American Legion Field
Review by Gary
Celebrating 25 years in the small southern Virginia town of Danville, American Legion Post 325 Field in Dan Daniel Park (The locals call it Legion Field) is the home of the Danville Otterbots of the Appalachian League, the Braves during my visit. Legion Field is located near the Dan River (no relation to Dan Daniels, the former local politician) and seats 2,588 fans.
I arrived about 40 minutes after game time and asked to purchase the cheapest ticket at the concrete box office. The extremely nice ticket person instead offered me a FREE box seat ticket that another fan had left with her to give away. I gladly accepted and said that I’d be happy to buy concessions to support the team and show my appreciation. This earned the stadium an extra hot dog in the review.
I was visiting Legion Field on the penultimate home game of the season, an 11am start time, which might explain the absence of the usual fan-friendly events like dizzy-bat races. Perhaps the oppressive August-in-Virginia temperatures deterred anyone from wearing a mascot costume. The D-Braves, as they’re known in these parts, were sporting 30-30 record and had been eliminated from playoff contention.
As for the park, Legion Field sports a large foul territory behind home plate that tapers down as it approaches first and third base. There is no video board, loud walk-up music nor cheerleaders dancing on dugouts. The original scoreboard was unreadable either due to my failing eyesight or the fact that the noonday sun made the light bulbs in the left field board hard to see. So, for the first time in my ballpark attending career, I used the MiLB app to follow the game live.
The relievers in the bullpens took shade under picnic umbrellas while players in the concrete dugouts enjoyed huge industrial floor fans to keep cool. The seating area consists of 3 separate blue-painted metal covered reserved sections with ceiling fans in the rafters. These sections are protected by screens to the far end of each dugout. Bucket seats with little knee room for anyone born after 1950 feature an assortment of obstructed views from the metal posts holding up the rooves. There are also generous amounts of General Admission aluminum bleachers and a small picnic table section between the left field bleachers and visitors bullpen.
On the culinary side, I was eager to try “The Kitzmiller”, a bologna burger containing meat and bologna from a local butcher. The disinterested young vendor told me in an Steven Wright-esque monotone, “We’re out of bologna, BBQ, Chicken, chili and corn dogs.” Nonplussed, I asked if they still had hot dogs, which, thankfully, they did. I sat back in my free seat and proceeded to watch the Braves rally and score their first run, which was accompanied by the infamous Braves Tomahawk Chop music that Met (and possibly all) fans hate. The crowd started with the arm chop. That cost the stadium half a dog immediately. Legion Field is a quaint ballpark nestled against a grassy, tree-lined hill where fans from this small Virginia town can catch a game. Just go early in the season to get your bologna burger.