Review by Mike
Tucked away in a small valley on the edge of Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona, is a modest baseball field that serves as home to the Yavapai College Roughriders. Based on the banners on the service building, this little ballpark has seen its share of championship teams. It also witnessed two seasons of professional baseball as home to the Montezuma Federals of the Freedom Pro Baseball League in 2012 and 2013.
The field is not easy to find, with no directions on campus save one sign high above the right field fence along a side road. Once located, it is a pleasant setting for a ballgame, with views of distant mountains to left field and a steep hill rising up behind the right field fence. The small grandstand of fixed-back seats wraps around the home plate area, shaded by large trees, making a kind of natural roof to defend against the Arizona sun.
And there will be lots of sun at Roughriders games because the field has no lights, unusual for college level and independent pro venues. Whether there ever were lights, I do not know, but there are none now. The field, despite my January visit, was in very good shape, the sod feeling very smooth and well cared for.
The Roughriders make ample use of the Teddy Roosevelt theme, with a cartoon president in outsized hat painted onto the sides of the garbage cans and a stone and concrete terrace with picnic tables carved into the hill in distant right center field called “Teddy’s Patio”. I don’t know if they charge admission for Roughriders games, but these seats would certainly be free, accessible only from the road that passes above the stadium out there.
Prescott, with an altitude of 5,500 feet above sea level, is milder than the valley and the high altitude should make for pleasant late afternoons. It’s a shame that independent ball was not able to stick in this lovely high desert city, but the crew at Yavapai College maintain a nice little ballpark for their local collegiate team.