Mercy Health Stadium
Review by Gary
While driving to Detroit during the summer of 2021, I stopped in Avon, Ohio, to meet with Tom Kramig, owner of the Lake Erie Crushers of the independent Frontier League. A longtime Cincinnati Reds fan, Kramig had no prior background in baseball operations, but thought it would be fun to run a team. In February 2016, the team was sold to Tom & his wife, Jacqueline.
Working with the City of Avon, who own Mercy Health Stadium, the couple has made several significant upgrades to the team and the ballpark. Tom was gracious enough to spend 90 minutes showing me around the park, including stops in the clubhouse, manager’s office, field-level spaces, and the suites.
The stadium has been the Crushers home since their inception in 2009 and has a capacity of 5,000, including 3,000 box seats, 11 private suites, four-person terrace tables, berm seating, and picnic and patio areas for group outings. Tom’s recent addition of a bar on the third base suite level could not be used for the 2021 season due to the shortage of available help due to Covid-19, which was a recurring theme during our ballpark travels that season.
Tom endeavors to rent out the stadium when there are no games, whether it be for travel teams, Little League games or concerts. On the afternoon of my visit, the staff and interns were taking the field for their annual company softball game. Tom loves being his own boss and loves the freedom that comes with operating an independent franchise. The manager of the team handles all of the on-field operations including player movement while Tom takes care of all the off-field stadium ops.
After our meeting, Tom left to go change for his game while I roamed the ballpark taking photos. All the while, Tom’s faithful dog, Zeus, sat guard at the entrance awaiting his master’s return. Upon leaving the stadium, I espied Tom on the field, having donned his autographed Joey Votto Reds jersey, ready for the softball game to begin. Many thanks to Mr. Kramig for allowing me to spend a pleasant hour and half with him, talking baseball and showing me around his most excellent ballpark.