Review by Mike
Hobbs Field in Pueblo, Colorado was built in 1939 and was home to the Class A Pueblo Dodgers of the Western League in the 1940s and 1950s. Pueblo is an old steel town on the dusty plains just east of the Rocky Mountains. Future Dodger greats Johnny Roseboro and Maury Wills must have spent a lot of time on long bus rides to the distant outposts of the Western League while honing the skills that would someday make them stars for the big-league Dodgers.
Today Hobbs Field is the historic centerpiece of the Runyon Sports Complex, a handsome collection of ballfields south of downtown. The outbuildings are new, and a nice concourse runs between them allowing access to common restroom and concessions buildings. Larry, the assistant GM who was kind enough to allow me to explore on a rare off day, told me that the complex is busy hosting local teams, high school, and tournament play. Amateur baseball is alive and well in Pueblo.
Hobbs Field consists of three separate grandstands, one behind home plate and one along each foul line. The eye is drawn immediately to the main stand behind the plate and its grand, impressive roof. Perched on the front edge of the roof, high above the field, is a press box that must feel like the top of the world in this endless landscape of rolling plains.
The seating is all benches, clean and well-maintained, colored a crisp green on the foul line stands of exposed bleachers. All of the structures are well-maintained, despite the challenges of working in a harsh, dry environment, on a ballpark that is more than 80 years old. Larry expressed great pride in the work that he and his team take in being the caretakers of such an historic site in this historic old Western town.
I plan to keep my eye on the schedule and head back to Pueblo when a tournament is in town and catch a game or two at historic Hobbs Field. I will look out at the field and think about a time when aspiring minor leaguers wearing Dodger blue stood out in the hot Colorado sun and worked towards their own futures in Brooklyn, a place that must have seemed about as far from the steel mills of Pueblo as one could possibly imagine.