Apologies as I am a little late on this stadium with the season just ending in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, so try to hit up this ballpark sometime next year. On the surface, there may not be much special about watching a game in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. But the history of the stadium is one that makes just hosting baseball in the 21st century quite the accomplishment. Back in the 1980s, a AAA team was bought and moved to the east coast, in the summer tourist spot of Old Orchard Beach (not far from Portland). A new ballpark was built, thoughtlessly named “The Ballpark” and the Maine Guides began play in 1984. Baseball lasted only five years in OOB and the whole tourists coming to see baseball thing didn’t work. The incessant mosquitoes did not help either.
Fast-forward a few decades later and nothing was done with the now crumbling ballpark. In most towns, this usually means the end of a stadium, but this is the friendly state of Maine and in 2008-2009, volunteers took matters into their own hands and worked on fixing up the place before it met the wrecking ball. The hard work paid off and a usable field hosted some amateur baseball. A short time later, the stadium was fixed up enough to become home to a permanent tenant and the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide of the summer-collegeiate FCBL were born. The Tide now have been in their refurbished home for 4 seasons and the remarkable work by the town’s volunteers has led to a stadium they can be proud of. The Ballpark at Old Orchard Beach is one of the rare positive stories from a neglected sports facility and the small community can take pride in their efforts.