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  • Writer's picturePaul Baker

Veteran's Field - Chatham Anglers

Photos by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71

Veterans Field

702 Main St

Chatham, MA 02633

Chatham Anglers website

Veterans Field website

Year Opened: 1923

Capacity: 8,500

The Right Angle

Veteran’s Field is located near the center of Chatham, a town at the “elbow” of Cape Cod. Teams representing the town of Chatham have played at the site of Veteran’s Field since the inception of the Cape Cod League. Chatham’s squad was known as the A’s from the beginning of the “Modern Era” of the Cape League in 1963 to 2009, when several teams decided to cease sharing a name with a Major League team. The team was then rebranded as the Anglers. The Chatham franchise is one of the more successful ones in the Cape League, having won five titles in the Cape League’s “Modern Era,” which began in 1963.

Food & Beverage 3

The Snack Shack is located on the first base side of Veteran’s Field at the bottom of the hill. The menu offers your basic ballpark fare, with Fenway Franks, hamburgers and pizza slices comprising the staples of the menu. Fans wanting their hot dog with a little more oomph can upgrade to Coach Schiffner’s famous Chili Dog. Fans looking for a snack can get popcorn or peanuts in a plastic souvenir Anglers cup, candy bars, cookies or Cape Cod Chips. Cans of Coca-Cola products are sold here, as well as Sweet Leaf Iced Tea, Powerade and Vitamin Water. On chilly Cape nights, fans can purchase coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Assorted ice cream treats are also sold at the Snack Shack.

The prices here are a bit on the high side when compared to other Cape League ballparks. On the plus side, your items are cooked to order, guaranteeing you get them fresh off the grill. Fans looking for a bargain can wait until near the end of the game, when “dollar dogs” are announced. But be warned, quantities are limited, so be ready! The Anglers also have some tables set up full of merchandise, with a large selection of t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and novelties.

Atmosphere 3

As is the case at all the Cape Cod League venues, teams in this league present their games in an “old-school” manner. Absent are silly between inning promotions and ear-shattering music played in between innings. Fans looking for elaborate game day productions will undoubtedly be disappointed with this simple approach, but baseball purists will enjoy every last second of it. There is a lot of room for children to run around at Veterans Field. Between the open area behind the right field bleachers and the giant berm that runs from the right field line to deep center field, there’s plenty of room for younger fans to release some pent-up energy.

There is also a large playground adjacent to the field behind the first base grandstand. From here it is possible for the kids to play while their parents can still watch the ballgame. As is the case at every Cape League ballpark, many of the kids in attendance spend their nights chasing foul balls. If one lands near you, get ready for the oncoming horde.

Neighborhood 5

Veteran’s Field is located just west of Chatham Center, a quaint neighborhood full of shops, cafés, and antique stores. Fans interested in doing touristy things without the commercialism that has crept into some of the other Cape Cod destinations should check out Chatham. Remember, a town this small and this popular is bound to get crowded, so if you are wishing to avoid the largest crowds, visit the area in June, before schools let out for the summer and the tourists arrive en masse.

Veteran’s Field is located within walking distance of several popular eating establishments and lodging choices. In fact, many fans choose to simply walk to an Anglers game, find a bite to eat, and enjoy the area. It’s a great area for people watching and enjoying the small town vibe. Many fans simply walk across the parking lot after the game and stop in at the Red Nun, a popular restaurant located right next to Veteran’s Field.

Fans 4

Chatham usually ranks among the top 3 or 4 teams in the Cape Cod League in terms of attendance. Crowds at Veteran’s Field are similar to those elsewhere on the Cape, meaning that there is a strong presence from the locals, who often have a connection with the team as a booster, house parent, or volunteer. If not connected with the team officially, many of the fans present have been coming to see the Anglers play for years. Mixed in with the locals are tourists visiting the area and spending a relaxing night out at the ballpark.

A popular diversion during many Anglers’ games is the nightly discussion about when the fog is going to roll in. Chatham’s location on the tip of the Cape is perfect for the formation of fog on a summer night. A night at Veteran’s Field without fog is a rare one, indeed. For those wondering, the fog usually rolls in around the fifth inning. On some nights the fog is thick enough to cause a fog delay or even a postponement.

Access 4

The town of Chatham is located at the elbow of Cape Cod, making it the furthest team to visit for any fans visiting from off-Cape (that’s anyone not living on Cape Cod, for those of us who don’t speak Cape). Despite this, it’s relatively easy to find Veteran’s Field. It is located right on Route 28, which follows the entire southern coastline of the Cape. Veteran’s Field itself is located in a natural bowl, with hills surrounding the playing surface. Some very steep metal bleachers line the hill behind home plate. There is room both at the top and the bottom of the hill for fans who bring their own lawn chairs. There are benches located at the top of this hill, as well as plenty of standing room. It’s a great vantage point for watching the action below. Also located behind home plate is the press box and souvenir stands.

Running down both baselines are more metal bleachers, running all the way to shallow left and right field, respectively. Unfortunately, there are screens surrounding the field to protect neighboring houses from errant foul balls. Fans wanting an unobstructed view of the action will need to sit on the furthest grandstand down the lines, or beyond. Many fans at Chatham choose to sit on the large berm in the outfield. There is enough room out here for several thousand fans on a busy night, or for kids to run around when it is less crowded. You will find many fans sitting on top of the berm along the Doyle Street sidewalk or even in their vehicles, listening to the game on their radios.

Although Veteran’s Field has more finished landscaping than most other Cape League ballparks, be warned that the area around the field is hilly and uneven in spots. Fans with an unsteady gait should tread carefully when moving around the ballpark. There is a small field house behind the first base hill which contains restrooms. It’s a nice luxury here that not every field in the Cape League enjoys. Parking is plentiful in a pair of lots adjacent to the ballpark and beyond the outfield on Doyle Street.

Return on Investment 5

As is the case at all Cape Cod League ballparks, there is no charge to attend a Chatham Anglers game. The team will accept your donation, which they use to fund their operating costs. In return for your donation, the team will return the favor by giving you a program. Free parking is also available in two lots next to the field, or on any of the neighborhood streets. Just pay attention to the signs to make sure you are not in a restricted zone. Many fans bring their own coolers stocked with items to enjoy during the game, making a night out at the Anglers totally free.

Extras 2

The Cape League offers baseball the way it used to be, without a lot of the distractions present at so many minor league ballparks today. The focus here is on the game being played on the field, not on any extracurricular activities. Free programs and discounted hot dogs just add to the family friendly atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

In a league full of unique parks, Chatham offers an experience that may top them all. It has a real vintage charm, and the view from the top of the outfield berm simply can’t be beat. With three other teams located within a 20 minute drive, Chatham is a ballpark chaser’s dream. In 2017 a total of 307 Cape League alumni played in the major leagues. When taking in a Cape League game, it’s entirely possible that you may be watching a bunch of future first round picks or future all stars in the making.

Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI

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