Arm & Hammer Park
Review by Mike
Arm & Hammer Park, which was called Mercer County Waterfront Park when I visited, is the home of the Trenton Thunder of the MLB Draft League. I can't help it. I just don't like team names that don't end in "S". "X" is okay because that sounds like "S". I think "Thunder" is a not a great name for a baseball team. Whew. I feel better now, having gotten that off my chest.
Trenton is another eastern industrial city trying to rebound from several really bad decades. It seems that more and more often, these recoveries include the building of a really nice ballpark, something to bring people together and provide a focus for civic pride. Of course, baseball can't solve all or any of the world's problems, but it's a nice enough diversion.
Trenton has done nice job with Waterfront Park. It's nicely located on the Delaware River, right in the heart of the city. Just south of the park is the famous railroad bridge with the words "Trenton Makes, The World Takes" spelled out in large letters. The Thunder are immensely popular, regularly packing the house the last time I went. The only complaint of my friends in Trenton is that they can never get tickets. I’m not sure if that popularity has since waned.
The design is in keeping with most minor league parks of the late 1990s in that the concourse is at the top of the seating bowl, underneath the skyboxes. The placement of the stadium leaves the 3rd base side particularly susceptible to the afternoon sun and we roasted on the day I was there.
As I said, the stadium is quite nice and it's comfortable and clean, but I couldn't shake the feeling that it was missing... something. I don't quite know what. I try to think of something wrong with it and can't, so maybe I was just having a bad day. I'll have to go back and give it another go and maybe all of the nice elements will come together for me. Until then, I'll give Waterfront Park a rating of...
"My visit to Arm & Hammer Park was very enjoyable. NY/ NJ fans certainly like their bobbleheads. When I arrived an hour early in anticipation of Aaron Judge Bobblehead Night, I found lines of Yankee fans at each gate eagerly waiting to get their latest collectible. It was also $1 hot dog and Kids Eat Free night, so the park was filled quite nicely on this July weekday evening with fans rooting for their Thunder. The bat-retrieving bat dog was a first for me, which was very entertaining and, finally, a special shout-out to Bill, who let me sneak up to the luxury box level to snap a few pics of the field from high up!”