Yale Field

West Haven, CT

Review by Mike

Yale Field was the home of the New Haven Ravens of the Eastern League and the venue for the very first minor league baseball game I ever attended, during the strike of 1994. This is an interesting ballpark. On the one hand it is old and historic and quite lovely to look at. On the other hand, it's not really a great place to see a ballgame.

There is much to love about Yale Field. It is a great old structure, with ivy growing on the classic brick facade. The roof and it's supporting structure are wonderful as are the arches along the back of the seating area. There's also a manually operated scoreboard embedded in the batter's eye in centerfield.

As for watching an actual ballgame, there are a few problems. First, the field is set a mile from the stands. It looks like they could have slid home plate back twenty-five feet and still the foul lines wouldn't approach the corners of the grandstand. Considering that the seating goes right down to field level, it looks like the game is going on in the next county across a large flat plain.

Next, the seating bowl was built at a very low pitch. Combined with the distance to the field, the result is that you have to move your head back and forth to see around the head of the person sitting in front of you. When the stadium is full, it looks like a crowd of dashboard bobbleheads on a bumpy road.

Lastly, when the park was renovated in preparation for the Ravens debut in 1994, they chose to build a metal grandstand inside the existing walls and roof. Much of the seating is metal benches with metal backs. The result (especially on a hot day) is a sticky, noisy, uncomfortable day with a lousy view of the action. Still, the beauty of the structure, the history, particularly Yale University baseball history, and the nice setting outweigh the lack of creature comforts, as long as this isn't my home ballpark, that is.

Yale Field, West Haven, CT
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Gary says...

"The top row of seats are actually the original wooden seats that are preserved by being under the vintage roof. Couple that with the names of former major leaguers who played at Yale Field and there's a bit of nostalgia for the baseball aficionado.”