark chasers & minor league enthusiasts,
I am new to the site. I apologize if this topic belongs in another thread.
But I am seeking recommendations for noteworthy historic minor league ballparks throughout the country. I will be taking a ballpark tour next year including minor leagues, but I don't want to stop at just any stadium. I'm interested in some of the older ones. I would be particularly interested the northeast, but all over the country as well. I have been to Centennial Field in Burlington and thought it was fantastic.
In recent years I have traveled to a few of the newer minor league stadiums. With some exceptions, I found it's not entirely worth the time. But when I find the right stadium, it makes it all worth it in the end. Thanks for your responses.
Cool so what do you have planned? How many parks are you wanting to visit?
I could visit any park in the northeast over any given weekend in summer. I'm thinking about going to Pawtucket Red Sox stadium.
Last year I went to Trenton and Lehigh Valley and I have to say those parks weren't worth the 2-3 hour trip from NYC, when I could easily go to a Brooklyn Cyclones or Staten Island Yankee game; both those teams have beautiful parks. So I'm trying to avoid venues like that in my weekend ballpark travels.
In addition, I'm planning a cross country road trip this summer from NYC to LA, but going through the South, so if there are any great stadiums in the deep south, Texas, New Mexico, or southern Cali, I'd be interested in knowing which ones, and then I'll see if I can fit it in. I'll also be going to an Astros & Rangers game on that trip I hope.
So, I have unlimited interest in northeast parks and some opporunity to go to games down south. Thanks
Hey Joe, good luck on your travels. It's hard to recommend without knowing some kind of route you're taking. If you're going to stop at the Hall of Fame, Oneonta New York(used to be in the NY-P league, but now is in a summer collegiate league, has a great quirky little stadium. Closest park to the HOF. If you're swinging down through VA and TN, most of the stadiums in the Appalachian League are wonderful, especially Bristol, VA and Elizabethton, TN. Been to roughly 175 minor league games/stadiums myself, and whenever anyone asks me about a favorite, I always reply any stadium at least 40 years old. If you haven't already, pick yourself up a copy of Baseball America's Directory when they come out in March or some other reference book. They're invaluable for us chasers when we travel--though always double check on line, they're famous for typos. Again, good luck in your travels, keep us posted.
thanks for the tips. Stadiums on the northeast will be easiest for me to hit. It's to bad Oneata dropped out of NY-Penn league. I've seen them play against Brooklyn at the Coney Island stadium.
I will look into the Appalacian league. One stadium I'm interested to see is in Bluefield because it looks like an old stadium with a picturesque smoky mountain backdrop.
Next year I am taking a southern road trip so if any of those stadiums in AL/MS/TX/NM/Southern Cal are noteworthy, that might fit into my plans. Would love to see the Rickwood classic but don't think that'll happen.
Planning on going to the Rickwood Classic myself on a 12 game southern trip in May/June. Even if you can't make the game, and you're near Birmingham, stop and visit Rickwood. It's open all the time, kind of a self-guided tour. Yes, I was sorry I couldn't fit Bluefield in when I was there--thinking 2013 for an extensive trip in that part of the country. But if their schedule won't let you, as I said, most of the parks in the Appy league are great. It's the people there that make it so. Keep in touch.
Been trying to get to Rickwood Field for a long time. Can't given my work schedule. One day I hope to get there.
Looking forward to hearing how it all turns out...
Most of these I have not been to but have read about them. Check Stadium Journey and click on MiLB on the top banner. Listed below are some that are old. The ones with asterisks received a higher rating on the link above. I have been to Reading and Asheville and can personally vouch for those.
*Reading Phillies (Reading PA - FirstEnergy Stadium)
Pawtucket Red Sox (Pawtucket, RI - McCoy Stadium). It was built in 1946.
*Pulaski Mariners (Pulaski, VA - Calfee Park). Built in 1935.
Quad City River Bandits (Davenport, IA - Modern Woodmen Park)
*Asheville Tourists (Asheville, NC - McCormick Field)
There's always Rickwood Field (Rickwood, AL) America's oldest ballpark. You'll have to hunt around to see if/when games are played at that stadium.
If I find more from a historical perspective, I'll post here.
Here's a few more that might be of interest:
Williamsport Crosscutters (Williamsport, PA - Bowman Field)
Batavia Muckdogs (Batavia, NY - Dwyer Stadium)
Hagerstown Suns (Hagerstown, MD - Municipal Stadium)
Visalia Rawhide (Visalia, CA - Recreation Park)
Thanks. Meg, I like the Batavia Muckdogs recommendation. That could be combined with a Blue Jays game for me on a long weekend trip, rather than seeing the Rochester Red Wings which I was considering. Batavia looks more appealing to me so thank you.
Great pics Joe, I was just in Burlington last summer. As you check when parks were built to hit old ones, be careful of renovations. Quad Cities for example,completely tore down the stadium and built a new one, only saving the brick facade that went around some of it. Visalia also, has had lots of renovation done, though it's still a neat little park. The people there are awesome. Planning on hitting Batavia myself in August on a 20 game Eastern trip, in case they're sold. Wouldn't be surprised to see them end up in Binghamton, N.Y. in a couple of years. Ironically, in case you didn't know, Rochester is running Batavia until it's sold. If you want to see an awesome newer park, Albuquerque is wonderful, and I could tell you some season ticket holders to meet there who'll treat you like family. Keep in touch.