Chronological Tour: Stop 334

Blair Field

Exterior of Blair Field, Jul-2008.

The main grandstand behind home plate.

The field is in a Long Beach city park.

Quick Facts: Rating: 3 baseballs
Blair Field in Long Beach has been the city’s baseball home for half a century, and even before. Recreation Park was used for baseball as early as 1924 and was used for spring training for the National League’s Chicago Cubs and the Pacific Coast League’s Los Angeles Angels. The old wooden grandstand saw 34 seasons of use before the new stadium opened in 1958. It was named for Frank Blair, the sports editor at the Long Beach Press-Telegram from 1921 to 1953.

When I first arrived in August 2004, the Area Code Games, a showcase for high school players, was under way. This was during a period when the park was not hosting professional baseball, between the end of the Western League and the beginning of the Golden League.

I got back here for an Armada game in 2008. The field setting, in Recreation Park, was of course unchanged. However, I did notice that due to the field being oriented to face southeast rather than the customary northeast, the scoreboard was very difficult to read during a 5:05 game until the sun started going down. Also, it was very difficult for players on the left side of the infield to pick up a fly ball against the sun.

Ticket prices for Armada games were fairly high, too, as were concession prices, although souvenirs appeared to be reasonably priced. Long Beach State moved their entire schedule of baseball games to Blair Field in the early 1990s (they used to use an on-campus facility for some of their games); I cannot comment on prices when the Dirtbags play.

The Armada shut down operations after the 2009 season, but Blair Field is back in independent league ball for 2013 as part of a new outfit, the American West Baseball League.

Game # Date League Level Result
934 Sun 27-Jul-2008 Golden Ind. LONG BEACH 5, Calgary 3
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