|Chronological Tour: Stop 281|
Main gate of Mavericks Stadium, Aug-2004.
The seating bowl, from the party area down the third-base line.
Off in the distance are desert peaks on the other side of Route 66.
There used to be an air base in Adelanto, and this ballpark used to be hopping. With the base closure, the park was often desolate, but the High Desert Mavericks soldiered on, playing in a simple yet functional ballpark that goes back to the early 1990s.
The park has a central press box just inside the concourse, much like other parks of its era, and it also has six party boxes at the top of the concourse. The seating bowl is divided into upper and lower boxes, but without a cross aisle; the seat color signifies which level you are in. The “Hard Ball Cafe” down the left-field line appears not to have been used in years.
It’s actually a fairly nice place to watch a game, although the sun must be brutal for 3:00 Sunday starts. There is a roof, or awning, covering part of the concourse and providing some shade to the seats.
The biggest trouble the Mavericks had was in drawing fans. The people down in Victorville, a hopping freeway town of 80,000, don’t seem to make the six-mile trip up Route 66 and Air Base Road to the park with any degree of regularity, except on fireworks nights ... which my visit wasn’t.
With fans fleeing the ballpark faster than home run balls were flying out of the yard, the Texas Rangers bought the club and received approval to relocate it to the Carolina League, along with the Bakersfield Blaze, ending Adelanto’s 27-year dalliance with professional baseball. The club now plays in Kinston, N.C.
The closure of the two California League stadiums left a void that the independent Pecos League is endeavoring to fill. For 2017, they started a Pacific Division that includes the vacated parks in Adelanto and Bakersfield, along with California City (halfway between those two), Monterey, and Griffith Park in Los Angeles. The loop is attempting to make it in a territory where prior efforts such as the Western and Golden leagues drew for a few seasons but ultimately failed.
|695||Wed 11-Aug-2004||California||A||HIGH DESERT 3, Modesto 1|