Chronological Tour: Stop 257

A Corner Outpost for the Gulf Coast League

The area behind a dugout at Field C of the Disney Baseball Quadraplex, Aug-2003.

A small spectator seating area resides under a canopy.

The ball field itself, as seen from behind the plate.

Quick Facts: Rating: Unrated
Thanks to the nature of the Gulf Coast League, the loop flies under the radar of most baseball fans. The rookie league, which consists mostly of 16- to 19-year-olds, is certainly a part of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (every team is owned and operated by a major league club), but itís not marketed as Minor League BaseballTM is. In fact, if you didnít know better, youíd think you were watching a sandlot game. This is pro baseball at its purest, kids playing and learning the game with very little distraction. There are no matrix boards, no public address announcers, no dizzy bat races Ė and, in general, no fans.

Some Major League Baseball clubs donít like that. Only 20 of the 30 teams maintain GCL or Arizona Summer League teams; the rest of them send all their rookies to the Appalachian or Pioneer leagues, or up another level to the New York-Penn and Northwest leagues, where the kids will get a true minor-league experience.

Itís impossible for me to assign my usual baseball rating to a practice field tucked away behind a legitimate minor league stadium. Field C at Disneyís Wide World of Sports is part of the Baseball Quadraplex, out behind Wide World of Sports Stadium, which was home to the Orlando Rays from 2000 through 2003 and serves as the Bravesí spring exhibition field.

As at the other three fields in the complex, Field C has a small grandstand with seating for 147 under a canopy, so you donít get wet or sunburned. Thatís more than enough, as I counted 14 fans (people who didnít appear to be affiliated with the teams) at the first game I attended here, including some people who wandered over from the Official All-Star Cafe, watched for a few minutes, couldnít grasp the concept (or couldnít take the heat), and left.

Game # Date League Level Result
632 Mon 25-Aug-2003 Gulf Coast R GCL BRAVES 4, GCL Red Sox 3, 13 inn
636 Wed 27-Aug-2003 Gulf Coast R GCL BRAVES 4, GCL Pirates 3
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This page updated 14-Aug-2009