Joe Wolfe Field
North Adams, MA
Review by Gary
With a grandstand that faces the rolling Berkshire Mountains and bordered by the Hoosic River, Joe Wolfe Field has been home to baseball in North Adams, Massachusetts since 1986. The town sits in the far northwest corner of the state, a literal pickoff throw from both the New York and Vermont state lines.
The New England Collegiate Baseball League’s (NECBL) North Adams SteepleCats play their home games at Joe Wolfe Field, which was built on the site of Noel Field, which had served as North Adams' main baseball venue for decades previously. The field is named after a local semipro baseball player who later became of promoter of athletics in North Adams when he wasn’t coaching Little League baseball.
The main grandstand behind home plate holds about 1,800 people, although many fans could be found in their own chairs lining the foul lines outside the chain link fence. Joe Wolfe Field holds the records for the most fans ever attending a NECBL game with 6,714 faithful coming for a July 4, 2006 game against the Holyoke Giants.
The grandstand features a combination of wood bench and aluminum seating with some views obstructed by the pillars holding the roof aloft. A concession and souvenir stand that was added in the early 2000s can be found down the left field line, located there due to limited space behind the grandstand. The only restrooms are beneath the stands, leaving just enough room to place a folding table and chair for the ticket vendor, who packed up her cash box and chair and ran for cover when the rain rolled in.
The most interesting feature about this ballpark is the acreage separating home plate from each of the concrete dugouts and backstop. There is so much foul territory, that there are dirt paths that lead from home to each dugout, just in case the players lose their way. On the day I visited Joe Wolfe, I watched about an inning of baseball before a rolling fog came around the mountains, followed by the rain that would eventually delay the game.
North Adams is famous for the many church steeples that can be found in the town, hence the team’s name. Unfortunately, during the time I was in the area, I could not find a view of these spires that was not obstructed by fog or rain to take a decent photo. After reviewing my own photos, I discovered that I could have seen many of them had I just looked out from the top of the grandstands back towards the town. Joe Wolfe is a nice place to catch some baseball… and steeples, if you just remember to look behind you.