Some things are better as they age: a fine wine; cheese; a good scotch; one’s ability to stay out of trouble. One thing that doesn’t age well is a two year old blog post where your notes can’t be found. That said, indulge my trip down memory lane on my trip to see the Williamsport Crosscutters from August 20, 2016.
Since this weekend is the second annual MLB Little League Classic at Bowman Field, I felt it was time to dust off my photos and do a post. And since Bowman Field has gone through major renovations and looks very different from my trip, I thought this weekend would be a good time to post. Bowman Field is the second oldest minor league stadium, opening in 1926. It was built to to be the home of the Williamsport Grays, a charter member of the New York-Penn League. The first game ever was April 22, 1926 when the Grays hosted Bucknell University. The first pro gram was a few days later as the Grays hosted the Harrisburg Giants.
With the most recent renovations, field renovations were made, and the bleacher seating has been replaced with reserved seating. This is how it looked when I was there:
Here’s how it looks today:
Ben Hill of Minor League Baseball said I should get in touch with Gabe Sinicropi, Jr., who is now the VP of Marketing for the team. I did get a chance to say hello to Gabe, but didn’t want to take up much of his time. He’s also the leader of all the between innings fun, and on this night, was the host of their annual belly buster contest. Here’s where I wish I had my notes. Contestants ate huge amounts of food, Texas deatch match style. Last person standing won! I know that they started off with burgers, and food included a whole bag of chocolate chips, and cookies. I am not quite sure what the big blue bucket was for, but I can only guess! 🙂
Speaking of belly busters, this was dinner!
The Auburn Doubledays were the visiting team that evening. Looks like Tres Barerra (still a catcher in the Nationals organization, currently playing for the Potomac Nationals) had a little issue following team rules!
Down the left field line, the Cutters have the Dunkin Donuts dugout deck, and Cutters Cove, which is used for private picnics. Pretty nice section!
The Cutters mascot is Boomer. He has a pretty slick ATV that I am sure many mascots would be jealous of!
Under the stands, the Cutters have a Hall of Fame. While I took individual photos of the inductees, they didn’t turn out that great. Hopefully with all the renovations, they kept this!
The scouts had prime seats behind home plate. Again, notice the bleacher seats compared to the new individual seating that is at Bowman Field.
Sunset over Bowman Field:
It was a great game, in front of 1586 faithful fans!
The homerun handshake:
Safe at third:
Caught in a run down:
Out at first!
Bowman Field was an incredible experience. While I am all for updating old ballparks, I am glad I was able to visit before all their upgrades. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for improving the fan experience. But some places just get better with age!
Here’s a young fan waiting for one of the Cutters players to come out after the game. Her family is one of the host families. Host families play a BIG part in minor league baseball. Unlike Major League Baseball, where the guaranteed minimum is $545,000, the salary for a player at this level is a mere $1,100 per month. Glad to see the support in Williamsport!!
I did come away with a bobblehead that evening. Dugout is the official mascot of the Little League World Series.
My trip to Williamsport also meant I have seen every Phillies minor league team (Lehigh Valley, Reading, Clearwater, Lakewood, and Williamsport). To celebrate, I did stop by their team store:
With all the upgrades made to Bowman Field, it’s a place I would go back to in a heart beat!!
I saw this on the way home, somewhere outside of Williamsport, in Burnham, PA I believe. Funny, I thought pizza originated centuries ago. I could be wrong….