Yale Field

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Coordinates: 41°18′33.43″N 72°57′32.18″W / 41.3092861°N 72.9589389°W / 41.3092861; -72.9589389

Yale Field
Location West Haven, CT
Capacity 6,200
Surface Grass
Opened 1928
Yale Bulldogs (NCAA) (1928–present)
New Haven Ravens (EL) (1994–2003)
New Haven County Cutters (CAAPB) (2004–2007)

Yale Field is a stadium in West Haven, Connecticut, just across the city line with New Haven, Connecticut. It is primarily used for the Yale University baseball team, the Bulldogs, and, until 2007 was also the home field of the New Haven County Cutters Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball minor league baseball team. Yale's baseball team has played continuously at the same site since 1885 while the field was constructed and opened in April 1928. It holds 5,000 people.

The New Haven County Cutters used the field from 2004 until they folded after the 2007 season. Yale Field was also the home of the New Haven Ravens during the franchise's time in the city from 1994 to 2003. It hosted the 1998 Double-A All-Star Game, and was the site of the Ravens' 2000 Eastern League championship. The team was sold and moved to Manchester, New Hampshire, where it became the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2004.

The concourse underneath the stands is lined with the names of famous players who made appearances at the stadium. These include Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, MLB executive A. Bartlett Giamatti, and Yale first baseman and captain George H.W. Bush.

During the early 20th century, Yale often played exhibitions at Yale Field against major league teams. Ted Williams played an exhibition at Yale Field two days before his major league debut in 1939. The Red Sox edged Yale 6-5 in that game even though Williams went 0-4.

During President Bush's days baseball playing for Yale, the team played in both the 1947 and 1948 College World Series, losing to the University of California in 1947 and to USC in 1948. Yale's manager during this time was former big leaguer Ethan Allen. Yale Field hosted what is believed to be the first game of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship in 1947 when Yale hosted Clemson.[1]

Yale Field was the site for one of the most famous college baseball games of all time. On May 21, 1981, during a qualifying game for the College World Series, Ron Darling from Yale and Frank Viola from St. Johns dueled through 11 scoreless innings before St. Johns broke through with a run in the 12th inning to win 1-0. Both pitchers went on to have distinguished Major League careers. Darling pitched 11 innings of no-hit ball (still a college playoff record) before surrendering a single in the 12th inning.

In attendance at the game was Yale President and soon-to-be Commissioner of Baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti as well as pitching great and ex-Yale Baseball Coach, Smoky Joe Wood. Renowned baseball author Roger Angell was also at the game and wrote an article about the game for the New Yorker Magazine, entitled "The Web of the Game" (See New Yorker, July 20, 1981, p.97)

Ron Darling devoted an entire chapter to this game in his 2009 book; "The Complete Game, Reflections on Baseball, Pitching, and Life on the Mound", published by Alfred A. Knoff, a division of Random House.

Another legendary game took place at Yale Field in 1941. With Smoky Joe Wood as manager, and Joe Jr. on the mound, the Elis faced Colgate whose roster included two of Smoky Joe's other sons, Steve and Bob Wood. Yale prevailed 11-5.

Yale Field was also the name of the football stadium prior to the Yale Bowl opening in 1914.


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