Bosse Field (5,181 / 8,000 standing room)
Otters are my favorite animals. They are tiny, furry, water laden versions of my vision of myself. If given the opportunity, I would float around in a body of water, and crack clams on my belly with rocks. Otters and Seals are great animal names for teams that are wildly under utilized. Now, I didn’t do any research, so I don’t know if Otters are native to Evansville, Indiana. I hope they are. I like the idea of people in going out into their cornfield, or whatever the hell people have in the southern tip of Indiana, and finding a couple of otters scurrying hand-in-hand into a big-ass river.
But, the Otters we’re talking about are baseball otters. The Evansville Otters are technically founding members of the Frontier League. They launched with the Frontier in 1993 as the Lancaster Scouts. But in 1995, as part of a huge league shake-up, they moved to Evansville and rebranded. They have been a steady-eddie presence in the FL ever since. In fact, the Windy City Thunderbolts, who were founded in 1995 but didn’t play until the ’99 season, are the only other franchise with matching longevity.
Evansville calls Bosse Field home. Bosse had been vacant since 1984, when the Evansville Triplets (AAA) left to become the Nashville Sounds. However, Bosse did have a moment in the sun in 1992 when it was a shooting location for the original, theatrical version of Field of Dreams. Bosse, which opened in 1915 has the distinction of being the third oldest ballpark in America, behind Fenway & Wrigley.
The Evansville Otters join our 3BL based on the history of Bosse and the team’s stability & longevity. Plus it’s in an under served midwest metroplex, tucked into the corner of Indiana, Kentucky & Missouri.
Stability: 9/10 – They moved that one time, from Lancaster, OH to Evansville. But their stadium has been opened for almost 110 years, and they did only move that one time back in the mid-90s. Who amongst us hasn’t moved at least once since the end of the Clinton Administration?
On Field Success: 6/10 – 2 league championships (last in 2016) and 3 additional division championships (last in 2020). Over the course of, what is it, 27 or 28 seasons, they’re playing basically .500 baseball in
the regular season. Nothing overwhelmingly, and nothing underwhelming. They may not give the Capitales a challenge for the throne, but they also won’t embarrass themselves.
Geography: 7/10 – Evansville is definitively in flyover country. But as long as we can find some teams in the rust belt and up in the upper midwest, they’ll still fit nicely into the league footprint. If Nashville gets an expansion team, I can see the Sounds moving back to Evansville, making the city a AAA town again.
Stadium: 10/10 – Bosse Field sits in the pocket that Fenway & Wrigley occupy, history. The stadium has seen Central League, 3-I and American Association (original, not the modern indy ball version) championships, as well as hosting players like Don Mattingly (for whom the street the field resides is named), Chuck Klein & Warren Spahn, as well as NFL football action as the home of the Evansville Crimson Giants (1921-22). For history alone, Bosse is worth being in the league.
Logo & Look: 9/10 – LOOK HOW ADORABLE THAT GODDAMNED OTTER IS. They’ve done a great job of using very soft colors, that are appealing to very young children, and making a very cute logo that isn’t absurd (I’m looking at you, Brandiose). The uniform sets rely on classic block & serifed fonts to put a classy, throwback look onto the field that fit very well into the architecture of Bosse Field.
Total Score: 41/50