Review by Gary
Muzzy Field, located in Bristol, CT, is a grand old park, steeped in history, that has been in use since 1912 and has seen its share of famous baseball AND football players. The brick-faced grandstand was built in 1939 and remodeled in 2015. The grandstand and adjoining metal bleachers seat 4,900. Sitting beneath the wooden roof, held up by what look to be the original beams and girders, had me visualizing Babe Ruth and Vince Lombardi in their heyday. Numerous Red Sox players spent time at Muzzy with Jim Rice being honored by a banner on the left field fence. The Great Bambino himself has a cool banner of his own in right that is half Yankee and half Red Sox, paying respect to both teams.
Muzzy Field hosted many professional ball clubs as far back as the 1940’s including the Bristol Owls (1949-50), Bristol Red Sox (1972-82) & Nighthawks (1994-95). Bristol’s Red Sox moved 10 miles east in 1983 to become the New Britain Rock Cats. Muzzy continues to be an active venue for high school sports and in 2015 the Bristol Blues of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League arrived to play on these hallowed grounds. On the night I attended a game here, the Blues lost a close 4-3 playoff game to the eventual champion Nashua Silver Knights. The crowd at this game was fantastic! The noisy home fans were mostly dressed in the royal blue of the home team. Nashua also brought a strong, and vocal, traveling contingent, complete with cowbell, making for a lively, fun atmosphere.
Light from the new 2-story press box shone wonderfully thru its tall, wide windows. The covered stands on either side and in front of it feature wooden bleachers with equally wooden seat backs and old-fashioned stenciled seat numbers, which I thought was very cool. The restrooms dated back to another era, except for the 1980s electric hand dryers. Looking thru the windows of the rooms under the stands revealed a time machine of construction styles and technology going back thru the decades. Concessions are sold by the friendly staff out of a PODS container next to the stadium.
The field has a separate press box for football, which is high above the third base line and accessible by its own staircase. Metal bleachers run along the left field line and nestled behind the pine trees beyond the outfield fence. During football season, these stands are raised up over the wooden outfield wall, which make up end zone seating, surrounding the field with fans on three sides. A second scoreboard designed specifically for football is also over that fence.
The Blues mascot is known as “BB”, for both the Bristol Blues and in homage to bluesman BB King. This saxophone-toting wolf was very friendly and a welcome change as a mascot that actually has something to do with the team he represents. My companions and I thoroughly enjoyed Muzzy Field and the Blues fans. The energy of the crowd and nostalgia of the ballpark most assuredly had the ghosts who played here in the past smiling.