Summer of Baseball: Hagerstown gives you an old-school baseball setting
It’s nice to know there are some throwback baseball stadiums out there.
As baseball’s minor leagues get more and more popular, some places are having a hard time holding onto their teams. Take for example Oneonta in my area — the longtime Yankees and then Tigers short-season A affiliate bolted town before the 2010 season when new owners took over and lied about how long they’d stay to “try and make it work.” Instead, they moved the team to Connecticut where, yes, attendance went up but makes one wonder if it was worth it for the large bump in rent.
But, I digress.
Hagerstown is that throwback. A stadium dating back to 1930 with not a lot of bells and whistles. It feels old in there. There isn’t a lot of pomp and circumstance and, if you’re there for the baseball, then it’s going to give you the experience you want.
I’ve found, in time, that some of these stadiums are hard to visit. But Municipal Stadium has gone through enough renovations to keep it nice, yet still keep its old-school charm.
What’s nice here is the ambiance of the park as a whole. The older “feel” to the ticket booth and the souvenir stand, as compared to a store. The fan services are also being a stand, rather than walking in somewhere. I loved that not all the food was out of a stand, rather having one spot where you could get something grilled right on the spot.
There were also two beers made locally — one for the team — which gave it a cool feel.
Sight lines are good as it didn’t seem there was a bad seat in the house. There weren’t a lot of fans that night, so I didn’t feel squeezed anywhere. People were friendly (including a few fans I had interactions with) and, overall, it was a nice experience.
The night I was there, they announced an attendance of 704, and that was probably being quite kind. It’s a shame, too, It’s a baseball experience that is going quickly by the wayside. With newer stadiums popping up with many amenities, these smaller stadiums and towns are bolting for bigger areas in the hopes of making more money. We can hope baseball will stay in areas like this, but it’s getting harder and harder for teams to maintain their presence.
Though my ratings are average, and I enjoyed myself and my trip to Hagerstown. I’d visit again if given the opportunity. If you have the chance, check it out in case it eventually is too late.
Home of the Hagerstown Sun (Single-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles)
Visited on: July 20, 2016
Opponent: Columbia Fireflies (Single-A affiliate of the New York Mets)
Ratings (out of 10)
- Stadium: 7/10
- Concessions: 7/10
- Parking: 9/10
- Ambiance: 6.5/10
- Friendliness: 8/10