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The Chicago Dogs are members of the American Association and play at Impact Field, one of the slickest ballparks in independent baseball. It was constructed to entertain all who purchase a ticket as well as host a baseball game.
The Depot at Cleburne Station is a multi-use facility for the city of Cleburne, Texas. The facility opened on May 18, 2017, at a cost of $20.7 million. The opening of the 1,750 fixed seat ballpark brought professional baseball back to Cleburne after a 95-year absence.
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks baseball team plays at Newman Outdoor Field, located on the North Dakota State University campus in Fargo, ND. The stadium is shared with the NCAA North Dakota State Bison.
The building of U.S. Steel Yard caused quite a bit of stir because of where it was being built (apparently Gary doesn’t have a great reputation) and the high price tag (over $40 million). The baseball park itself is quite nice.
Northwestern Medicine Field is located next to a former landfill in a far western suburb of Chicago (approximately 40 miles) and was originally named the Kane County Events Baseball Park (1991 to 1993).
The Kansas City T-Bones rebranded as the Kansas City Monarchs on January 21, 2021. Our review is from when the baseball club was still the T-Bones.
The owners of the franchise that became the Lake Country Dockhounds had a long journey to bring their team to reality, but their efforts were rewarded with the American Association’s newest team, which began play in 2022 in the Milwaukee suburb of Oconomowoc. These western suburbs have long been a target for expansion for both professional and summer collegiate baseball. The original proposal was to build a ballpark for a summer collegiate team in nearby Waukesha, but they were unable to secure
Haymarket Park is home to the Lincoln Saltdogs of the independent American Association and the University of Nebraska baseball team. Named for its location in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket District, the ballpark and adjacent softball field cost just under $30 million to build in 2001.
Between one inning of play, Van McNeil throws out imaginary cookies to waving fans in the grandstand of Milkmen Baseball Stadium. McNeil is known at games “The Milkman” dressed in white, with a cap, and black bow tie.
The Sioux City Explorers were founded in 1993 as members of the Northern League. From their inception, they have called Lewis and Clark Park home. The ballpark was the first one built specifically for an independent baseball team.
Sioux Falls Stadium (51 years old) is now heading full on into mid-life. Home to the “Canaries” , the stadium (known as the Birdcage) saw a late 90’s facelift. This 5.6 million dollar upgrade included luxury box seating, a grass berm down the third baseline and enlarged picnic spots.
Appalachian Power Park is home to the West Virginia Power, the newest inception of Minor League Baseball in West Virginia’s state capital. The franchise departed aging Watt Powell Park for the new downtown park in 2005.
If you want to get a glimpse of what the future of ballpark construction looks like, then look no further than Gastonia, North Carolina. The new home of the Gastonia Honey Hunters of the Atlantic League has a few unique features to offer the world of professional baseball.
Baseball in High Point came by way of a Connecticut city council. In 2017, the city of Bridgeport voted not to renew their contract with the independent Atlantic League Bluefish and decided instead to turn The Ballpark at Harbor Yard into a concert venue.
Professional baseball has a long history in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, dating back to 1884 when the Lancaster Red Roses was founded. The team played in several minor leagues through 1961 and had a notable rivalry with the York White Roses, located only about 30 miles away.
Wild Health Field opened in 2001 as Applebee’s Park and returned professional baseball to Lexington, Kentucky for the first time since 1954. At the time of its construction, the city was the largest market without a baseball team. Fans quickly embraced the franchise, purchasing 1,950 season tickets within hours of going on sale establishing a new South Atlantic League record.
The Long Island Ducks are an independent baseball team, a part of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. They play at the family friendly Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip, NY. At one point in time, duck farming was a big industry on Long Island, thus the name of the ball team.
Regency Furniture Stadium is the home of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League. The Atlantic League is an independent league that is not affiliated with a Major League team. The stadium first opened in May, 2008 when the Blue Crabs knocked off the Lancaster Barnstormers 3-2. It is an aesthetically pleasing ballpark designed with sloping red roofs, similar to Churchill Downs, which pays homage to Southern Maryland’s tobacco barns.
In a town where Major League sports rule, Richmond County Bank Ballpark provides a fun, affordable option for baseball enthusiasts. In its two decades of existence, more than 100 Staten Island Yankees, otherwise known as the Baby Bombers, have played in the Majors.
From 1894-1969 York, Pennsylvania was home to the minor league York White Roses. The team played in various leagues over the years before folding. For over three long decades, the city attempted to get baseball to return. Around the turn of the century these efforts picked up steam as attempts to build a new ballpark intensified.
The Evansville Otters have called the historic ballpark home since its inception in 1995 and improvements were made the following seasons that included a new press box, new scoreboard, and new concrete entrance. The Otters are oldest franchise in the independent Frontier League and have captured five division and two league championships.
The Florence Y’alls of the independent Frontier Baseball League was known as the Florence Freedom from 2003-2019 before new ownership sought a new nickname through an online fan vote–the winner was the Florence Y’alls, but why?
GCS Ballpark is the home of the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League The ballpark is in Sauget, Illinois, where the population is 156. It might be the smallest town in baseball to house a professional team, but game day crowds increase the population to close to 95% on game day.
The Joliet Slammers are members of the Frontier League and play at DuPage Medical Group Field, formerly Joliet Route 66 Field, Slammers Field and Silver Cross Field. The name refers to the famous prisons of Joliet and Will County (Joliet Correctional Center and Statesville Correctional Center) as well as a common baseball term for a grand slam.
When thinking of baseball in North-Central Ohio, one would understandably overlook the Lake Erie Crushers as a stalwart in the local community. However, in a few short years, this team has endeared itself to the locals, becoming a fan favorite for families and young fans throughout the region.
Palasides Credit Union Park opened in 2011 in the town of Pamona, New York. Located about an hour north of New York in Rockland County on the New Jersey border, the ballpark was built to give suburban New York baseball fans an alternative to the more expensive ballparks in New York City.
Chicago has an ample amount of options for various independent minor league baseball stadiums for the past 20-plus years. In 2021, the metropolitan area is home to six MLB Partner League organizations in the American Association or Frontier League.
Between 1994 and 2001, seven new ballparks were built in the state of New Jersey. While costly ballparks in Camden, Newark and Atlantic City are now gone or on life-support, baseball continues to be played in tiny Augusta. While Skylands Stadium’s original tenants, the New Jersey Cardinals, are long gone, the Sussex County Miners of the independent Frontier League have taken up residence in northwest New Jersey.
Joseph L. Bruno Stadium is named in honor of the former New York State Senate majority leader who helped secure funding for the ballpark. Constructed in under a year, “The Joe” cost $14 million to build in 2002.
Expos or if teams like the Trois-Rivieres Aigles are leading a new baseball renaissance in Quebec and Canada.
Wild Things Park is the home of the Washington Wild Things of the Independent Frontier League. The franchise played in Canton, Ohio from 1997-2001 as the Crocodiles prior to being purchased and moved to Southwestern PA and was renamed to its current moniker.
The Windy City Thunderbolts have been playing baseball since 1995 when it began operations as the Will County Claws in the North Central League. In 1996, the team rebranded as the Cook County Cheetahs (Heartland League 1996 – 1998 and then joined the Frontier League in 1999) and in 2004 adopted the T-Bolts moniker.
On the doorstep of Ontario’s Cottage Country, the City of Barrie lays claim to the seven-time Intercounty Baseball League Champion, Barrie Baycats.
It is nothing but a positive to have one of the cornerstone franchises of the Intercounty Baseball League back on the diamond. The Guelph Royals have been welcomed back with open arms after a covid hiatus.
There has been a Hamilton team as part of the independent Intercounty Baseball League in Ontario since 1958. For the lion’s share of that duration, the team was named the Cardinals. Originally known as the Hamilton Beavers, Hamilton has also been known as the Red Wings, Marlins, Real McCoys, and Thunderbirds.
The Kitchener Panthers are one of the founding franchises in the Intercounty Baseball League, which services Southern Ontario.
It is hard to argue with the staying power that the London Majors have demonstrated along with the Intercounty Baseball League. Getting to see a game at Labatt Memorial Park is a treat and those hardcore baseball travelers who want to see a piece of history should definitely take advantage of an opportunity to catch the Majors.
Moving to Welland from Burlington and rebranding in 2019, the Jackfish are attempting to break the mold from the traditional aspects of Intercounty Baseball.
Nicknamed “Oregon’s Field Of Dreams,” Volcanoes Stadium is the home of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, the San Francisco Giants Short-Season Class A baseball team in the Northwest League. The team began operations in 1997, the same year the stadium opened. The organization was transferred from Bellingham and return minor league baseball to Salem after an eight-year absence. The city’s first professional team were the Salem Senators who played from 1940-1965 under a few different names/affiliations.
The Austin Weirdos began operations in the Pecos League in 2022 and called Parque Zaragosa its home field. The club was to have played elsewhere for its inaugural season but was unable to secure a location.
“Historic” Sam Lynn Ballpark lies just north of downtown Bakersfield. The word historic tends to be a distinction thrown around a lot in baseball to align with venues like Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, but sometimes in the minor leagues the word “historic” can be confused with the word “old”. Sam Lynn Ballpark is decidedly old, but historic feels like a bit of a misnomer.
The Garden City Wind is a team in the Independent baseball Pecos League. They began play in 2015 at the historic Clint Lightner Field in Garden City, KS. Clint Lightner Field is part of Frederick Finnup Park, a community park that also houses a zoo, a historical museum, picnic tables and grills, softball diamonds, a pool with water slides, and more.
The cleverly named Roswell Invaders baseball team plays their home game at Joe Bauman Stadium in Roswell, NM. The Invaders are charter members of the independent Pecos League of Professional Baseball. Both the team and the league were founded in 2011. The Invaders have been successful, winning the Pecos League Championships in 2011, 2013, and 2015.
The Triggers have established themselves well in Trinidad, CO and in the Independent Pecos League of Professional Baseball, beginning with their debut in the 2012 season. Taken from their website, the Pecos League operates in cities in desert mountain regions throughout New Mexico, West Texas, Arizona, and Southern Colorado players come from all over the US and the world and are a combination of rising stars, falling stars, shooting stars, and athletes with stars in their eyes.
Dehler Park is the home of the Billings Mustangs, rookie league baseball team (Cincinnati Reds) in the Pioneer League. In 2008, it replaced the old Cobb Field which was beginning to show a state of disrepair and was demolished as part of the building of the new Dehler Park.
Baseball returned to Boise in 1987 after eight years without baseball. Currently the Hawks are the Short Season A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies and play in the Northwest League. Prior to moving to Boise, the team was the Tri-Cities Triplets, who played in Richland, Washington. The Hawks have also been affiliated with the Angels and the Cubs.
The Grand Junction Rockies achieve all of these aims, enabling fans on Colorado’s Western Slope to enjoy short-season, Class-A, Pioneer League baseball in a naturally magnificent setting. The team’s parent club, the Colorado Rockies, purchased the Casper (WY) Ghosts in 2011 and relocated the team to Grand Junction’s Suplizio Field before the 2012 season. Since then, Grand Junction has served as a first stop for several players who advanced to play Major League Baseball, such as David Dahl.
Perched on a breezy bluff above the Missouri River, Centene Stadium is the home of the Great Falls Voyagers, a member of the Rookie Advanced Pioneer League’s eight team circuit and part of the Chicago White Sox farm system.
In the world of travel, Idaho Falls is known as one of the gateways to Yellowstone National Park, attracting families throughout the summer who use the town as a base for exploring all of the incredible natural scenery in the area. For those more interested in sports travel however, the destination is the city itself, more specifically Melaleuca Field, home of the Idaho Falls Chukars of the Pioneer League.
Ogren Park at Allegiance Field in Missoula, Montana has been the home for the Missoula Osprey since 2004. The Missoula Osprey are a minor league baseball team, member of the Pioneer League-which plays at the Rookie-Advanced level and are a part of the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system.
When it comes to great views in the world of Minor League baseball, few states can compete with Utah. Salt Lake City has Smith’s Ballpark and the Wasatch Mountains. But if you head north from the Beehive State’s capital up I-15, then you’ll also be pleasantly surprised by the small ballpark in Ogden, home of the Raptors.
UC Health Park is a prototypical 1990s-era ballpark that has grown obsolete with the building boom of modern ballparks at the AAA level and is far too large for its new purpose as a Pioneer League ballpark. Many other cities have had trouble attracting fans to facilities after dropping to a lower level, and by keeping a Triple-A price structure for Single-A baseball, the same fate may befall Colorado Springs.
UNITED SHORE PROFESSIONALS BASEBALL LEAGUE
The United Shores Professional Baseball League debuted in 2016 and set up home in Utica, Michigan in the suburbs of Detroit. The independent baseball league is home to four franchises that all play games at the $15 million Jimmy John’s Field. The Utica Unicorns, Birmingham-Bloomfield Beavers, Westside Wooly Mammoths, and the Eastside Diamond Hoppers all rotate and play 75 games for 15 weeks from May to September ensuring a game every weekend.