CT Sports

2014 New England Baseball Home Openers

The surest sign that spring is upon us is the start of Baseball. And while the forecast may still occasionally predict snow, make no mistake about it – the “boys of summer” will be taking the field starting in April. To help you plan for this annual right of spring, following are the home openers for all of New England’s professional baseball teams:

  • April 3, 2014 at 6:35 PM for the New Britain Rock Cats (MiLB AA, affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) who will play the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
  • April 3, 2014 at 7:05 PM for the Pawtucket Red Sox (MiLB AAA, affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) who will play the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • April 4, 2014 at 2:05 PM for the Boston Red Sox (MLB) who will play the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • April 10, 2014 at 6:30 PM for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (MiLB AA, affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays) who will play the Binghamton Mets.
  • April 10, 2014 ay 6 PM for the Portland Sea Dogs (MiLB AA, affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) who will play the New Britain Rock Cats.
  • June 13, 2014 at 7:05 PM for the Lowell Spinners (MiLB Class A Short Season, affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) who will play the Vermont Lake Monsters.
  • June 16, 2014 at 7:05 PM for the Vermont Lake Monsters (MiLB Class A Short Season, affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) who will play the Connecticut tigers.
  • June 18, 2014 at 7:05 PM for the Connecticut Tigers (MiLB Class A Short Season, affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) who will play the Lowell Spinners.
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New England’s Historic Ball Parks and Stadiums

There are many sports fans who make pilgrimages to ball parks and stadiums – as much to see the venerable old structure as who may happen to be playing there. This is especially true of older parks and stadiums. There is just something about a venue that has withstood the test of time.

New England is no stranger to historic old ball parks and stadiums for those of you who like to make trips to “collect” stadium experiences. Following is a roundup of the region’s historic sports venues.

Baseball

For baseball fans, following are the oldest stadiums that play host to a professional baseball team.

Centennial Field, Burlington, Vermont

Picture of Centennial Field in Burlington, VT

Centennial Field in Burlington, VT

In spite of what you think, Fenway Park is not the oldest ballpark to host a professional team. That honor would go to the home of the Vermont Lake Monsters – Centennial Field on the campus of UVM in Burlington, Vermont. Centennial Field opened on April 17, 1906. It was renovated in 1922 to replace the original wooden bleachers, which had burned down in 1913, with a concrete and steel grandstand. The Lake Monsters are a professional Minor League Baseball Team affiliated with MLB’s Oakland Athletics. Needless to say, the field is also home to the University of Vermont Baseball Team.

If you need a place to stay while visiting this stadium you would have a hard time doing better than the Courtyard Burlington Harbor between Lake Champlain and Church Street Marketplace.

Fenway Park, Boston Massachusetts

Picture of Fenway Park

Fenway Park

The Grande Dame of Major League Baseball, Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912, 5 days after the RMS Titanic sank, making it the oldest Major League ballpark in the United States. It has been home to the Boston Red Sox since the very beginning. It has hosted 11 World Series including the 1912 World Series in its inaugural year. That Series was won by the Boston Red Sox.

The first game to be played in Fenway Park was against the New York Highlanders (who became the New York Yankees), so the great rivalry between the two teams dates back to Fenway’s beginning. For the record, the Red Sox won that game 7-6 in 11 innings starting the tradition of long, hard fought games at Fenway between the two teams.

While the best Fenway experience is when the Red Sox are playing, the park can be toured year-round. See Fenway Park Tour Information for more information on touring Fenway Park.

If you need a place to stay while visiting Fenway check our our Boston Lodging page for options.

McCoy Stadium, Providence, Rhode Island

Picture of McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI

McCoy Stadium

Home to the AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox – the Providence Red Sox, McCoy Stadium opened its doors at the height of World War II on July 4, 1942.

This stadium played host to significant professional baseball history when the longest professional game in the history of the sport was played on April 18, 1981 between the PawSox and the Rochester Red Wings. The game was tied 2-2 in the 32nd inning when the game was suspended at 4:07 AM the following morning. The game was resumed on June 23 and lasted a mere 18 minutes until the PawSox scored the winning run in the bottom of the 33rd inning. Famous players who participated in that game include Cal Ripken, Jr. (Rochester) and Wade Boggs (Pawtucket).

For a visit to McCoy, the best lodging options can be found minutes away in Providence.

Football

For football fans looking for an old historic stadium, you will have to turn your sights on college venues (sorry Gillette, while historic things have happened there, you are just too new…).

Harvard Stadium, Allston (Boston), Massachusetts

Picture of Harvard Stadium in Allston, MA

Harvard Stadium

One of the oldest football stadiums in the United States, Harvard Stadium has been home to the Harvard Crimson Football Team since its opening on November 14, 1903. Their first game in the stadium was against Dartmouth. Harvard lost the game 11-0.

Over the years this venerable old stadium has hosted the Boston Patriots (1970), and the Olympics (1984 for football/soccer). The stadium has also hosted many notable concerts including the last concert given by Janis Joplin shortly before her death.

In addition to being home to Harvard’s football team, the stadium is also home to the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse. The stadium is a National Historic Landmark, one of only four stadiums recognized as such.

Yale Bowl, New Haven, Connecticut

Picture of the Yale Bowl in New Haven, CT

Yale Bowl

The 61,000 seat Yale Bowl opened its doors on November 21, 1914. It has been home to the Yale Bulldogs football team ever since. Yale’s first game in the Yale Bowl was against Harvard, a game that Harvard won 36-0. That game also featured a 92 yard fumble return by Harvard – to this day the longest in the stadium’s history.

The NFL’s New York Giants made the Yale Bowl their home for the 1973/1974 season while Yankee Stadium was being renovated.

The Yale Bowl is also a National Historic Landmark.

Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Picture of Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, MA

Alumni Stadium

Alumni Stadium, located on the lower campus of Boston College, opened its doors on September 21, 1957. It has been home th the BC Eagles Football Team ever since.

The first game played in the stadium on September 21 was against the U.S. Naval Academy. The Midshipmen beat the Eagles on that day 46-6.

Alumni Stadium was home to the Boston Patriots for one year in 1969.

Picture credits: The picture of Centennial Field is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is in the public domain. The picture of Fenway Park is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. The picture of McCoy Stadium is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. The picture of Harvard Stadium is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is in the public domain. The picture of the Yale Bowl is from the Wikipedia. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. The picture of Alumni Stadium is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is in the public domain.

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With the Return of Baseball, Spring is Definitely Here!

Picture or a Baseball Home PlageI know that Mother Nature has not been too cooperative with at least a couple of snow storms right at the official beginning of spring making it feel decidedly un-spring like. But if flower show season was not enough to convince you that spring is, in fact, here, then stop to think about this. Baseball returns to the region starting next week. You read correctly – next week.

Yes, the boys of summer are once again taking up bat and ball with the Portland Sea Dogs and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats getting things started on April 4, 2013. The Boston Red Sox are right behind them on April 8, 2013. So if the Vernal equinox was not enough to convince you that spring is here, baseball should certainly push you over the edge…

Dates of home openers for New England’s baseball teams are as follows:

  • April 4, 2013 at 6:00 PM: Portland Sea Dogs (MiLB AA) against the Trenton Thunder.
  • April 4, 2013 at 6:35 PM: New Hampshire Fisher Cats (MiLB AA) against the Reading Phillies.
  • April 8, 2013 at 2:05 PM: Boston Red Sox (MLB) against the Baltimore Orioles.
  • April 11, 2013 at 6:05 PM: New Britain Rock Cats (MiLB AA) against the Portland Sea Dogs.
  • April 11, 2013 at 7:05 PM: Pawtucket Red Sox (MiLB AAA) against the Rochester Red Wings.
  • April 26, 2013 at 7:05 PM: Bridgeport Bluefish (Independent) against the York Revolution.
  • June 17, 2013 at 7:05 PM: Connecticut Tigers (MiLB A Short Season) against the Lowell Spinners.
  • June 19, 2013 at 7:05 PM: Lowell Spinners (MiLB A Short Season) against the Connecticut Tigers.
  • June 20, 2013 at 7:05 PM: Vermont Lake Monsters (MiLB A Short Season) against the Connecticut Tigers.

To learn more about all of New England’s sports teams see:

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For 2012 April Vacation – Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Picture of New Hampshire Fisher Cats Stadium

New Hampshire Fisher Cats Stadium

Here is another idea for April school vacation – take in a baseball game. The season for all of the major professional baseball teams gets under way in April, and most of them are at home for at least a portion of April . To help you with planning here is the round-up of who is in town for the middle three weeks of April:

  • Boston Red Sox (MLB)
    • April 13-16, 2012: At home against the Tampa Bay Rays
    • April 17-18, 2012: At home against the Texas Rangers
    • April 20-22, 2012: At home against the New York Yankees

Remember that April 19th there will be a free open house at Fenway Park to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ballpark. April 20th is the 100th anniversary game against the exact same foes of 100 years ago – the New York Yankees (who were then known as the New York Highlanders).

The minor league baseball teams who will be at home in April include:

  • Pawtucket Red Sox (MiLB AAA)
    • April 9 & 10, 2012: At home against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs
    • April 20-23, 2012: At home against the Durham Bulls
    • April 24 & 25, 2012: At home against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees
  • New Britain Rock Cats (MiLB AA)
    • April 9-11, 2012: At home against the Harrisburg Senators
    • April 19-22, 2012: At home against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats
    • April 23-25, 2012: At home against the Portland Sea Dogs
  • New Hampshire Fisher Cats (MiLB AA)
    • April 12-15, 2012: At home against the New Britain Rock Cats
    • April 16-18, 2012: At home against the Binghamton Mets
    • April 27-29, 2012: At home against the Trenton Thunder
  • Portland Sea Dogs (MiLB AA)
    • April 12-15, 2012: At home against the Binghamton Mets
    • April 16-18, 2012: At home against the New Britain Rock Cats
    • April 27-29, 2012: At home against the Reading Phillies

Picture credits: The picture of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Stadium is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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2012 Home Openers for New England Baseball Teams

A sure sign the spring is here is baseball’s opening day. It turns out that with so many professional baseball teams in New England there are many home openers across the region starting in April and extending into June. Following are the home opening dates for all of New England’s professional baseball teams for the 2012 season:

  • April 5, 2012 for the New Britain Rock Cats (MiLB AA, affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) who will play Richmond.
  • April 5, 2012 for the Pawtucket Red Sox (MiLB AAA, affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) who will play Buffalo.
  • April 12, 2012 for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (MiLB AA, affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays) who will play New Britain.
  • April 12, 2012 for the Portland Sea Dogs (MiLB AA, affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) who will play Binghamton.
  • April 13, 2012 for the Boston Red Sox (MLB) who will play Tampa.
  • June 12, 2012 for the Worcester Tornadoes (Independent CanAm League) who will play the New Jersey Jackals
  • June 18, 2012 for the Lowell Spinners (MiLB Class A Short Season, affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) who will play Connecticut.
  • June 18, 2012 for the Vermont Lake Monsters (MiLB Class A Short Season, affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) who will play Tri-City.
  • June 20, 2012 for the Connecticut Tigers (MiLB Class A Short Season, affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) who will play Lowell.
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New England’s Best Skiing of the 2012 Season

We updated our ski report over the last few days and quickly came to the conclusion that the best skiing of the winter of 2011/2012 is RIGHT NOW. A lot of new snow has almost every ski area close to full operation reporting powder and packed powder! So if you want to experience the best skiing of this winter you should probably head skiing this weekend or week… Who knows what this challenging winter may have in store after this…

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Still a New England Connection to NCAA Basketball Championships

We are down to the NCAA basketball final four for both the men and the women, and one New England school keeps New England in the hunt for both the men and women. Both the men’s and women’s basketball team for the University of Connecticut (UConn Huskies) have made it into the final four. For the UConn men, they are looking for their third national championship. The women are looking for their eighth national title and their third in a row.

The next game for the UConn men will be April 2 at 8:45 PM against Kentucky at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX. The game will be televised on CBS. If they advance to the championship game that will be 9:00 PM on April 4 also at Reliant Stadium and also televised on CBS.

The next game for the UConn women will be April 3 at 9:30 PM against Notre Dame. The game will be televised on ESPN. If they advance to the finals that will be 8:30 PM on April 5 also on ESPN. Both games will be at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN.

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New England Gets Ready for the 2011 Baseball Season

With the 2011 baseball season set to get underway in a few weeks, I thought that it would be good to give a roundup of opening days for the region’s various baseball teams. So here you go for Major League, Minor League, and Independent baseball opening days.

Major League Baseball

  • Boston Red Sox – Open on the road against the Texas on April 1. The Fenway Park opener is against the Yankees on April 8.

Minor League Baseball

  • Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA Red Sox affiliate) – Open the season at home against Rochester on April 7.
  • Manchester Fisher Cats (AA Blue Jays affiliate) – Open the season at home against the Trenton Thunder on April 7.
  • Portland Sea Dogs (AA Red Sox affiliate) – Open the season at home against the Reading Phillies on April 7.
  • Connecticut Tigers (A Short Season Tigers affiliate) – Open the season on the road against the Lowell Spinners on June 17. Their home opener is June 20 against the Tri-City ValleyCats
  • Lowell Spinners (A Short Season Red Sox affiliate) – Open the season at home against the Connecticut Tigers on June 17.
  • Vermont Lake Monsters (A Short Season A’s affiliate) – Open the season on the road against the Tri-City ValleyCats on June 17. Their home opener is June 20 against the Lowell Spinners.

Independent Baseball

  • Brockton Rox (CanAm League) – Open at home against the Worcester Tornadoes on May 26.
  • Pittsfield Colonials (CanAm League) – Open at home against New Jersey on May 26.
  • Worcester Tornadoes (CanAm League) – Open on the road against the Brockton Rox on May 26. Their home opener is May 30 against New York.
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New England Connection to March Madness

The New England connection to the NCAA’s annual “March Madness”, the Division I basketball championship tournament, is a thin one. There are only two men’s teams from New England in the 2011 tournament – The Boston University (BU) Terriers and the University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies.

  • The first to play will be the Huskies who play Bucknell on Thursday, March 16.
  • Boston University, a number 16 seed, will take on number 1 seed Kansas on Friday, March 17.

The women’s side is equally thin. Again only two teams made it – the UConn Huskies and the Hartford Hawks. The number 1 seed Huskies will take on the number 16 seed Hawks on Sunday, March 20 – which will leave only one New England team in the tournament. Not to worry though, the Huskies are the reigning powerhouse in college women’s basketball so they should be around for a while

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Tap Into a Little History in the Making

With their 93 to 62 win over Florida State last night the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team set a new NCAA Division I basketball record for the most consecutive wins, last night being their 89th consecutive win. In doing so, they broke the mark set by the UCLA men’s basketball team back in 1971 to 1974 (88 consecutive wins).

The UConn women’s streak is still a work in progress with each new win setting a new record. If you would like to try to see a bit of this history in the making the UConn women play their home basketball games in the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion on Hillside Road on the Storrs campus of the University of Connecticut.

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