Vet’s Field (officially Veterans Memorial Field) was the home of the Altoona Rail Kings of the Heartland League. The Rail Kings are gone. The Heartland League is gone, but Vet’s Field remains. I can find no record of when it was built, so if anyone knows, please let us know.
Review by Mike
The place was locked up and I was in the process of climbing onto the roof of my car to get some shots over the chain link fence, when a car pulled up. Fearing some local ordinance, forbidding people from standing on car roofs, I leapt to the ground. Turns out is was the head groundskeeper, who was kind enough to let me in to take photographs. He told me that they still play over 200 games a year on the field between high school, semi-pro, and amateur ball. He also said that some football games are played there, so the departure of the Rail Kings actually made his job easier.
There may be a new team in town (the Altoona Curve) and a shiny new AA ballpark (Peoples Natural Gas Field), but Vet’s Field survives and thrives in the railroading town of Altoona. My first visit to Vet’s was in 1998 and, following old signs still posted around town, I was able to negotiate a maze of side streets to find Vet’s, sandwiched between a mosque, a set of railroad tracks and some nice old houses.
It’s a nice little ballpark, perfect for independent ball in central Pennsylvania before the big boys (AA) came to town. I would like to have seen a game there, but alas...
Gary and I stopped by in 2016 and found the ballpark still crisply painted, well-maintained and looking even better than it had 19 years earlier, which was really nice to see. This page features photos from both visits and the sharp-eyed can spot Gary TWICE lurking in the background.