Review by Gary
Portland, Maine is the eastern most town in North America to see a minor league baseball game, for you cartographers out there. It is also home to the Portland Sea Dogs of the Eastern League. When Hadlock Field was constructed in 1994, the team was affiliated with the Florida Marlins. The Boston Red Sox took over the affiliation in 2003 and the Sea Dogs then added a replica Green Monster, called the Maine Monster, as the left field wall to match the original at Fenway Park. Replica Citgo and Coke signs were added as well to make the field look even more like Fenway, a very cool touch.
On the day we visited, the Dogs were playing the Binghamton Mets so I opted to root for the visitors on this rare occasion. Notable on the Met roster was LJ Mazzilli, the son of one my favorite Mets, Lee Mazzilli. I didn’t root too loudly, as the majority of the fans were heavily festooned in Red Sox, apparel.
Hadlock is a classic minor park, with plenty of seating from pole to pole and luxury boxes on either side of the press box. Advertising boards enclose the outfield walls and there are no covered seats, which is probably not an issue in the mild Maine climate. The stadium is named for Edson B. Hadlock, Jr., a long-time Portland High School baseball coach and physics teacher.
Unusual for newer ballparks, the concessions are under the stands rather than at the top of the seating bowl, so that in order to get your lobster roll, you have to miss an inning or two of the game. The ballpark was built just before the modern template for a small minor league grandstand, when luxury boxes freestanding over the lower bowl with the open concourse beneath, became the standard.
Beyond the right field stands, sits the William B. Troubh Ice Arena, a 1930s-looking building that was actually erected in 1984. There is also a lighthouse that rises from the centerfield fence when a Sea Dogs player hits a home run or when the Sea Dogs complete a win. However, I saw neither of these events as the Mets beat Portland that day, 7-2. Mazzilli did knock in a couple of runs, so that was cool.
Hadlock is a very nice place to catch a ball game in a very nice port city. When the place is sold out, 7,300 fans can have a great day at the ballpark, although I might not want to be there in April.