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Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Review by Mike

Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin is simplicity itself, and therein lies its immense charm. After opening in 1928, the ballpark played host to low-level minor league affiliates of the White Sox, Senators and Twins until 1983, when organized baseball took a 27-year break in Wisconsin Rapids. After a 2010 renovation, however, the summer collegiate Northwoods League set up shop with the Rafters and they have been there ever since.

This is a lovely old ballpark that is beautifully maintained. A classic grandstand with a full roof extends to 1st and 3rd base, with a press box perched atop the roof. There is a party deck down the left field line and a small, covered seating area just beyond the first base dugout. There is a water park beyond the left-field fence and lots of open space and parking lots beyond the rest of the fence for industrious youths to chase home run balls.

The seating is mostly benches, with a few rows of premium seating that feature bartops upon which to set one’s food and eat in comfort. Some of the seats installed in 2010 are from Milwaukee County Stadium, rescued from its demolition. The whole structure is painted in a bright aqua color that brings a cheerful look. There is a nice mural on the outside and a separate building behind home plate houses the ticket office, concessions, and clubhouses.

I was lucky enough to be shown around by a team executive who took me up onto the roof and into the press box and described with pride the work that had been done to keep their ballpark in prime condition. Everyone was friendly, the day was sunny and the whole place was just splendid. All that was missing was a ballgame.

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