With the White House avoiding gatherings of 10 or more because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s possible that, if Major League Baseball returns at all, it will do so without spectators.
If so, commissioner Rob Manfred may want to consider playing some games at iconic, niche ballparks across the country. The venues could be a great backdrop for television and perhaps generate buzz for a sport that desperately needs it.
nb游戏平台From scenic college and minor league diamonds to little-known summer league parks, here’s where MLB could play spectator-less games:
The Field of Dreams (Dubuque County, Iowa)
The most obvious choice on the list. The Field of Dreams, originally built for 1989’s Kevin Costner-starring, Academy Award-nominated hit is the gold standard of cinematic sports settings. Set on the Lansing family farm outside Dyersville, the diamond is famous for its cornfield barriers and quaint, white farmhouse overlooking the field. MLB is already planning to host an Aug. 8 game there between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. It would be prudent to add another series (or several) to the schedule should the league need a panoramic setting that understates the absence of fans. If they build it, we will watch.
League Stadium (Huntingburg, Indiana)
Built in 1894, League Stadium is another cinematic throwback and a historic beauty that still features its original grandstand. You probably remember it most as the park where an inebriated Jimmy Dugan, played by Tom Hanks in "A League of Their Own," uttered the all-time line, “There’s no crying in baseball.” These days, the stadium is home to the Dubois County Bombers of the collegiate summer Prospect League. For an MLB game with throwback uniforms, this is the perfect site. ()
Veterans Field (Chatham, Massachusetts)
Home of the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod Baseball League — the premier collegiate summer league in the country — Veterans Field is a panoramic beauty nestled along the southeastern coast of Cape Cod. This park should be a summer destination for any baseball fan and would make for an epic alternative site for the Boston Red Soxnb游戏平台. This park has a Hollywood history too. Freddie Prinze Jr. flashed his brutal pitching form for the Chatham A’s in the 2001 romantic comedy, "Summer Catch."
MCU Park (Brooklyn, New York)
It’s high time that big league baseball returns to Biggie’s borough, and there’s no better setting than MCU Stadium, home to the Mets short-season Single-A affiliate Brooklyn Cyclones and the Division-III NYU Violets. Beyond the outfield is the Atlantic Ocean and historic Coney Island boardwalk and amusement park. The field sits just below the Parachute Jump, bringing a lively energy to any game. ()
Miller Park (Provo, Utah)
nb游戏平台Home of the BYU Cougars, Miller Park may be college baseball’s most beautiful setting. Built in 1970 and renovated in 2018, the stadium may lack the vintage aesthetic of some of the other yards on our list, but you can’t beat that of Provo’s Y Mountain. There are few other places in this world where one can watch baseball and then hit the ski slopes.
Nat Bailey Stadium (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Sure, there are rumors of a future MLB expansion team in Vancouver, but we can’t wait for the hypothetical. At Nat Bailey Stadium (technically Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium), Vancouver already has a perfect setting to welcome Major League Baseball. Built in 1951 and home to the Class-A Northwest League’s Vancouver Canadians, the yard has warm, woodsman vibes that MLB is missing. In 2019, Canadians groundskeeper Ross Baron was Sports Field Manager of the Year for Class-A Short Season. Step inside the stadium and you'll feel like you entered a time warp to 1950s Northwest, in the best way.
Cardines Field (Newport, Rhode Island)
The earliest documented game at Cardines Field took place in 1908, but locals will tell you that the park actually opened in 1900 and was built for sandlot games hosted by New England railroad workers. If true, that would make Cardines Field one of the oldest ballparks in America. Negro League All-Stars Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson played at Cardines, set along the Newport Shipyard & Marina. During World War II, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Bob Feller and others established the amateur Sunset League at Cardines while stationed in Newport Naval Station. The grandstand may look rickety, but there are few spots better to catch a ballgame.
Doubleday Field (Cooperstown, New York)
nb游戏平台The yard is named for Union major general Abner Doubleday, who, despite stories to the contrary, didn't invent baseball. Doubleday Field, home to MLB's annual Hall of Fame game, is blocks away from the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Its history and proximity to the Hall gets Doubleday on the list, but this is no legacy inclusion. With views of church steeples and the rolling upstate New York hills in the outfield, this is one of the best ballparks in the country. The sideline bleachers date to 1920, Babe Ruth's time in MLB.
Wade Stadium (Duluth, Minnesota)
The Cape Cod League is the most prestigious collegiate summer league in America, but another top prospect league, the Northwoods League, is home to one of the game's most scenic ballparks. Built in 1941, “The Wade” is constructed with 381,000 bricks and famous for its high fences and Lake Superior summer nights.
Jackie Robinson Ballpark (Daytona Beach, Florida)
nb游戏平台Originally known as City Island Ball Park, JRB opened in 1914 as a simple field with one wooden set of bleachers. Today, the park is home to the Class-A Daytona Tortugas and the Bethune–Cookman Wildcats, a top HBCU program. The park is located on City Island inside Daytona’s Halifax River and was named for Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, as Daytona Beach was the first Florida city to allow him to play during the 1946 spring training. ()
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