Review by Mike
Opened in 1976, Donovan Stadium in Utica, NY is the home of the Utica Blue Sox of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. The second of two professional teams, also named the Blue Sox, called Donovan Stadium home from 1977 to 2001 as members of the Short Season Class A New York-Penn League.
This simple, sturdy structure has seen a lot of action over the years, from pro ball to college summer leages to a near-constant schedule of American Legion and high school ball. The stadium consists of three large, aluminum grandstands; one each along 3rd base, 1st base and behind home plate. These were all clean and solid and well-maintained.
The most striking feature is the massive roof over the home plate grandstand that covers all of the seating and dwarfs the very structure it protects. It may the largest ratio of roof to grandstand I have ever seen.
There is a clubhouse under the home plate stand and a concession stand and grill behind that. The latter was closed when I stopped by as the Blue Sox season had long since concluded. It was a day in early autumn and I was lucky enough to catch a few innings of a high school level game before the sun dipped behind the trees, resplendent in reds, oranges, and yellows of every shade.
Set in a larger athletic complex just a few blocks from downtown, Donovan is a stadium that has little aesthetic value, but it exudes a certain community pride with its pristine playing surface, spotless grandstand and well-maintained grounds. Maybe it is simply that big ‘ole roof, standing like a giant with its chin jutting out, but I liked the place, and I enjoyed my quick visit to Utica.