Jackson Field is the home of the Lansing Lugnuts of High-A Central. I stopped by Oldsmobile Park, as it was called then, while passing through Lansing, Michigan one day in 1999. Since it was 7:30am, I didn't have the chance to see a game there, but these photos were obtained by means of the ballpark fan's best friend, the unlocked gate.

Jackson Field

Review by Mike

Cooley Law School Stadium, Lansing, MI
Cooley Law School Stadium, Lansing, MI

This looks like a great ballpark. It is squeezed between the main north and south arteries of the Michigan capital and as a result, it's quirky shape and dimensions were forced from necessity rather than contrivance. So many "old style" parks contain features intended to make the park feel old-fashioned even though they are actually unnecessary. The bizarre outfield corners in this park need to be there, because they simply ran out of room. The foul poles cut in very close to the plate (the distance isn't marked) and high green walls extend out along the line of the street for about 25 feet, at which point the regular outfield fence begins and travels a zigzag course around to the opposite foul pole.

The seating bowl is big, huge for Class A ball, holding 6,500 people. About half of the seats are actual seats while the rest are benches with backs. Luxury suites supervise the action from above, providing a nice look to the stadium, without disrupting the view of the real fans below. The field and seating are below street level, so the concourse is at the top and looks down on the field, as is found at most new parks.

Cooley Law School Stadium, Lansing, MI
Cooley Law School Stadium, Lansing, MI

One of my favorite features is the chain link fencing along street. Huh? you ask. Yes, the chain link fence. This fence, which separates the park from the sidewalk, allows people standing on the sidewalk to watch the game for free. And it's a pretty nice view at that. This seems to me to be the ultimate expression of a team and stadium as part of the community. You can pay a lot and sit in a luxury box. You can pay a reasonable price and sit in the seating bowl, or if you can't afford that, you can still watch the game for free if you're willing to stand. I would like to have seen a game here. Perhaps someday I shall...

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1999

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