Veteran's Field

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Veterans Field
Veterans Field, Chatham MA (345015947).jpg
Address1 Veterans Field Road
LocationChatham, Massachusetts
Coordinates41°41′04″N 69°57′45″W / 41.684579°N 69.9626°W / 41.684579; -69.9626Coordinates: 41°41′04″N 69°57′45″W / 41.684579°N 69.9626°W / 41.684579; -69.9626
Capacity8,000
Field sizeLeft Field: 325 ft
Center Field: 385 ft
Right Field: 314 ft
SurfaceGrass
Opened1927
Tenants
Chatham Anglers

Veterans Field is a baseball venue in Chatham, Massachusetts, home to the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL). The ballpark is located in downtown Chatham along Massachusetts Route 28.

Nestled within a natural bowl of embankments that provides ample spectator vantage points, Veterans Field has been called a "panorama of beauty,"[1] and "a portrait right out of Yankee Magazine."[2] The ballpark features a large adjacent playground, and draws from the bustling foot traffic of nearby Main Street shops. The grassy right field hillside seats fans on blankets and beach chairs, and is topped by the quaint backdrop of the town's fire house and the former rail station that is now the Chatham Railroad Museum. Surrounded on three sides by the sea, the town's geographic location frequently produces "fog delays" during evening ball games, an oddity that has come to be seen as symbolic of the unique flavor of baseball in Chatham.[3]

A charter member of the original four-team Cape Cod Baseball League that began play in 1923,[4] Chatham quickly got to work constructing a field that would host its town baseball team and other town events. In 1925, the plot of land for Veterans Field was acquired, and its name was settled upon "as a memorial to those from Chatham who served in the World War and all other wars."[5] By the early spring of 1927, final grading of the field was being completed,[6][7] and that season both the Chatham High School baseball team as well as the Chatham CCBL franchise began play at the park.[8][9]

Various improvements to Veterans Field have taken place since its original construction. A 2008 grant from the Yawkey Foundation provided the impetus for significant upgrades to the lighting and outfield playing surface, as well as the installation of a brick backstop and protective netting.[10][11]

In 1984, Veterans Field hosted a contest between the CCBL all-stars and the United States national baseball team, which was touring in preparation for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.[12][13][14] Veterans Field again hosted a CCBL-Team USA matchup in 2000, as the national team prepared for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. The 2000 event drew a reported 10,000 fans, the largest crowd to date ever to witness a sporting event on Cape Cod.[15][16] The 2001 Hollywood romantic comedy Summer Catch was set in Chatham, and used Veterans Field in its portrayal of the Cape Cod Baseball League.[17]

Veterans Field hosted the CCBL's annual all-star game festivities in 1964, 1968, 1971, 1998, 2008, and 2016,[18][19][20] and has seen Chatham claim CCBL championships in 1967, 1982, 1992, 1996, and 1998. The ballpark has been the summertime home of dozens of future major leaguers such as Thurman Munson,[21] Jeff Bagwell,[22] and Kris Bryant.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Smith, Chuck (August 14, 1986). "Veterans Field – A Beautiful Sight to Behold". The Cape Cod Chronicle. Chatham, MA. p. 42.
  2. ^ Walsh, Sean M. (June 30, 1994). "Greener Grass, Brighter Diamonds: Ranking the Fields of the Cape League". Yarmouth Register. Yarmouth, MA. pp. 5, 27.
  3. ^ Bill Higgins (July 16, 2019). "Cape Cod baseball, where the grass is real and the price is right". bostonglobe.com. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  4. ^ "Cape Cod Baseball League". Falmouth Enterprise. Falmouth, MA. July 14, 1923. p. 6.
  5. ^ "Chatham – Special Town Meeting". Chatham Monitor. Chatham, MA. April 16, 1925. p. 3.
  6. ^ "Chatham". Chatham Monitor. Chatham, MA. March 17, 1927. p. 2.
  7. ^ "Chatham". Chatham Monitor. Chatham, MA. May 5, 1927. p. 2.
  8. ^ "Cape Cod Baseball League Schedule". Yarmouth Register. Yarmouth, MA. April 2, 1927. p. 4.
  9. ^ "Cape Cod League Baseball". Hyannis Patriot. Hyannis, MA. July 28, 1927. p. 8.
  10. ^ "Yawkey Foundation Grants to Chatham & Harwich". capecodbaseball.org. April 22, 2008. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  11. ^ Wood, Tim (April 3, 2008). "Outfield Reconstruction, Other Improvements Set for Veterans Field". The Cape Cod Chronicle. Chatham, MA. pp. 1, 12.
  12. ^ "Olympic Baseball Team to Play in Chatham". The Cape Cod Chronicle. Chatham, MA. March 8, 1984. p. 20.
  13. ^ Finn, Jr., Frank R. (May 10, 1984). "Olympics come to Cape Cod with baseball match against local all-stars". Yarmouth Register. Yarmouth, MA. pp. 34, 37.
  14. ^ "An Olympic Day for Chatham". The Cape Cod Chronicle. Chatham, MA. June 28, 1984. pp. 1, 3.
  15. ^ Pollock, Alan (July 27, 2000). "Chatham Welcomes Team USA Baseball Saturday". The Cape Cod Chronicle. Chatham, MA. pp. 1, 16.
  16. ^ Sherlock, Don (March 25, 2004). "Fields of dreams spur Cape economy". Yarmouth Register. Yarmouth, MA. pp. S12.
  17. ^ Wood, Tim (August 3, 2000). "'Summer Catch' Director Aims To Capture The Best Of Cape League". The Cape Cod Chronicle. Chatham, MA. p. 29.
  18. ^ "Cape League takes on Atlantic stars". Yarmouth Register. Yarmouth, MA. July 15, 1971. p. 10.
  19. ^ Rice, Matt (July 24, 2008). "Chatham set to host Cape League All-Star". Yarmouth Register. Yarmouth, MA. pp. S8.
  20. ^ "Annual All-Star Game to be held Saturday, July 23 at Veterans Field in Chatham". wickedlocal.com. July 20, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  21. ^ Shemeligian, Robert (August 10, 1979). "Thurman Munson is Remembered Fondly by His Chatham Friends". The Cape Codder. Orleans, MA. p. 4.
  22. ^ "Former Chatham Player Jeff Bagwell Earns Hall of Fame Nod". The Cape Cod Chronicle. Chatham, MA. January 26, 2017. p. 27.
  23. ^ "Chatham Alumnus Kris Bryant finds success in MLB after struggling in CCBL". capecodbaseball.org. Retrieved September 25, 2019.

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