One comment

  1. A few things…

    The parking situation was always bad. There is a dirt large lot located down the hill from the stadium, and the Ravens built a wide set of stairs to access it, but last time I drove by there it was badly overgrown. A few houses across from the adjacent cemetery would also allow people to park there for a charge (and still do if “the Game” will attract enough people to the Yale Bowl). Where you parked is where team employees, players, and lucky sponsors once parked.

    The concourses were always terribly inadequate, and when the Ravens averaged 5-6,000 in their first few years it was almost intolerable. Still, they managed to fit a team store and a few concession areas down there.

    There were once bleachers down the left field line that were added in 1993. They were in front of that building with the arches, which currently conceal a large concession area, with the clubhouses and team offices behind that.

    The old scoreboard was constructed out of war surplus metal, and was supplemented by two early-90s modern scoreboards, one in left and one in right. Yale must’ve sold them; in fact, Yale pretty much lets their historic sports facilities go to crap, unless someone donates millions to renovate (like Ingall’s Rink) or the crumbling becomes a liability (as at the Yale Bowl). Yale only let the Ravens come to Yale Field if the Ravens’ owners paid for the renovations, and refused to pay for anything (or even let the Ravens perform upkeep of the field) before the Ravens left. They now have a 1920s stadium renovated in the 1990s and are happy to let it slowly decay. The grass was once so bad that the Ravens were always the last team to gain an affiliate in the biannual affiliate shuffle because no team wanted it’s players to hurt themselves. It’s clear from the pictures the field’s grass is still a mess.

    However, the place shined from about 1994 to 2000, the team drew healthy crowds, and in 1998 it hosted the AA All-Star Game and in 2000 the Ravens won the championship there. It was always a fun time; the picnic areas in right field were stocked with great food, the bar by third base was hopping, and the team put on a great show.

    There’s a small shack beyond the right field fence that amazingly still exists; it housed a leather couch, tv, and had waitress service as “the best seat in the house.” During “South Park night” in 1998 or 1999, after lucky fans had tried and failed to kill a giant cardboard Kenny, a team employee pushed it out of that little shack, the PA announcer said “Oh my God, you killed Kenny,” and about 5,000 people yelled “you bastard.” Yes, minor league sports in New Haven (just ask anyone about the hockey fans’ antics at the old Coliseum) were always classy and for the whole family.

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