Monday, June 24, 2013
This was the stadium I heard about the most while planning my trip, and for all the wrong reasons. Pohlman Field is located in Beliot, Wisconsin and is home of the Beliot Snappers. The Snappers are the Low A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics that play in the Midwest League. Its one of the few remaining not-for-profit, community-owned teams which makes its day to day operations unique. Pohlman Field was built in 1982 and still looks like it was built in 1982. Its really a zero thrills type of park tucked into a residential neighborhood in which the background setting can get old very quickly.
Stadium Grade: C
Overall, my expectations were not very high driving up to this stadium. The parking lot was empty and featured a toilette; which is never a good sign. Approaching the main entrance on either side of the stadium kind of gives the feeling that you're about to attend a Little League Game. Its a simple stadium with the concourse being the main highlight. Both the souvenier shop and the concession stand are located beneath the grand stand. The grandstand, which is one big eye sore, is covered and features a mixture of blue bucket seating and uncomfortable bleacher planks. I watched three innings from the field boxes behind home plate and can honestly say I didn't enjoy it. The Miller Lite party deck on the third base side was roped off during my visit so I wasn't able to experience the beverages or food it had to offer until the second game I attended. The scoreboard is an old rinky dinky, sans video board making you depend on the PA announcer for whose at bat. I didn't see anything in regards to past teams and players that stood out to me.
You are actually supposed to park in Telfer Park to enter Pohlman Field.
This is where I parked for Game #2. I wonder at what point do you get annoyed with a Minor League Baseball stadium being located across the street from your house. Loud music, foul balls rolling into your yard, and strangers parking yards from your house.
I would love to be able to ride a bicycle to my local Minor League team.
Nothing but us autograph seekers waiting for the gate to open.
A very uneventful Main Plaza. The employees were friendly and they looked like they wanted to be there. The stadium giveway was a magnetic schedule that I had already picked up for free inside the box office.
I asked one of the ladies selling the T-shirts seen in this photo how many she had sold so far and she said zero. It was the 5th inning.
Cosmetically, this stadium would look better without all the promotions and stands.
I forgot my roster so the lineup board came in handy for pre-game graphing.
Ton of people taking pictures during the early innings only to return after the game to have them signed. I decided to play around with my camera settings and for some reason like this picture.
More picnic tables to make the stadium look full.
Miller Lite "On Deck" Picnic area. View from those picnic tables was too far away from the infield so I didn't even watch an inning from here.
Ton of picnic tables at Pohlman Field. I would tell you what area this is but no one that worked in the stadium could correctly name it.
Parking was free and my ticket was $7.00. I ate at Wendy's before the game and was told inside the stadium they didn't have souevnir cups so I had no reason to experience anything else inside Pohlman Field. I was going to try some cheese curds but just never got around to it.
First stadium that I was more excited about the autographing experience rather than exploring the stadium. One thing I quickly realized while autographing Pohlman Field is that the stadium can quickly work against you if you aren't fast or have one player in bulk. The visiting team and home team both use the same locker room located on the third base side of the concourse yet come out different doors. Both teams can cut through the concourse onto the field along the third base side or the visiting team can walk all the way around the concourse to the first base side. I got players to sign in between innings, going back and forth to the locker room during the game, and after the game a ton of Snappers players in the concourse while talking to their host families. Great access after the game considering both teams leave along the third base concourse and the visiting team bus literally pulls ten yards away from the locker room. I wish I would have brought more cards for Beliot because the players were great about signing.
Bruce Maxwell chatting and signing in the concourse after the game. Players from South Bend also took the time to put some ink to cards.
After getting Cody Wheeler pre-game on 33 cards, I watched the same guy get him on another 18 cards after the game. The Snappers also walked out this way to their cars parked behind the bus.
Baseball Atmosphere: C
I probably shouldn't be the one correcting people on pronunciation of player names, but after you go through a lineup three times and you still cannot get the player's name right, it gets comical. Then add a terrible sound system and it gets even worse. For the most part the crowd for both games I attended was mainly people I autographed with before the game and your die-hard baseball fans that would pay to watch American Legion baseball.
Who knows if I will ever get up to Wisconsin again but Pohlman Field was a great stadium to kick off my Midwest League trip. An hour and a half after landing in Milwaukee, I was getting autographs. After eighteen innings of baseball, I enjoyed what little Pohlman Field had to offer. My wife wouldn't have stayed two innings.