With the AHL playoffs marking the end of the 2018/19 hockey season, it’s time to turn my attention full-time to baseball. The 2019 season is my third baseball season up here in New England, and since 2017 I’ve been pretty busy at knocking off the region’s ballparks.
So far in two years I’ve managed to visit six ballparks in four leagues, but the Granddaddy of them all still eludes me. I do list Fenway as a visited ballpark, but I was there in February of 2016 and only got to take the tour. I am anxious to take in a game in the shadow of the Green Monstah.
Until then though, I keep dutifully checking off minor league and summer college parks off the list. When I moved to Rhode Island (and now Massachusetts), the big goal was to make my way around the Cape Cod Baseball League. To that end, I’ve visted two CCPBL fields, Doran & McKeon Park, both Western division sites.
I was very pleased to make my way to Newport to see Cardines Field, a wood and brick bandbox with a legacy that runs as deep as Fenway or Wrigley. McCoy is back on the docket as the countdown to the last game beings for the Pawtucket Red Sox.
There are plenty of unvisited fields left on the map, but I’m going to be conservative with my new stadium goals for the year. Partially because my work schedule sees me clocking out at 6pm on Fridays, which makes making a 7pm game anywhere difficult.
Boston Red Sox
Dunkin Donuts Park
Hartford Yard Goats
New Britain Stadium
New Britain Bees
New Britain, CT
Clem Spillane Field
Old Mountain Field
Ocean State Waves
South Kingstown, RI
If I can get to a Boston Red Sox, Pawtucket Red Sox, Hartford Yard Goats and Lowell Spinners game this season, I’ll do the ladder (MLB, AAA, AA & A).
A visit to Old Mountain Stadium would check off all three active Rhode Island stadiums (including McCoy and Cardines).
The New Britain Bees are the relocated Camden Riversharks, who played at Campbell’s Field, which is one of my favorite venues in the country. It will also be my first independent league game since the Riversharks went dark.
I’m considering a trip home to Philly later this spring. If I can make the schedule work, I want to try to get to Yogi Berra Stadium for a New Jersey Jackals game. I haven’t had any experience with the Can-Am League, and would like to change that. A trip home would also mean an opportunity to get back to Arm & Hammer, Frawley, or FirstEnergy in Reading to add the Fightin’ Phils to my collection.
Maybe it’s a bit more ambitious than I would lead my partner to believe. She is a fantastic hockey fan and always up for a game, but she hasn’t bought in on baseball yet. So these trips are a bit harder of a sell. Just a little bit harder though.