The New York Penn League has rolled out some glitzy baseball parks in recent years, none nicer than KeySpan Park on Coney Island and Medlar Field on the Penn State campus in State College.
Then there's Damaschke Field.
If you want the "old school" minor league baseball experience, there is no place more tumble down and humble than the home of the Oneonta Tigers. Owner Sam Nader holds court in his "box seats" on the first base side, bragging that this is the only "dry ballpark" (translation - no beer) in professional baseball, son Bill is running back and forth between the ticket booth and grilling hot dogs, the baselines and outfield are surrounded by a wooden fence with, yes, real knotholes to get a peek of the action. and the rolling hills in the distance make for a bucolic setting.
In other, words, this a slice of baseball heaven.
We got to visit this venue on a USRT journey back in 2003, got to talk with Sam which was a priceless experience in itself, and were just shaking our heads at how truly bad this place was, and how much we loved the experience.
Apparently, Damaschke Field is getting a bit of a touch up, as this article in The Daily Star indicates. The NY-P season opens June 22.
The nice thing about attending an Oneonta Tigers game is that it is just a short hop from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and less than five hours away from Buffalo. Wouldn't mind heading back and checking the place out... and having a beer, ummm... soft drink with Sam and once again being regaled with timeless baseball stories.