Holman Stadium

Nashua, NH

Review by Mike

Holman Stadium is the home of the Nashua Silver Knights of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. This historic ballpark, built in 1937, has had an off and on relationship with minor league baseball, with few teams being able to stick for long. The best run of pro ball came in the form of the Nashua Pride of the Atlantic, then Can-Am, Leagues. This is when I first heard of it, being a Bluefish fan.

The ballpark seems to have finally found a permanent tenant, though, in the collegiate summer league Silver Knights. Despite the nomadic nature of its pro tenants, Holman's place in history is secure as the home of the first integrated professional baseball team in the United States when Don Newcombe and Roy Campanella played for the 1946 Nashua Dodgers. Jackie Robinson was playing for the Dodgers Montreal affiliate. A nice plaque commemorates this important milestone in American history.

The ballpark itself is very nice, with a decade-long upgrade project yielding outstanding results. The original seating bowl is intact and looking good. It's a simple structure, but with new seats, spotlessly pointed brickwork and a nice steep pitch, it is certainly one of the finer ballparks in the collegiate summer leagues. The press and luxury boxes are more recent additions, stylishly grafted onto the original structure. It provides the necessary modernization without corrupting the historic grandstand.

A path leads out beyond the left-field fence for some nice standing room and picnic areas and it is here that you will find a short section of outfield fence in the original brick. The fence is only 307 feet from home plate and just a few feet tall, so I imagine that quite a few home runs have been taken away at this spot. The retired numbers of Newcombe, Campanella and Robinson adorn this historic stretch of home run fence.

I'm impressed that Nashua never gave up on its classic ballpark, even without a stable professional tenant. They have maintained and upgraded their old gem, making it a viable 21st century venue while honoring its notable early 20th century heritage. I hope to catch a game there someday.

Holman Stadium, Nashua, NH