This past Sunday was a great Father’s Day as the family brought me to a new stadium. Bristol, Connecticut is not exactly a destination that people will drive a few hours for, but we found enough to do to fill the day before the game. I found Bristol to be an odd mix of old and new. We drove around several sections of this small city of 60,000 and there were multiple instances of thinking “Ehhh…”. It was a staggered start to our day as our first stop for lunch was closed because of staffing issues. The next choice had an hour wait and then I rolled the dice on a place that was completely empty. That’s an uneasy feeling given that it was 12:30 PM. Turns out that West End Pizza was decent and the staff was super nice. After, it was on to the next stop. Now we could’ve taken the kids to Lake Compounce, the oldest amusement park in America, but we have enough theme parks coming up in the next several weeks, so we passed on that. The New England Carousel Museum may sound kind of dull, but they had an arts and crafts room that our two girls (7 and 3) loved. Plus a free ride on a small carousel. For me, the incredible collection of these beautiful pieces was worth the price of admission. You know, it’s funny because as a kid you understandably have no idea what goes into that work. As an adult, you think about things a lot more.
After that, we considered going to the American Clock and Watch Museum, as Bristol was the center of clock making in early times. It certainly screamed “Dad”, but even I wouldn’t subject my kids to that or my fear of them touching and breaking something. So, instead we spent an hour at an entertainment center playing video games. My accomplishment of the day was beating the high score in Hot Shot Basketball. The baseball game was at 5:30 PM and Muzzy Field is conveniently located next to Rockwell Park, where they had a huge playground. My wife brought the kids over there while I did my stadium tour thing.
The ballpark is home to the Bristol Blues, a collegiate-summer league team in the NECBL. Muzzy is a place that oozes history and there’s even a book that details it. These are the stadiums that I cherish as sitting in the grandstand taking in a summer tradition is pure bliss. Muzzy Field is unique to others from this era as it is a duel baseball/football stadium, so a lot of the seating is on the third base side, which is a good thing because the other side is directly into the sun. There is even a press box at the top end of the left structure, showing its football roots. It is a fascinating place to watch baseball as you are enclosed by the wooden roof at the top and the brick wall behind you. In fact, the field is enclosed too as towering trees surround the outfield. Sitting in the stands includes bleachers that are old in a nostalgic way and while it may not be that comfortable (especially with the light poles and support beams obstructing views), I prefer it. The Blues do a good job and put on a nice show with a respectable crowd for a summer-league game in a small town. The game was even better because it might have been the fastest I have ever seen as it took just 2:16. That’s how baseball should be played! Now granted, there were just six hits in the game (and half of those were in the final two innings), but that zippy pace is so much more preferred. Plus, Bristol won by a score of 2-1! A great day in a historic stadium.