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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

John Sonny Allen Field – Morehead State Eagles


Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.57

John Sonny Allen Field 230 Playforth Pl Morehead, KY 40351


Year Opened: 1973

Capacity: 1,200

 

Checking Out a Baseball Game at Sonny Allen Field


John “Sonny” Allen Field on the campus of Morehead State University opened in 1973 and holds 1,200 spectators and is located within a short distance from the football stadium Jayne Field.

The ballpark is known for its unusual dimensions. The outfield fence is 24 feet high all around. The distances to the fence are 330 feet down the left field line and 345 feet down the right field line. The right-center field power alley is 335 feet, and the left-center power alley is 378 feet. The deepest part of the outfield is in the left-center field, where it measures 398 feet from home plate.

Sonny Allen coached the baseball team from 1954-1975 and guided the Eagles to a 226-137 record, along with three conference championships in 1956, 1969, and 1973. Since his retirement, the team has won four more titles and made NCAA Tournament appearances, the last being in 2018.

Food & Beverage 1

The single concession stand is located outside the ballpark and offers the following: hot dogs, soda, candy, and chips. There is no alcohol served at the game, and it’s advised to grab a bite to eat beforehand in one of the nearby restaurants in downtown Morehead.


Atmosphere 3

To be fair, our attendance was during a rainy and cold night. The temperature had been a balmy 80 degrees the day before, but a cold front brought rain and gunpowder skies the next day. With that being said, attendance was sparse, but the action took place on the field.

The stadium features a brick grandstand with a press box and concession stand at the front of the ballpark. There are two entrances leading spectators to the seating bowl that consists of bleacher-style seats down each baseline and seat-back chairs behind the backstop. Protective netting is set up from dugout to dugout.


The right field fence is a short distance from home plate and has a higher fence to protect from a barrage of home runs from left-handed batters. A simple scoreboard is behind the right field wall in school colors. There are no distance markers, retired numbers, or championship banners on the outfield walls.


What makes the ballpark pleasurable are the trees and hills that surround it. The location near Poppy Mountain makes the stadium view stand out among voluminous facilities across the country.


There is a lookout hill down the left field line, offering views of the diamond. It has inspired the fundraising campaign for the construction of the Eagles’ Landing, which would be a viewing deck.


Neighborhood 3


The Sawstone Brewing Company is less than half a mile from the ballpark and has a great selection of beer and outside, and patio seating. There are also food trucks and Pasquale’s Pizza & Pasta across the street. Customers can bring a pizza or sandwich into the bar and enjoy it with a Kentucky Common or Pale Ale.


Eastern Kentucky has many opportunities for outdoor recreation that includes: tubing, skiing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Daniel Boone National Forest, Cave Run Lake, and Amburgey Rock are worth exploring when in the area. There can be more found on the county’s official website.


Fans 3


There were a few fans at the game, but due to Mother Nature, they appeared to be friends and family members of the players. The Eagles scored quite a bit of rain during the game, and it created a lot of clapping and cheering from the crowd.


Access 3


Allen Field is located on campus next to the football field. The ballpark is on Main Street, north of downtown. There is parking in front of the stadium. Two staircases lead to the seating bowl, and plenty of room to move around once you are in your seat. The closest interstate is I-64, about an hour east of Lexington, Kentucky.


Return on Investment 2


The price of admission is as follows: Reserved $8, General Admission $6, and Child $3. The food prices are low, and team merchandise is not sold at games. Downtown Morehead is a great way to spend time before or after the game for a worthwhile evening.


Extras 3


Allen Field earns a point for the Sonny Allen Special, home runs that are hit over the short fence in right field. A second point is awarded to the scenery around the ballpark that sets it apart from other venues in college baseball. The last point is for the left field line view from the hill that allows fans to bring out blankets and lawn chairs during warm evenings, another nice touch to the stadium experience.


Final Thoughts


Sonny Allen Field is a ballpark worth visiting if you find yourself in the Eastern hills of Kentucky. It does not provide the same game day experience as nearby Kentucky or Louisville ballparks but is on par with other Ohio Valley Conference venues. If you are looking for a bare-bones and baseball-only night at the ballpark, check out a game at Allen Field.


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Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunter and his YouTube channel. Email at Marc.Viquez@stadiumjourney.com




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