Clint Lightner Field
Garden City, KS
Review by Mike
Clint Lightner Field is the home of the Garden City Wind of the independent Pecos League. The nice folks in Garden City agreed to let in me for a look around this historic ballpark during a drive across Kansas and I am ever glad they did. A baseball field since 1920, with a WPA grandstand constructed in 1936, this lovingly maintained stadium is a true gem.
Set alongside a public park, the small, original grandstand is in great shape, with a nice roof that covers all of the seating arear behind the plate. There is a another, separate grandstand on the 3rd base side built in the same style with no roof. This was added in 1956 with care taken to match the main grandstand in design.
The dugouts are at field level, located at the end of the seating on each side, but since 3rd base has that extra set of stands, this means that the visitors’ dugout is farther from home plate than the home team dugout. Moreover, the main grandstand is not centered on home plate, nor is it set at a right angle to centerfield. Instead, it is rotated a little towards left center. The result being that the foul territory on the 3rd base side is larger than that on the 1st base side, pushing the dugout even further away.
One of my favorite features is the first-class seating section, which has exactly 10 seats with backs. Just 10. Fantastic. The field is made of field turf on the infield and natural grass in the outfield, which I am seeing more and more in these smaller community ballparks. There is a nice city logo painted into the turf behind home plate.
Although allowed to become derelict at one point in its lifetime, Clint Lightner Field has survived, was completely renovated in 2014 and now hosts high school, American Legion, and professional baseball in the form of the popular Pecos League franchise. It’s a charming little ballpark. Thanks to the Wind for giving me a chance to experience it.