US Baseball Park
Review by Mike
Sometimes you just get lucky. While driving past US Baseball Park, formerly Price Cutter Park, in Ozark, Missouri one rainy Monday morning, I saw from the highway that the gate was open. A friendly staff member was waiting for a tradesman to come to perform some routine maintenance. He kindly let me in for a wander and told me that the stadium was built in 1999 to host a Class A team, but the parent club pulled out before a pitch was thrown.
Left with a stadium and no baseball team, the Springfield/Ozark Mountain Ducks settled in for a nice run in various independent leagues until 2004. Collegiate summer wooden bat teams have called the stadium home since then, including the current Show-Me Collegiate League, along with local high school and college tournament play.
The stadium is simplicity itself; a concrete bowl built into the hillside. The grandstand extends about halfway down each line between the bases and the foul pole. The upper portion of the seating is aluminum benches with backs, with fixed-back bucket seats in the lower bowl. A press box stands on the concourse behind home plate. There is a grass berm down the left-field line and what appears to be the clubhouse near the right field corner. The stadium has been recently refurbished and now features a full artificial turf field.
There is no second level and there are no luxury boxes. Support buildings with concessions and other stadium services rim the exterior at the back of the concourse. It’s open and roomy and in very nice condition, although I think that it could get a little uncomfortable on a hot summer day with no form of cover available. There are a few awnings suspended on poles for shade on either side of the press box, which I would think are used for party groups. Although I didn’t get to see a game, I imagine a sea of umbrellas and large hats during sunny day games.
Simple and functional, nicely adorned with banners and boasting a large, new video scoreboard, US Baseball Park has survived the comings and goings of teams and ownership, as well as competition from the AA club just up the road in Springfield, to continue to provide a nice, clean, friendly place for community and collegiate level baseball and serve the Ozark community well.