Hooker Field

Martinsville, VA

Review by Gary

Hooker Field in Martinsville, VA opened in 1988 to host the Appalachian League’s Martinsville Phillies, although the diamond has been the sight of professional and amateur baseball since the 1930’s, when it was known as English Field. The Martinsville Manufacturers of the Bi-State league were affiliated with the Cardinals and Phillies from 1934-41. With financial help from Hooker Furniture, whose main plant is just down the hill from the ballpark, English Field was renovated and renamed Hooker Field. The ballpark has been the home of the Martinsville Mustangs of the Coastal Plain League since 2005.

Hooker Field, Martinsville, VA

This is one unique ballpark. After purchasing a ticket from the third base ticket booth, one travels thru time, back to the 1980s, where the field is dug down 12’ and the press box and dugouts are constructed of painted cinder block. The reserved seating area of blue aluminum bleachers sits upon the original stepped concrete and is right behind home plate. 

Hooker Field 16.jpg

Flanking the far side of each dugout are raised general admission risers that are completely enclosed by a tall chain link fence. Perhaps these enclosures serve to keep out wayward race cars from nearby Martinsville Speedway. In any case, the thick chain links made it somewhat difficult to watch the game, unless you sit on the upper rows to see over the top of the silver fence rails. 

Hooker Field, Martinsville, VA

Parents with small children or anyone unsure of their footing may want to sit closer to the ground as there are no stairs to climb up the risers and there is nothing under your seat to keep your belongings or children from falling to the ground below. Many of the fans in attendance chose to sit either in the vintage Earth-bound reserved seating, on picnic tables strewn down either baseline or just stand with their favorite cool beverage in hand to follow the action on the fully turfed field below. 

Hooker Field, Martinsville, VA

Secondary buildings and tents housing concessions, souvenirs and 50-50 raffles seem to have sprung up randomly over time and are in and amongst the picnic tables and seating cages. Couple this layout with the “pink-out” theme of today’s game where the players wore fuchsia socks and the bases were tinged in lavender and game at a ballpark named Hooker Field seemed all too fitting.

Upon leaving the game in search of exterior photo ops of the cratered ball field, we found a foul ball that had sailed out of Hooker Field. We then discovered that one his “brothers” had ricocheted off of our car’s roof, leaving an unwanted dent as a souvenir. Thankfully, the ball narrowly missed the recently replaced windshield. The irony is that when we parked in Lynchburg earlier in the day, I had suggested we park the car further from the field to protect it from any spherical cowhides leaving the park. I did not think to do the same two hours later when we got to Martinsville. Despite this devastating aerial assault, taking in a ball game at the turfed field with pink bases in Martinsville is a must-see.

Hooker Field, Martinsville, VA

2019

--

--

125

25hotdog.gif