Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ashford University Field- Clinton, Iowa - Midwest League

Posted by William Lee Coleman III | Saturday, June 1, 2013 | Category: |

This was the stadium I heard about the less in planning my trip and ended up being my favorite. Ashford University Field is located in Clinton, Iowa and is the home of the Clinton Lumberkings. The Lumberkings are the Low A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, and from what people were telling me during the game, baseball has been played here forever. Overall, I didn't know what to expect when pulling up to the stadium.  It sits along the Mississippi River and Clinton is the kind of town that it only takes thirty minutes to learn your way around. It was the only time during my trip that I didn't trust my GPS because the stadium's location didn't seem to fit in with the geography. I would have loved to have visited this stadium before the 2006 renovations but present day Ashford University Field  featured what I enjoy about Minor League Baseball with its low key atmosphere and small town feel.

Unlike with my other reviews, I am just posting pictures and will give a brief description of what the pictures are showing and my thoughts on them.

View of the stadium from my parking spot. Parking was free which was awesome but this was the worst parking lot I have ever experienced at a sporting event. It needs to be repaved. Also, a lot of shady characters roaming around while I was prepping cards to be signed inside my car.

I was hoping to grab a couple of baseballs during batting practice but the outfield walls are high at Ashford University Field. No wonder the Mariners get excited about any Mariner prospect that displays power during his Midwest League stint.

I arrived so early and found myself reading all these bricks.  Lot of lifetime baseball fans in Clinton.

A very simple Main Entrance.

I have no clue the importance of this clock because it never moved the four plus hours I was inside the stadium.

Very uneventful concourse with a lot of empty space.

I don't know why but the area where the starting lineups are posted is the first place I locate inside the stadium.

Lot of autograph seekers looking for Robert Stephenson. Trust me, the total doubled before game time leaving very little room to navigate. The netting didn't help either. I didn't have access to the players from the bullpen until after the game.

This is the view from where I watched the game for several innings. Those support beams provide some very poor sight lines and I hate bleacher seating.

A view along the left side of the field from my seat. It seemed everybody in the crowd knew each other and there is never any reason to despise a covered grandstand.

I was told that the Lumberkings have a local lady who will lineup pieces of candy and gum behind the on deck circle for the players to enjoy during the game. I looked everywhere for her but did not see her.

The view along the right side of field from my seat. With no free giveaways, I would assume the majority of the crowd were host families.

I despise bleacher seating. While its a nice cheap alternative, its been proven to take up more room then box seating.

 I had a hard time getting a good shot of the picnic area because of the people making weird faces or making obscene gestures. You would be surprised what I find people doing in the photos.

 Picture of the picnic area and the Lumberkings bullpen area.

View of the berm.

I didn't have access to the Lumberyard but was told it was used to host group outings later in the season.

For the first time on a stadium visit, I didn't take a photo of the scoreboard, this one will have to do.

I watched a couple of innings in this seating area.

Talked a good two innings to this one guy out on the berm and thought this picture would turn out better than it did

Ratings for Ashford University Field:


Clinton has a nice ballpark with little distractions. I have to find a way back to this stadium in a couple of years. Reminds me a lot of Grayson Stadium in Savannah, Georgia. 
Baseball Atmosphere: B

I heard a lot of interesting comments about baseball  but for the most part it was a small crowd. Picture a small group of Cubs fans thinking their players do nothing wrong on the field and acting like they are making the managerial decisions. Comical.
Pricing: B

With free parking, I was willing to pay extra for a front row seat behind home plate but it seemed the guy working the ticket booth only wanted to provide me a ticket he knew how to sell so I had to settle for a General Admission ticket for $7.00. This was Day 5 of the trip and I was burnt out on ballpark food so I had a simple hot dog and a RC Cola; yup I said RC!  There were not Pepsi nor CocaCola products.

Autographing: A.

The Lumberkings have what I think is the longest walk in Minor League Baseball from their clubhouse to their dugout. Plenty of chances to ask the players behind the berm and  good access on the Clinton side up until they reach the dugout. Only problem I experienced is that I had to be patient with the visiting team's bullpen players because they really had to go out of their way to accommodate you. After the game, the visiting team has a short walk through the concourse to the parking lot to board their bus. 

Currently have 3 comments:

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  2. Wow very small ball park,reminds me of the stadiums from the movie a league of their own.looks very friendly though and all the seats are close and graphing couldn't be too hard to do there.Nice blog post!

  3. look kinda run down but a great graphing spot glad u enjoyed it