Attending a baseball game over the last couple decades has rapidly become a sideshow, where the actual game has taken a backseat to all of the other ‘cool things‘ that you can do at the ballpark. While this helps to put fannies through turnstiles, there are still a healthy few who prefer to actually just watch baseball at a ballpark. College baseball is the closest thing and though the corrupt NCAA puts an asterisk on the sanctity of the game, the Ivy League may be the next best thing. Most of the ballparks in the Ivy are nothing more than makeshift bleachers behind the field, however there is at least one facility that is a true ballpark.
Yale Field was built in 1927 and has barely been touched since. The old stone facade leads inside to a 5,000 seat bowl that gently wraps around the field. Sightlines aren’t the best thanks to a shallow incline, but I always find some charm in the obstructing view poles that hold up the roof. That overhang does well to cover most of the seats and crowds are small enough where most can pick out a regular seat as opposed to a bleacher. Speaking of seats, the originals from the 1920s line the back row. Fans hardly fill the ballpark, thus keeping the atmosphere low-key. Yet, coming to a baseball game has never been about a roaring crowd and taking in the pasttime in this charming old facility is something that should be done by purists. I had the pleasure of coming to a Yale game a few years ago and quite enjoyed the park, along with watching the players celebrate a win that meant more than fans could imagine.
I plan on getting back to a college baseball game this weekend as it will only be my third one, with not many places to choose from here in the Northeast. Jack Kaiser Stadium in St. John’s barely makes the magic 3,500 capacity number, so I will head over to Queens to check it out. Back next week with a report!